Under our constitution all plot holders must be resident in either Southwark or Lewisham boroughs. The balance should be 55% Southwark and 45 % Lewisham residents.
As at January 2021 the balance was actually about 42% Southwark and 58% Lewisham. This means that we will be unlikely to offer any plots to Lewisham residents for many years.
We are accepting applications from Southwark residents, but please note that you are likely to have to wait a number of years for a full or half plot to become available.
We are also accepting applications for raised beds: but you must fit the criteria for a raised bed (i.e. for people who have a disability/mobility problem that would make working a traditional plot difficult) and live in the borough of Southwark or Lewisham.
There is a variety of plot sizes: mainly full-size or half-size traditional plots. Some have better soil or light than others.
For 2020/21 rents are £50 per year for a full-size plot and £25 for a half-plot. We also have six raised beds for people who have a disability/mobility problem that would make working a traditional plot difficult. These measure about 1 metre by 4 metres and are about 600mm high. The rent for each raised bed is £15 a year. Rents are reviewed annually.
Please note that the site is not fully accessible to people with mobility problems, as the paths are quite uneven and the slope of One Tree Hill is steep. We are working to improve this and hope to be able provide wheelchair access to the lower part of the site eventually.
The commitment: in our experience, it is best to be realistic and not take on too large a plot as this can be an overwhelming task. We estimate you need to spend at least four hours a week on your plot and, depending on the crops you grow, this could mean a visit every week throughout the year.
Although we encourage mulching to minimise water loss, you will need to visit at least weekly in summer to weed, water and feed. We ask potential members to consider this time element seriously and only take on a plot if you can spare the time to work it effectively. Bear in mind, the soil is clay and can be heavy to work.
We have a probation period of three months starting when someone takes on a new plot. Progress has to be demonstrated during that time, the amount obviously dependent on the time of year. If not enough work has been done, your licence will not be granted, your membership will be terminated and your plot will be re-let.
We have an internal transfer arrangement, so if you take on a half-plot to begin with and want to move to a larger plot or take on an additional half-plot later, this is possible if you are cultivating your existing plot fully and as plots become vacant.
Current plot holders can also apply to transfer to other plots as these become vacant.
As part of the licence, there is a requirement for plot holders to spend at least six hours a year helping out with communal tasks such as path upkeep, bramble trimming and other jobs that keep the whole site well-maintained for everyone to enjoy. We expect plot holders to participate and failure to do so may result in your membership being terminated and your plot being re-let.
How to apply to join the waiting list
If you would like to join the waiting list, please apply by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to: OTHAS Membership Secretary, c/o 6 Ryedale, London, SE22 0QW.
Please include the following information: your name, full address with postcode, telephone number/s and your email address. We will contact you annually by email to update you with your position in the waiting list.