Intruders at Hartswood

Last week there was another incident regarding unauthorised access to one of the allotment sites. 

This one occurred at Hartswood when three male adults, who clearly had no respect for social distancing rules, effectively barged past plot-holders who were accessing the site and who “stepped back” for their own safety. The intruders then wandered about the site, interfering with at least one of the plots before exiting when another plot-holder opened the car park gates to leave.  As far as we are aware no damage was done and nothing was stolen but this was a very un-nerving experience for the plot-holders involved.  Fortunately, unlike a recent event at the Ongar Road site, there was no direct threat of actual bodily injury, but this was a trespass and has been reported to the police.

Can everyone please:

1.    Be aware of strangers acting suspiciously near the gates.  Maybe just bide your time and wait for them to go away.

2.    Be aware that if you are accessing a site by car it is extremely easy for an intruder to “tailgate”.

3.    Stay safe – under no circumstances should any plot-holder confront any stranger at the site, particularly if they demonstrate any aggressive behaviour.

4.    If you are threatened then please call the police on the emergency number, 999 immediately.  Otherwise please file a report using the police website (https://www.essex.police.uk/).

5.    Always lock the gates.

But above all else, stay safe.

Ian Palmer,

Chair, Brentwood Horticultural Society

Bird Flu Warning

DEFRA have declared a bird flu prevention zone across the whole of England. All bird keepers will have to follow strict biosecurity measures.

Biosecurity measures

The prevention zone means bird keepers across the country must:

  • Ensure the areas where birds are kept are unattractive to wild birds, for example by netting ponds, and by removing wild bird food sources;
  • Feed and water your birds in enclosed areas to discourage wild birds;
  • Minimise movement in and out of bird enclosures;
  • Clean and disinfect footwear and keep areas where birds live clean and tidy;
  • Reduce any existing contamination by cleansing and disinfecting concrete areas, and fencing off wet or boggy areas.

The prevention zone will be in place until further notice and will be kept under regular review as part of our work to monitor the threat of bird flu.

Poultry keepers and members of the public should report dead wild birds to the Defra helpline on 03459 33 55 77 and keepers should report suspicion of disease to APHA on 03000 200 301. Keepers should familiarise themselves with DEFRA’s avian flu advice.

Link: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/bird-flu-prevention-zone-extended-to-cover-whole-of-england

 

Hartswood Asbestos Clear Up

Following the reporting of asbestos to the Council by a plot-holder on another site we have been checking our site at Hartswood for any evidence of asbestos cement panels and corrugated roofing.

Those plot-holders where evidence of asbestos is obvious have been informed and requested to take action. However, a visual inspection on a site walk around can never be 100% certain of identifying all evidence of asbestos. Can ALL plot-holders please inspect their own plots and either remove any asbestos or report the situation to the site representatives. We can then arrange its removal to a central consolidation point prior to having it professionally removed by an appropriately licenced waste disposal firm (Bowmers).

It is in your own interest to take advantage of this offer.  Disposal of any subsequent discovery of asbestos will be the plot-holders responsibility.