This week, water was a big topic of conversation at our informal meeting. Apparently, it’s been the sunniest May on record and I’m sure that’s something we’ve all been aware of as we’ve been lugging watering can after watering can around the plot trying to get our plants off to a good start.

Water is so important for getting successful crops and it’s a precious resource for us. South East England is the driest part of the country, relying mainly on groundwater for our supply.

At the allotments, we have to make sure there’s enough water for everyone. The mains supply into the site comes through a half-inch diameter pipe,which can limit the speed at which the storage tanks can refill. It’s also one of the reasons watering with a hosepipe is not allowed in the site–if one person is using a hose, this stops water getting to all the other tanks impacting the ability for others to water at the same time, particularly those at the top end of the site. On a site with around 120 plots all needing water, this can cause a big issue. Watering with a can also saves a great deal of water, as you can be more precise with where you’re watering and less water gets wasted.

Something the committee have been working on to help everyone have easy to access water, is the installation of some new water tanks at strategic locations across the site. The locations have been chosen to serve multiple plots and will mean some people not having to walk as far to fill their cans: as all our water points include self-filling butts, it will also mean a greater water storage capacity on site. Anja Thies is taking the lead on this project for the committee and is looking for skilled and able volunteers to help–we’ve sent an email with a bit more detail about what’s entailed, so if you’re interested in getting involved please email us, FAO Anja, at

Written by Olivia Morton