The statutory allotment site is owned by the Capel St Mary Parish Council and over the years a good working relationship has developed between the Parish Council and the Allotments Association. The site is managed on a day-to-day basis by the Allotments Association.
The Allotment Management Committee undertakes the management of the allotment and is the interface between the Parish Council and the Allotments Association. The Management Committee consists of 5 members of the Parish Council and 4 members from the Allotments Association the chairperson being elected from the Parish Council.
The treasurer of the Allotments Association is appointed treasurer of the Management Committee and liaises with the Parish Clerk regarding the management of the accounts.
The Management Committee usually meet twice a year (April and October). The April Meeting is preceded by an inspection of the site.
The Allotments Association manages the site on behalf of the Parish Council. The Association treasurer prepares the Management Committee budget. The Association collects the plot rentals.
The maintenance of the site is carried out by the Allotments Association. The Site Manager organises the maintenance and improvements on site and is helped by two work-ins held spring and autumn attended by volunteer plot holders.
The site is 5.8 acres and has 80 plot holders renting a mix of half and full plots all accessible by tractor paths and with easy access to water.
A poly tunnel provides space for 24 poly tunnel plot holders. A toilet is on site.
The site has an electricity supply to the trading hut, poly tunnel, BBQ area and toilet.
A trading “Hut” is run by the Stores Manager and stocks a range of 230 products all at trade prices plus a nominal mark up.
The Seed Scheme Manager organises the NSALG/Kings discounted seed scheme.
The Show secretary organises the Annual Flower and Produce Show held over the first full weekend in September. Entries normally reach over 600 exhibits over 120 different classes. This has become one of the highlights of the Association year and is seen as a major village event for Capel and has grown to be one of the major shows in the area.
An annual BBQ is held in July normally attended by 100 members and friends.
Membership of the Association cost £5 and is open to anyone whether they have a plot or not. Membership usually stands at around 350 members.
The Association is affiliated to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and in the past exhibited at the 1999 Chelsea Flower Show and a year later at the Hampton Court Flower Show and was awarded a Bronze medal.
In 2006 one of our plot holders was placed second in the Gardening News National Allotment competition. Also, in 2006 the Association was awarded a Webmasters Certificate from One Suffolk for the website.
The General Secretary represents Capel Allotments at the Suffolk Society of Allotments and Leisure Gardens (SSALG). The SSALG is the Suffolk County organisation of the National Society of Allotments (NAS). All members are affiliated to the NAS taking £3 from our annual subscription of £5.
Over the years the Association has helped finance horticultural machinery for use on site from profits from the trading hut. A rotovator and cultivator are available for hire. Small petrol mowers are available for cutting grass paths between plots. Strimmers and a ride on mower are used by suitably trained volunteers to maintain the tractor paths and grassed areas.
Current (2019) plot rental is £26 for a full 10 rod plot. If a plot holder attends a “work-in” a £6 rebate is given. Work-ins are held twice a year, Spring and Autumn when volunteer plot holders carry out site maintenance jobs under the guidance of the Site Manager.
In 2009 the Association commenced the development of a nature area. This has now developed into a delightful area with a pond and many shrubs, plants and bulbs. Information boards around the site give information on pond life, insects and butterflies etc. Many local organisations have visited the wildlife area including many youngsters as well as art groups.
The general committee meet 6 times a year whilst the executive committee meets 5 times a year. A whole range of topics are discussed about the running of the allotment site including administration and legal responsibilities of the committee.
The AGM is held in April on site in the poly tunnel at 12 noon after a mornings work-in.