The Brighton & Hove Allotment Federation Committee
The working Committee 2021-2022 consists of.
Chairman – Mark Carroll (Roedale Valley)
Treasurer – Hannes Froehlich (Roedale Valley)
Secretary – Currently Vacant
Andrew Amos – Site Rep Support
Hilary Standing – Project Manager
Giuseppina Salamone – Plot Holders Liaison Officer
Matt Williams – Development Fund Co-ordinator
Liz Wakefield – Media
Gabriella Harman – Projects and Innovations
I’ve worked an allotment at Roedale Valley since 1997, and got my own plot in 1999. I
joined the BHAF committee in 2013 as the ‘Publicity Officer’ and became Chairman in 2018.
I was born in Brighton. I grew up in Bevendean and Coldean and I’ve lived in Brighton all my life apart from some spells working away. I now work full time running my own internet
business with my partner and I have a daughter aged 16 who was practically ‘grown on the
allotment!’ Over the years I have come to realise how incredibly important allotments are,
not just for food growing and for physical and mental health but also for benefits they bring
to the wider environment in terms of bio-diversity and the green corridor they bring into
the city. It’s quite remarkable that we still have a right to allotments in law, the legislation
requiring Councils to provide sufficient allotments has been challenged multiple times over
the years but still remains intact. I feel passionately that allotments need to be protected
into the future for our children and their children.
I live with my family at 5-ways and we’ve had an allotment at the Roedale valley site since
2007. I’ve been involved in the Roedale Allotments and Gardens Association (RAGS) since
2011 as treasurer. In 2014 I joined the BHAF committee as treasurer.
I’ve had an allotment at Keston (Patcham) for 20 years, and still haven’t got the bindweed
under control. I’m also still amazed every year at how things magically grow to produce fruit
and vegetables. I joined the BHAF committee in 2018, initially representing the Keston
Association, and became Secretary in 2019. I love the “make do” and sharing culture of
allotments and the informal learning that allotments encourage. I am keen to promote and
widen the appeal of allotment gardening as an inclusive activity for everyone.
I was elected to the committee in 2014. I have since been loyal to BHAF as the
association of the City’s allotment tenants, trying my best to represent tenants vis-a-vis the
Council, helping them resolving their issues. I believe that there is no contradiction between
the Council’s commitment to provide high quality service to its tenants and our
commitment to represent them.
I’ve had an allotment at Roedale Valley for 26 years. I have been site representative there
for 21 years and have been shop and tearoom manager for 8 years. I have been visiting allotments since I was two years old with my grandad who also ran an allotment shop in the
sixties and seventies. I have recently been elected onto the BHAF committee to help with
site rep training.
It’s such a privilege, having an allotment. I feel responsible for the soil, the air and the sky above it, and for the life-forms that thrive there. I’ve practised growing organically since i began gardening and have noticed the increase in insect numbers, slow-worms, lizards and the range of butterflies and birds. I’ve learnt most of what i know about gardening from my fellow plot holders and the volunteers on the MAHS Nature Site. Most recently I’m learning about no-dig methods and the principles of permaculture.
I’m on the Committee of Moulsecoomb Allotment and Horticultural Society. I’m also a member of Open Space Society, Butterfly Conservation Trust and Bumblebee Conservation Trust. My commitment to these informs everything I do, because the allotment has shown me that all life forms are interconnected and depend on each other. That’s why I think the existence of BHAF is so important and why I’ve attended BHAF meetings and evening forums when i could, over the years.
My name is Ronnie Mair and I cultivate two plots at the Windmill Hill allotment site and I have been working on my plots for over 30 years. I am self sufficient in compost (using leaf mould, grass cuttings and twigs), which I compost over a year. I have two ponds, which breed natural predators, i.e. frogs, toads and newts, this pond is also a watering hole for small mammals and a breeding ground for hover flies, which as you know are the best pollinators around. 80 percent of my plots are cultivated for food and flowers.
Hello, my name is Viv Woodcock-Downey and I am a Site Rep at Lower Roedale Allotments along with Bill Parslow. I am a passionate allotment gardener, and I have rented allotments from local churches and local authorities for most of my adult life. As a Site Rep, I am aware of the joy that tending an allotment can bring to people’s lives, and also of the frustrations associated with weather, difficult neighbours, untended plots, overgrown trees, vandalism and theft – to name but a few!
I am very keen to take on the secretarial role to the Committee of BHAF as I have considerable experience of the secretarial role on committees. I believe I can bring a great deal of difference to the committee organisation.
I very much enjoy voluntary roles and I am currently the Vice President (Operations) of a large global charity in a voluntary capacity.
I have a plot at Roedale Valley which I took on as a wasteland four years ago, having previously been a co-worker at another plot there. I’m slowly but surely improving it over time, with a primary focus on growing veg. I can’t imagine life without an allotment and being there is good for my soul! I’m sure the veg is better for my family too than mass-grown stuff.
My day job is marketing consultancy and I also work for local youth homeless charity Sussex Nightstop.
I’m a newcomer to the committee, here to support the website and social media, so if you have any ideas for content you’d like to see, please get in touch!
I have worked an allotment in Brighton since 20010, first at Whitehawk Hill and now on the Moulescoomb site where I have had a plot for 3 years. I grow using organics and no-dig principles. My working life has been almost entirely in the voluntary sector.
Professionally, I am a cosmetic scientist working in the regulatory & technical field of the industry, but my passion lies in horticulture, genetics and the natural world, and dozens of little related interests between them. From a young age I have been fascinated by plants and a keen gardener, but the art of allotmenteering is a different beast altogether. Having access to this small patch of land has not only provided me with an opportunity to enjoy delicious food, but also to practice and hone some essential food-growing experience in the face of numerous, unrelenting assaults of nature!
My primary focus is local, small-scale organic food/seed production, overlapping that with plant breeding and participating in conservation efforts for dozens of endangered vegetable varieties. Society is rightly conscious of the massive global habitat destruction in the wake of unsustainable agricultural practices, but the great and lesser-acknowledged irony is that the biodiversity of our cultivated species (both edible and ornamental) has undergone devastating genetic erosion in the past century. What little is left remains under threat.
One of the best ways to mitigate these issues is for growers on all scales (including allotmenteers) to take up a role as stewards and amateur breeders – to keep growing, reselecting and improving their favourite sorts of varieties in our changing climate without relying on corporate seed sources.
Over the few years I have been at North Nevill I have volunteered as a grower for the Heritage Seed Library, trialled and catalogued at least 250 different varieties of peas and beans, and saved the seed of tomatoes, peppers, lettuces, beetroot, and Asian greens. I’m particularly interested in old English garden peas, all types of sweet peas, and the exquisite crops and food ways of the Appalachian region, particularly their resilience and potential to adapt to the modern climate of southern England.