A blog on gardening, life by the sea, photography and wildlife
Wednesday, 9 May 2012
The Wellcome allotment site at entrance gate
Wellcome site from the top by the entrance.There are only nine plots of about six rods each, and waiting time for a plot is about eight to ten years. The site sits at the western end of Eastbourne high up on the downs and down in a dip and was used as a radio listening station during world war two. Because of its elevation above sea level about 150mtrs it was an ideal place to mount a radio antenna the remains of which you can still see on the extreme edge of photo by the shed behind the notice board. The bunker housing the radio equipment has been sealed off and is now covered by a shed. Its also quite chilly at times up here planting times can be behind by as much as two or three weeks than in my garden at sea level The area in front of the notice board is the car park, behind that more woodland.
Notice the slopes and also the tapering nature towards the end. The sunshine because of trees in summer is reduced (to about four hours in any one spot) so plants like tomatoes and sweetcorn are not easy to grow, on the other hand climbing varieties like runner beans do well. The soil is a light loam essentially about a spade depth before hitting chalk so drainage is very good but moisture retention isn`t.
I have built my soil up to another spade depth by three seasons of heavy applications of well rotted farmyard manure. Being a downland/woodland site means there is an abundance of wild life and wild flowers, birds include, Woodpeckers, Cuckoos, Jays,Tits, and my resident Robin,we have to have wire mesh fencing surrounding each plot to keep out rabbits, there are pheasant, foxes (to keep the rabbit population down we suffer them)we have even had the odd deer from time to time and we certainly do not want them, the ranger was swiftly called. There has been talk of a badger sett but not sure about that. But to that we also have an abundance of weeding, the amount of sycamore seeds are a pain so is couch grass and bindweed, so with all the minuses are there any pluses, yes plenty, seclusion, I can bring the car alongside the plot, I also have a mains water tap at the end of my plot. I am not in competition with anybody and don`t want to be. I am happy with my lot on my plot. I am the site representative so get to walk and talk with the other plot holders about this and that as you do, and the beach and my beach hut are five minutes away. Is this much pleasure and sometime hard graft worth £57 per annum I think so.