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What was happening in 2015...

Well, we're still here....

January 2015

The committee had cleared and covered the empty plots to avoid them getting too overgrown with weeds.

The robins are pairing up and providing a bit of colour on an otherwise grey and brown site!

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February 2015

Still little colour and no snow, but plenty of rain, as the team of volunteers found on the Work Day which was well attended with snacks and drinks providing a bit of warmth on such a dull day!

The whole of February wasn't a washout though, we had some lovely sunshine - a hint of things to come? Let's hope so!!

Plots all round site are waiting for Spring, along with the plotholders...

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March 2015

The Spring equinox arrived with a partial (~87%) solar eclipse.

And plotholders have been busy on their plots on the few sunny weekends which March often offers.

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April 2015

An early Good Friday meant that not everyone went with tradition to get their potatoes in. The weather as expected with cold days followed by very hot days. Everyone desperate to get planting but trying to hold off...

The site kestrel has found himself a mate this year and they have a nest in one of the trees along the hedge!

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May 2015

The nights stayed cold and frost threatened throughout the month so fleece remained on for most of the month. A few brave plotholders planted some of the more delicate plants and kept their fingers crossed!

The plots that are growing are looking lovely and that is most of site. It's a good sign that the bad plots are in the minority but sadly, due to the lack of an extended lease we are at our lowest ever percentage of plotholders.

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June 2015

Eventually the nights began to warm up so frost risk was gone but it continued to be a windy year.

Due to the lack of a lease beyond April 2016 we are currently at our lowest tenancy since the debacle 6 years ago. However, we are staying positive and planning for the future, so we now have a regular source for manure and committee member John (Left, below) built a corral out of recycled raised beds to hold it. Plotholders are charged 50p per barrow-load.

The AGM was held in June as usual and luckily all the committee members are willing to remain in post for a further year. Two local councillors attended and are aware of the desperation of plotholders to get a lease renewal but are awaiting decisions to be made by the housing developer - there should be some news by September and plotholders will be kept informed.

AGM

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July 2015

Hot temperatures and sunshine days were interspersed with some heavy rain which kept everything growing well, although strong winds were also a feature.

Luckily the sun shone on the day of the Hungerford Primary School Fete - attended by over 2000 people.

The children particularly enjoyed making bug hotels on the HAHA stall and we ran out of building components before the children ran out of interest so they went off and gathered their own from the nearby trees!

Bug Hotels

We had a plotholders barbecue and again the sun shone for us, making for a lovely afternoon.

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Congratulations to Hungerford in Bloom Marsh Lane allotment prize winners:

1st prize: Chris Tout
2nd prize: JOINT: Neal Pike and Ken & Liz Hall (with Lee & Helen)
3rd prize: Tui & Glenn MacKenzie
Very Highly Commended: Robert James, Belinda Robinson and Henry & Betty Jefferies

August 2015

We knew we had some busy time in August with the Horticultural Show falling the weekend after our Open Day but with the help and generosity of our plotholders and friends (and the weather) we managed to get them both organised.

The Open Day was a great success, with many visitors to the cake stall, bbq, tombola, crockery smash and other stalls were popular throughout the afternoon.

Visitors had the chance to walk around the site during this year's National Allotments Week. And children were encouraged to join in with the opportunity to win teddies in a vegetable-based quiz which led them round the plots.

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The Royal British Legion asked HAHA to join forces with them to arrange this year's Horticultural and Handicrafts show. We advertised around town and on social media and were very pleased with 300 entries on the day!

So many vegetables, flowers, cakes, scones and pickles were entered - the proceeds were donated to the Poppy Appeal.

Congratulations to overall winner Chris Tout and all the individual winners who joined in the fun.


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September 2015

Autumn began to feel close, though still warm at night and still plenty of growth on plots.

October 2015

The Hungerford Food Festival was a great day again this year, with hundreds of visitors. HAHA were lucky enough to have two areas to show off our produce.

And provide tasters including delicious scones and fruit cordials - definitely worth a visit.

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November 2015

The weather was so mild, with just a couple of days with light frost, that plants (and particularly weeds) continued to grow.

Calendula

The site stayed looking pretty but really we want a cold spell to kill off all the nasties in the soil!

November

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December 2015

December brought some unexpected and most unwelcome news! The housing developer/landowner would not be renewing our site lease after April 2016. It would be "returned to grassland".

Having been through this several times before the committee and plotholders weren't going to accept this - especially at such short notice.

The committee deserved a Christmas meal to talk about something other than the threat hanging over our heads!

MERRY CHRISTMAS ALL - Here's to good news next year!