Recently, the Committee oversaw the clearance of a plot which had been vacated by its long-standing plot holder, who unfortunately has been unable to look after it due to ill-health. A huge amount of materials had accumulated over the years, including 600kg of bricks, loads of rotten carpets, a shed which had an asbestos roof and sides, and much general rubbish. Clearly, the plot was in no fit state for a new tenant to take on.

A lot of effort and cost has gone into the clearance, which took six days, two skips, and at least 40 hours of both voluntary and paid work to achieve. The total cost was almost £900. There are still a number of trees to be removed, but at least now the plot is workable, and neighbouring plots have also benefited from the cleaned-up environment.

OK, this may be an extreme amount of materials on a plot, but it underlines the need to adhere to the terms of the Tenancy Agreement and Cultivation Guidelines. These may look overly officious and bureaucratic, but they are there to prevent this sort of situation arising in future. It’s everybody’s responsibility to keep plots tidy and not hoard rubbish and materials, as ultimately we all end up paying for it. It’s our money and time that is being spent – money and time which should be available for better things. And that’s simply not fair on all the other plot holders.