The Allotment site is primarily about cultivation but it has a very difficult area to maintain, nicknamed the “Wilderness area”.

The Wilderness is a forgotten , overgrown, out of control area along the boundary with Vale Road, that has it’s own peaceful charm supporting foxes and birds but it’s neglect has encouraged the dumping of rubbish there by all and sundry.

In 2009 the sycamores were cut down and left to rot . A band of enthusiastic ‘Wild Bunch’ volunteers cleared massive amounts of brambles and small sycamore saplings along the Vale Road boundary last autumn and winter (2014) but professional help was needed.

A project to revive this area was undertaken in earnest in 2015 culminating in the acquirement of Lottery & Town Council funding.

Wilderness Update and Compost Loo Plan

1)‘The Wilderness Project’ to prepare the ground and plant a 100 yard traditional Native Hedge along the Vale Road chain link fence boundary this autumn/winter inclusive of wild life stations.

2) ‘The Compost Loo’ to replace the portoloo at the back of the Hut. This will save the monthly hire fee, be nicer to use and create compost to use as mulch either on the native hedge or for plot holders fruit bushes !. It is hoped to have disabled access.

Action to date

August 2014; Eddie Collict ( SALGS Chair ) and plot holder Carol Whitehead formed a small working party and cleared the brambles and sycamore trees along the Vale Road boundary.

February 2015; members of the South of England Hedge Laying Society visited the site to advise on the planting of a native hedge.

SALGS AGM March 2015; 1) approval given for the proposed Native Hedge planting and Compost Loo project. 2) Approval given for funding to be sort to cover the projects. Volunteer Liz Davies took up the challenge of spending much time working on funding applications.

May, June, July 2015; Keith Amery ( Plot Supervisor ) controlled the ‘Wilderness’ bindweed growth. Weed killer was used as the growth was so bad; as the area is for hedge rather than plots it was deemed a reasonable action enabling the hedge saplings to establish without major competition for light and water.

August 2015; ‘We have been awarded funding’

Successful Funding Applications have resulted in one award of £ 9,716 ( more info in September ) and Seaford Council Major Grants have donated £ 2,000. The grants are to be used in the next 12 months towards the development stage of The Wilderness Project and to fund a Disabled Compost Loo installation.

David Bramley ( Hut Manager ) and Carol are continuing to clear the final area of brambles for the diggers to access.

The area behind the hut will get a prune soon where the overgrown memorial garden needs clearing and the Compost Loo will be sited.

Autumn/Winter 2015: a mini digger and landscape contractor root out all remaining sycamores stumps and brambles etc and level the wilderness area properly.

Winter 2015: The 50 metre Vale Rd boundary area is planted with the saplings to cultivate the future ‘TRADITIONAL NATIVE STOCKPROOF STYLE HEDGE’ Rain water stations are to be installed across the site where appropriate to help with water conservation as well as access.

The future

In several years time when the plants are tall enough the South of England Hedge Laying Society will maintain the hedge using it as a practice site for one of their winter training days. This enables SALGS to have free hedge maintenance every few years and to have a well laid Traditional Style Stock Proof Native Hedge providing a low canopy boundary along the once neglected area, provide wildlife habitat for local creatures and the native species will provide nectar for the bees.