Allotments nationally benefited from a surge of membership applications during the Covid emergency, and Cripley Meadow was no exception. Thanks to the creation of new plots and the fact that life is now moving on, we have now tamed our waiting list and once again have plots of various sizes available.
All prospective plot holders are advised that keeping an allotment takes a regular commitment of time and energy. Most members visit their plot weekly. We all have busy times, dramas and holidays but during the growing season a couple of weeks’ absence will result in a weedy plot that will be a nuisance to your neighbours. The Committee audits all plots twice a year and persistent failure to use or maintain a plot in accordance with the rules can put membership at risk. Whilst the amount of time needed to manage a plot varies according to size, all need to be regularly tended and it is important to be realistic about how much time you can dedicate when you think about applying for a plot.
Membership goes from the end of one March to the next. You can join anytime during the year and if you join part way through the year your first year’s payment will be reduced proportionally.*
Plots range in size from small beds on communal plots (the smallest being c. 21’ x 6’) to large 12 pole plots. Depending on size, the plot fee varies from about £40 to £90 a year plus 50p per member for membership of Oxford’s allotment umbrella group, the ODFAA.
Only signed-up members can have a key and there is a one-off, refundable £25 key deposit. You are allowed to share your key with family/friends (‘co-workers’). We expect all members to do 2 hours per year community work on the site via our monthly Sunday morning working parties (or pay £20 annually in lieu). We manage two Communal Orchards for the benefit of our members and this community work is necessary for its maintenance as well as work around the site. We could not manage the site without this.
To apply, please email email@example.com. We will gather some initial information about you, your gardening experience, the time you have available and what size plot best suits you. We will then contact you when a plot of a suitable size is available and invite you to come and view the plot and site with a member of the Committee.
If you decide to go ahead, we will ask you to complete a membership application form agreeing to our constitution and rules, and make your payment within a few days. Once that is done, we will arrange for you to get your key.
We hope that you will join us soon in growing delicious, sustainable, seasonal food on Cripley Meadow.
* Note that part-year payments for new members were introduced in January 2023.