Allotment competition

Oxford City Council and Oxford and District Federation of Allotment Associations (ODFAA) have run allotment competitions over the years. The main aim is celebrate allotments and growing food. It rewards crop quality and diversity and shares good gardening practice.  Participating members enjoy the awards ceremony where they get to meet plotholders from other sites.

Our entrants did very well in 2019’s competition – see the November 2019 newsletter for details.

There was no competition in 2017 or 2018. In 2016, there were 56 entrants from 11 different allotment sites across the City. In addition, the judges, Tina Mould and Helen Prower, judged entrants in the Best Kept Allotment Site Competition, which 8 of Oxford’s 36 allotment sites entered.

The winners of the Challenge Trophy, the overall award, were Ian and Helen Matten from the Lenthall Road Allotment Association. Second was Deisa Holden from the John Garne Way Allotment Association and third was David Allen from the South Ward Allotment Association. Eleven entrants were highly commended in this category. These included Anna Benn and Miranda Carnegie Plot 144/145 and Judy Cook, Natalie Symchych and Alison Scott on Plot 51.John collected Judy’s certificate and he will shortly be joining her back in Melbourne.

The Alderman Knight Shield for the Best Kept Allotment Site was won by us!!! Cripley Meadow Allotment Association.

The winners of the under 35 years category were Kilian Garrec and Emilie Clauzier from Cripley Meadow. Emilie and Kilian, two of our youngest members, collected the certificate and the shield and the £150 cheque. Well done everyone. They came second last year having just reclaimed their plot and this year it was much more productive. Six new plotholders, who had started their plots in this year, received awards for special effort. They included Rosanne McEwan-Smith (Cripley Meadow), Plot sf4

City Allotment Competition 2015  results for Cripley Meadow

Richard and Jean Haigh plot 15 and 16 won the over 70s class for best allotment. Killian and Emilie came 2nd in the Under 35s. We were delighted to see a lot of younger members at the allotment evening, All the ODFAA award holders in this class were students and we were pleased to see representations from many countries. It is good to see allotments in yet another generation of safe hands.  Miranda Carnegie and Anna Benn and Bel Crewe had worked hard this year on rejuvenating plots 144/145.  This was their first time entering the competition after just this year of a major transformation.  To be awarded a Challenge Trophy Highly commended certificate was a great achievement .This is another plot to add to the many on Cripley Meadow producing more great food and with some interesting planting combinations.  I always recommend new members walk around Cripley to see a plethora of different allotment management methods. There are not many where there is just waving grass and seeding weeds. A full list winners and photos will be on the ODFAA web site shortly.  Our second in the Alderman Knight site prize brought us £100.  We spent this on work towards completing the raised beds on plots 64 and 65. These are on plots that are reasonable level with our main paths and the raised beds will be available, if needed, for members with some mobility limitations.

City Allotment Competition 2014 The competition award evening was held in the Town Hall on October 30th.  Photos of all the presentations and plots are on the ODFAA web site.  As usual all entrants were invited to see a slide show of all the participating members and sites. Many appreciate being able to share their experiences and knowledge and the participants go back to their associations rewarded pass on good practice. We had talks from one of our judge Mike Kent and our invited presenter John Alcock.  John shared some snippets form times past when allotment rules were very different.  For eg all tenants could only work plots after their day?s work Mike Kent focussed on companion planting and flowers as a means of encouraging biodiversity and healthy vegetables and encouraged everyone to be brave about trying out new things. Eden Drive Allotment Association won the highly coveted Alderman Knight Shield for the best site and David Porter of John Garne Way won the Challenge Shield. Congratulations to Rob and Louise Bruce from Plot sf19 and 20 as they won the trophy for the 35 to 59 class.  Rob and Louise?s plots were underwater from  October to March but still managed to make excellent progress with cultivation and crops.  Stefan and Tom on Plot 3 were awarded a certificate for outstanding effort in the newcomers class.  

City Competition Results 2013 Cripley Meadow came second in the site class gaining marks for our management of communal areas like the orchard, the green, compost and burning areas, and developing trading.  We are one of the largest sites in Oxford city so many thanks to all our members who help with the very necessary working parties. The judges hoped that other plots on the site would enter.  Richard and Jean Haigh of Cripley Meadow won the trophy for the over 70s class. Against all the odds as their plot was under water from October to March.  They have spent since then raising their raised beds.  This was obviously successful which gives hope to all those other plot holders in the flood plain.  Richard and Jean were not able to attend the evening but we picked up their trophy and cheques? more than one as they also came third in the polytunnel section.  

City Competition Results 2012 This year  the city competition involved 19 sites and over 90 entrants from across the City.The awards evening was very pleasant evening and in very grand surroundings in the Town hall.Val Bourne, the Oxford Times gardening writer, presented the prizes and gave a lively talk on her background in gardening. This is the only time allotment holders from across the city meet together and the talk was of the weather ,of course, but also of good seeds, compost making and other gems of allotment good practice.  The award winners share, actively or passively, their good practice on their own sites. This year of course we recognised the need to encourage those new gardeners who have had one of the worst gardening years! However there is always an ?up side?.  If you got your brassicas to survive the slug fest we all noted they are now large! Lydia received an award for Nicole Milligan in the New Plot holder?s category. This was for her outstanding work on SF1 on the South Field.  She shares this plot with Lydia, Ben and Chris. Richard and Jean Haigh Plot 15/16 were placed 4th in the Challenge Trophy so received a Highly commended certificate.    Mikal Mast on Plot 2b also got a highly commended so all Cripley Meadow entrants were placed in award categories Congratulations to Ria and Jake Snaddon who won The Standingford Shield for the best plot in the Under 35s Category for Plot 116.  I asked them to send us a few paragraphs on theirfirst year of Cripley Meadow and they kindly did so.  I am pleased to have been nearby to watch and learn!

City Competition Results 2011 for Cripley Meadow. Congratulations to everyone who entered. The Allotment awards were  in the town hall was a good evening with about 100 allotment members present from across the city. The competition is about supporting, promoting and rewarding good practice in growing a variety of fruit and vegetables.   John Sivell came third in the Over 70s category and Gabi Topliss came second in the Challenge Trophy for the best plot.  Gabi entered on the day so did no special preparation…. it was just her normal good gardening practice that was recognised. Congratulations to them both.  Like many others on Cripley Meadow they have plots that are wonderfully productive with a great variety of healthy produce available through the year.  


City Competition Results 2010 for  Cripley Meadow. Our members took 4 awards. Jeremy won the Challenge Trophy which is the highest award for the best plot in the city. John took the third best plot in the Challenge Trophy Jo Davies won the Under 35s Best Plot. Amanda Morley was one of only 4 newcomers in the city to win a highly commended certificate. See the 2010 November Newsletter for photos and more reports


City Competition Results 2009 Cripley Meadow. We  came second in the Alderman Knight Award for best site. We did well in our environmental management of site composting and, recycling facilities, our reclamation and management of plots and notice boards and fences.   In the individual competition Reneth Mackenzie on Plot 46a was awarded a certificate in the newcomer section. John Sivell on Plot 46 was second in the over 70 class of the Challenge Trophy.  Wendy Skinner Smith won the Challenge Trophy Shield for best allotment in the city.

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