Please note that as of the end of 2015, our waiting list for Lewisham residents will keep us busy for the next 30 years, so for the foreseeable future applications are closed for Lewisham residents for full and half plots.
We are accepting applications from Southwark residents, but please note that you may have to wait up to 10 years for a plot. 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.
Here are a few things to consider before you think about applying for a plot.
We have water on site and occasional deliveries of manure and wood-chippings. We encourage plot holders to grow organically as far as possible with minimum use of chemicals and weed killers. Plot holders can erect a small shed and have controlled bonfires. We have a number of social events such as barbecues in the summer and bonfire night.
There is a variety of plot sizes: mainly full-size or half-size traditional plots. The current rents are £40 per year for a full-size plot and £20 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 £10 a year. Unfortunately the site is not fully accessible to people with mobility problems, as the paths are quite uneven and the slope is steep, but we are working to improve this and hope to provide wheelchair access to the lower part of the site eventually.
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 4 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 may need to visit every other day in summer to 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 3 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.
As part of the licence, there is a requirement for plot holders to spend at least 6 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.
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 if possible.