Page 50 - ALG Issue 1 2022
P. 50

Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Suffolk, Essex, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire
We would like to hear from Eastern members
 The Eastern Region is one of the biggest regions within the National Allotment Society (NAS) and covers seven counties; Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridge, Herts, Beds and Bucks. Along with many individual, life and local authority members, we have 244 Associations who themselves have over 15,000 plotholder affiliate members. The region is also unique in that we are the only region that also has county bodies within a region. There are already county bodies in Essex, Suffolk, and Herts, and Beds & Bucks have amalgamated to form a third county body. Work is in progress to re-establish a county body for Cambridgeshire.
I wonder how many of those members know that there is a regional panel committee? The panel consists of a Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, and a Regional Rep who oversee the operations of the region. There are four organised meetings (including the AGM) a year at which anybody who is a member is welcome to attend, where we discuss regional business
and have the occasional guest speaker. Historically panel meetings have been held in Cambridge as being a ‘central’ location in a wide geographical area, but we are now reviewing both the location and content of our quarterly meetings. We, the committee, are asking for your help in moving forward, and we see two challenges.
Firstly, do we still hold our four quarterly meetings, and what structure should they take? The committee would like
to change the format of the meetings and are interested to hear your views, especially around good guest speakers or venues we could visit. The size of the region means that long distances are travelled to a central location, but if the meetings moved around the region, then different groups of people could attend.
Secondly is the challenge of getting
the message about dates and meeting content out to the wider membership. Head Office sends the paper magazine, a link to a digital version and an e-newsletter to your association
We are looking for your input and support in telling us what you, as members, would like to see from our three open meetings
secretary for distribution to affiliates, and our Regional Secretary has contact details for the association secretaries, but we would like to reach your affiliate members much more and encourage them to engage with regional activity. The region and the county bodies also support or attend events or shows to promote the allotment movement, the work of the NAS and to recruit new members; an enjoyable activity for most plotholders.
So, to sum up, we are looking for your input and support in telling us what you, as members, would like to see from our three open meetings, in terms of ideas, guest speakers, or venues for visits, and how best we can get the message and details of those meetings out to all of our members.
Please contact Ray How or
Wyn Marshall TEXT to 077181 94164.
     A new orchard at Hellesdon Allotments
 In the winter of 2019 East of England’s ApplesandOrchardsprojectplanted38 local variety fruit trees at our allotment site in Hellesdon. They are situated next to the Apiary, which is run by community members of Hellesdon Honey Club with the support of the Parish Council. The fruit trees that they planted are heritage local varieties which are diminishing, and some date back to the 1500s – the newest are from 1990.
The East of England’s Apples and Orchards has 23 Community orchards in towns and villages across Norfolk, and six in Norwich City and its suburbs. The group also plant cherries, quince and plums. It is so good to see so many heritage fruits which may possibly disappear if associations like the East of England’s Apples and Orchards didn’t carry on their good work.
Just some examples of variety of apples that they have planted and their link to Norfolk are: “Caroline” 1822 from the
orchard at Blickling Hall named after LordSuffield’swife- itisalongkeeping green eating apple with flushes of pink. “Norwich Pippin” 1906 was raised by Daniels Brothers and found in their catalogues from 1906 and 1915; this variety was rediscovered around 2005;
it is a long keeping dessert variety. There are so many that I would like to mention, but this list is very long.
We are so looking forward to being apple samplers for all the different varieties.
With the Apiary located in close proximity to the orchards, it seems such a natural project. Hellesdon Allotment Holders and the Hellesdon Community are trying to become more sustainable and get back to nature. Many thanks to all involved; Hellesdon Parish Council, Hellesdon Honey Club, EEAOP and allotment holders.
Mark Vincent, Eastern Mentor
 50 Allotment and Leisure Gardener

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