Frequently Asked Questions
How do I contact you?
It depends what your query is about. You may not need to contact us at all; Site Representatives can often solve minor issues, so please ensure that you know who your site rep is and talk to them first. Otherwise, you can contact us by;
- Phone (via the Worcestershire Hub) on 01905 722233
- Letter. Please send it to:
Worcester City Council
We would ask that you do not hand deliver letters to us as the site is not generally open to the public.
- Using the Allotments Contact & Feedback form
- Letter. Please send it to:
Why have an allotment?
Gardening is an excellent form of exercise and relaxation and will help to keep you fit and healthy. Growing your own means that you and your family will always have a good supply of really fresh & tasty vegetables. It also means you will know exactly how they have been grown.
Will it be a lot of work?
That depends on the size of allotment you choose. If you choose a ‘weekend' plot (1/32nd acre) then you can expect to spend approximately 4 – 5 hours per week in the summer and a couple of hours per week in the winter. If you choose the larger enthusiasts' plot (1/16th acre) you can expect to spend considerably more time.
Can I keep animals or bees on my plot?
Please have a look at our Livestock Policy for further information.
How do I get my name put on the waiting list?
Contact us using any of the methods detailed above. Please make sure you provide your full name, address, contact number(s), a valid email address and which site you are interested in. Please note you can only put your name on the waiting list for one site. There is now a one off £10 registration fee payable before your name is added to the waiting list. We will advise you how to pay on receipt of your application.
How often do I pay rent on my allotment?
Once a year on 1st October. We will send you an invoice which must be paid by 31st October. Any tenants who have not paid their invoice by that date may have their tenancy agreement terminated for non-payment.
How do I pay my allotment rental?
When you first take on an allotment, you will be charged a part year's rental. This must be paid by debit or credit card and you will be asked to provide us with those details at the time. For the annual rental (due in October each year) thereafter, you can pay by:
- Online via the City Council website. Go to the "Payments Online" section, the click "Pay Online Now". Please note that this is a secure site.
- Cash or cheque at the Customer Service Centre at The Hive, Sawmill Walk, The Butts. Please remember to take details of your customer/billing reference and your invoice number with you.
- Sending a cheque with the tear off slip at the bottom of your invoice to our Finance department at Orchard House. The full postal address will be shown on your invoice.
- Telephone 0300 3339942 for a 24hr Automated Payment System and follow the simple instructions.
- Direct Debit - Your invoice will include a Direct Debit Mandate for you to fill in if you wish.
May I put up a shed or poly tunnel?
Only with permission. Please contact your Site Representative with the details and we will let you know our decision.
May I give a friend half my plot?
No. We can look at splitting your plot to 1/32nd of an acre if a full size plot (1/16th of an acre) is too big for you, but the part you surrender will be offered to the next person on the site waiting list.
Can I transfer my plot to someone else who doesn't currently have an allotment?
No. The tenancy agreement is between the Council and one named individual. When this agreement comes to an end or is terminated by either party, the plot would then be offered to the next person on the waiting list for that particular site. Please refer to our Allocation Policy in the Allotment Guidelines section of the City Council website.
If a friend is helping me can I have a tenancy in a joint name?
No. We can record a co-worker at your request who is permitted to work on the plot without you being present. Any other visitors must be accompanied by either the tenant or the co-worker. Provided the plot has been well maintained the Council may allocate the plot to your co-worker if you decide to leave. The Council will consider any such requests on a case by case basis and the Council's decision is final. There is no charge to make someone a co-worker.
Do I have to live in the city of Worcester to have a Worcester City Council allotment?
We accept applications from those living in neighbouring authorities onto our waiting lists (subject to payment of the Registration Fee), but Worcester City residents will take priority. Please see our Allocation Policy in the Allotment Guidelines section of the City Council's website.
How do I notify you that I want to give up my allotment?
As the tenancy agreement is a legal document, you must notify us in writing or email. You can also use the Allotment Termination Notice facility on the web site. We cannot accept telephone instructions.
