Help Protect Our Muck and Magic

In my Signs of Autumn post a few of days ago, I mentioned I'm obsessed with all things muck and mulch at the moment. That's because it's plot preparation time up at the allotment and I've started to cut back some of the dead vegetation in the garden. Don't worry, not everything will be left clinically tidy, there'll still be plenty of shelter and food left out for the wildlife over winter :)

So it also seems to me to be a good time to remind you about last year's hoo ha over manure and how herbicide contamination devastated a number of allotment site's crops. The culprit, aminopyralid, was withdrawn from use and we plotters breathed a huge sigh of relief. Simon first alerted me earlier this year that there's now a move to reinstate the use of this herbicide - boo, hiss. I immediately signed the protest e-petition he linked to over on the government's website, but failed to urge you to do so at that time :(

Now Sue Garrett of Green Lane Allotments has been in touch. She not only has a great allotment blog, but her allotment society in Wakefield have also been brilliant at pursuing this issue and ensuring there's detailed and up to date information available on their website. She also reminded me about the e-petition and I'm only too pleased to point you in the right direction, so that you can also sign it if you haven't done so already. You have until October 23rd, but why not take this link and sign up now? Note that when you sign an e-petition, you get an email to confirm the validity of your 'signature'. If you don't reply to the email, your name doesn't get added to the list. It's more than likely that this'll go into your spam box, so do look out for that.


  1. Good luck with this petition VP !
    I hope it takes affect and your plots are safer than ever from those evil chemicals !!
    Joy : )

  2. Herbicides in the allotments?!! Ohhhh noooo!!!!!!!! Whatever are they thinking?!!!

  3. It's the subject of much discussion over on the Allotments 4 All forum, this being the latest thread. xx,55020.0.html

  4. Thanks for this link. I am on my way.

  5. Thanks VP. Done and dusted and will mention to other plotholders.

  6. Dave, Elizabethm and Anna - thanks for that :)

    Joy - so do I!

    OFB - it's pretty bad. The herbicide was used on fields grazed by cows, which then passed through their digestive system pretty much unscathed and into the manure that plot holders love to use on their plots. If the manure's contaminated, you're supposed to leave it for at least another 2 years to give the herbicide a chance to break down. It's pretty powerful stuff :o

    Flighty - I'm not surprised as it's been such a hot allotment topic for well over a year now. Thanks for adding another useful link :)

  7. Thanks for this link - petition duly signed. Our plot is on Mudchute Farm on the Isle of Dogs and after using their manure we lost a complete bed of tomatoes and beans. They can't guarantee us aminopyralid free manure so we are back to transporting compost again.

  8. The topic has been a hot discussion on lots of forums in fact. For anyone interested also try:

    The above are only a sample! The Internet is great for spreading (no pun intended) a message.

    Some people are difficult to convince but a whole group of people have been popping messages in as many places as possible.

    If you can help by adding information to forums, websites or anything else please help.

    It's only by working together that we can hopefully have an effect.

    Colleen - if you email me from the Green lane Website I can add you to our list of victims. DOW does visit so will be made aware of your experiences.

  9. Colleen - that's a real pain :(

    Green Lane Allotments - thanks for the extra discussion board info - you'll see that Flighty's one is additional to those you've given us. I'll let Colleen know about getting in touch with you.

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. Hi VP
    Last comment had a typo which is why I deleted.

    I didn't want to duplicate Flighty's link just really adding others to demonstrate how widespread concern is and also how widespread the effects too.

  12. Hi Green Lane Allotments - I thought that was exactly what you'd done, but I just wanted to remind later readers of this post that both you and Flighty have added link info in the comments :)

    There's lots of interest in this post - it's featuring frequently in Stumble Upon at the moment. Hopefully that's resulting in e-petition signatures racking up pretty nicely! :D

  13. Glad to hear it's popping up on Stumbleupon as I was one who recommended it and on as many other sharing utilities as I could.

    The closing date for the petition is 23 October and so we need a final push to get more signatures on the epetition.

    MPs are being directed to the petition and so it could have an affect of convincing them that there is concern out here. One MP at least has even signed up - maybe we need to encourage more of them to support us. I have tried to encourage high profile gardeners to sign up but with little success.

    Please encourage as many people as you can to sign, post on as many forums as you can or on your own website or blog or social network page. Recommend the page to one of the web sharing utilities such as Stumbleupon. Anything you can think of - just take a couple of minutes.

    The ACP had the problem again on the agenda of their last meeting and should post the minutes today but none have arrived yet. When I find them I will post on this web page

  14. Just an addition - it's also worth recommending websites that mention the problem - such as this one on Stumbleupon too as it increases coverage.

  15. The approval of the Dow AgroSciences herbicide, aminopyralid, has been reinstated by ministers on the recommendation of the Advisory Committee on Pesticides.

    Still sign the petition though even just to make us fell better!!

  16. GLA - thanks for all the updates. That's such bad news - I can't believe it actually got through. I'm sure you'll continue to keep a watching brief on how this decision affects allotments up and down the land.

    If anyone has problems with contaminated manure, you know where to go for advice and action folks!

  17. I shall continue to add any new victims to my website list - I'm sure there will continue to be some - so get in touch if you become a victim.

    I hope that I won't hear from anyone and the new stewardship works but personally I doubt it!

  18. GLA - I hope so too, but like you I doubt it. Our allotment society has a very new website, so I'll see if I can get some content on there re local vigilance within our group with links to GLA as the motherlode of info/ campaigning etc.

  19. I keep getting new bits of information which I am posting on my blog. I don't want to overload your blog with all this but for those who want to keep up to date of if you want to use any of the infor - new snippets will be posted on
    If I put straight on my website it gets a bit lost.

    Keep signing the petition though even if only to tell the government that we don't support their decision!!

  20. Thnaks GLA - I'll ensure all the relevant links to you are put up on my allotment society's website...

  21. Today is the last chance for signing the petition.

  22. GLA - boo hoo. Here's hoping the same problems don't start cropping up again. Good to see you on Blotanical too :)

  23. Hi again
    Just to let you know that my web address has changed to

    Manure pages are from

    But VP you probably know that already - thanks for visiting my blog


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