Can I have a bonfire on my allotment?
Bonfires do tend to cause concern for other plot holders and neighbours to our allotments, therefore we recommend you only have a bonfire if it is actually necessary. It can be a good way of controlling disease but quite often you won't have enough material for a really good fire and will only create a lot of smoke. It is strictly prohibited to bring in material from other places to make a fire, this can even be considered an offence by the Environment Agency. There are guides to composting which in many instances will be enough to get rid of arisings, but if you still feel a bonfire is necessary then please remember that causing a nuisance is grounds for the authority to terminate your allotment contract. Please see the Bonfire Nuisance Policy for more information.
If I take over an allotment plot in bad condition, can I expect any help clearing it?
You won't be entitled to any help with cultivation, but in the unlikely event of fly tipping we may be able to assist you with removal. Please contact your Site Representative for further information.
What about rental increases?
We have an obligation to give tenants 12 months notice of rental increases. When you receive your annual invoice, you will also be advised of any rental increase to take place in a year's time.
Can I compost green waste on my allotment plot?
Yes, your site rep will be able to give you some tips; there is a leaflet in your welcome pack. Please only compost waste from your allotment on site; don't bring it from home as this constitutes unlawful disposal and will render the person responsible liable to prosecution.
Are there any hints or tips for new tenants?
There are plenty of books available at your local library and lots of expertise from your Site Representatives and other plot-holders, who are eager to share their knowledge.
Here are our top ten tips
Don't rush in and try to do too much digging too quickly.
Start your ground preparation in autumn, aiming to complete all your digging before the end of the year.
Remove perennial weeds; try not to break their roots, as leaving pieces in the ground will only serve to propagate these plants.
Start a compost heap.
Do not sow seeds too early; allow time for the ground to dry out and warm up in spring.
Water newly planted seedlings regularly and try to collect as much rainwater as you can, as it is good for your plants and good for the environment.
Plant seeds in rows rather that scattering them; it's much easer to weed between rows of plants than it is when they are randomly scattered.
Put mulch down on bare soil, it will help to slow the growth of weeds and improve water retention.
Aim to get a succession of crops throughout the year.
If your site has an association, it's well worth joining. It's a great way to meet new people and take part in social events that they often organise throughout the year.
Can I use the site notice board?
Yes, if you have a poster then please ask the Site Rep to place it on the notice board.
Can I use water from the standpipes?
Yes, but please be considerate. It would be best to recycle rain water as the natural water is better for plants. You can use the standpipe but you can not attach a permanent hose connection; the tap should be available to all nearby gardeners. Remember the more you water the more the plants will rely on it so better to be conservative.
Can I bring in material to compost or burn?
No, you are not allowed to bring in material from elsewhere, doing so will constitute unlawful disposal and could render the person responsible liable to prosecution.
How do I arrange access to the site?
When you become a tenant you will also get the code to the gate. Please make sure you always lock the gate to maintain site security.
What is the combination lock to the gate on my site?
You will be advised of the code when you take out your tenancy. Details will also be held by the Worcestershire Hub and your site rep
Where can I get good quality and reasonable priced materials for the allotment?
You can join the Allotment Shop on Lansdowne Road Site.
What do I do if my produce is stolen or I have a problem with another tenant?
Talk to your Site Rep in the first instance. Any thefts should be reported to the police who should give you an incident number. Please pass this number, together with details of the incident, to your Site Rep, so that all allotment crime can be monitored by the Allotment Forum.
What about anti social behaviour on the site?
Again, talk to your Site Rep in the first instance or contact the police.
What rental concessions are available?
Worcester City Council follows the same criteria as the Advance Leisure Scheme, though it is not necessary to be part of the scheme to get a discount. Concessions are available for pensioners, and for people on several kinds of benefit. For more information speak to your Site Rep or contact the Worcestershire Hub. Please note that any concessions are limited to the first full plot or equivalent only.