Thursday, 9 February 2017

Photo Exhibition

Last Year when we were working with the Slug Society to put on the "Allotted" exhibition a number of people expressed interest in having some sort of photographic exhibit featuring allotments.

I'm wondering of there is still that interest and if so whether a small exhibition in the hall outside the judging area at this year's Annual Veg, Onion and Leek Show might be the way forward.

If anyone is interested please email us at - if we're going to do it I'll need to add a small amount to our CVS bid to cover 'staging' costs so there is some urgency

Dave Jackson
Secretary ABAS

Wednesday, 1 February 2017


After the Private View the exhibition is open Mondays to Fridays 9.00 a.m.. to 5.00 p.m.

Monday, 9 January 2017


Please also see previous posts on Avian Flu

Use this quick checklist to see if your arrangements for keeping chickens on your allotment are
likely to meet the requirements of Bolton Council.

Food and Water
Your poultry should have continuous access to cool, clean water and an appropriate diet that is
both plentiful and nutritional.

A clean, tidy and spacious environment should be maintained which provides adequate protection
from the weather and predators.

It is your responsibility to monitor and maintain a flock free from distress, pain, injury and disease.

Feathered Friends
We expect tenants to maintain high standards of welfare for their birds in clean, tidy housing. In
this way, everyone can enjoy the presence of poultry on your Bolton Council allotment.

This leaflet only provides some basic guidelines; we strongly recommend that you seek further
advice. There are numerous organisations, books and Internet sites, which offer more detailed
information on how to enjoy and care for your chickens.
 Living with Chickens, Jay Rossier
 Keep Chickens! Barbara Kilarski
 Free-Range Poultry, Katie Thear
 The Poultry Farmer’s and Manager’s
     Veterinary Handbook, Peter W Laing
RSPCA national cruelty and advice line -
08705 555 999

Allotment Management
Contact: Neighbourhood Services
Bolton Council
Ellesmere House
Mayor Street Depot
Ellesmere Street
Bolton, BL3 5DT
(01204) 334067
These guidelines have been produced in line with RSPCA recommendations.

(this (and the above) information is provided in the form of a leaflet to all new tenants by Bolton Council. The rules set out are those of the Council.

This leaflet has been produced to give you some important basic guidelines as to the minimum standards expected of tenants who keep poultry (hens) on allotments.
Failure to notify the Council that you intend to keep poultry as detailed in your tenancy agreement or to meet the minimum standards in these guidelines may result in the termination of your allotment tenancy. If approved you may keep between 3 and 12 hens.
If you chose to keep animals on your allotment you must check on them daily, provide competent care and management and have the knowledge and skills to ensure the wellbeing of your animals. In addition, you are expected to keep them under proper control to avoid disturbance to others.
Bolton Council has the right to inspect livestock at anytime. If the Council has cause to investigate cases or complaints of maltreatment, costs of vets or other official inspections will be passed to the Tenant for payment.
We strongly recommend you seek further detailed guidance on keeping poultry.

Your chickens should have continuous and plentiful access to;
Cool, clean and fresh water 
Provision of feed of a type appropriate to the age and species of animal, fed in sufficient quantities, and sufficiently frequently, to maintain them in good health and satisfy their nutritional needs.
Insoluble grit to aid digestion
Foodstuffs should be stored and fed such that it is kept clean, tidy and properly protected from rodents and other pests

In addition to effective containment, housing is also important in ensuring the welfare of your birds and should allow the expression of natural behaviour.
Although it is advised that you make the housing as large and comfortable as possible, as a minimum, the accommodation will be expected to compromise of;

Minimum size of 2 square feet (0.2m2) per
Fully enclosed shelter that provides;
 Protection from predators
    A clean, dry bedding material to absorb moisture and odour (suitable choices are wood                    shavings or straw)
Warmth during the colder months and shade
during the summer
 Adequate ventilation but draught-free
 Perches for sleeping, approximately 3-5cms wide with rounded corners to enable them to grip.
 Nest Boxes for laying eggs.

 Minimum size of 4 square feet (0.4m2) per chicken
Should provide the chicken(s) with plenty of space to dig, dust themselves and flap their wings
Both should be regularly maintained to a good, tidy standard and free from obvious faults that
may cause injury.

You will be held responsible for ensuring that your livestock is free from distress, pain, injury and disease. Appropriate preventative and/or veterinary treatment should be available at all times.

In order to maintain healthy livestock and reduce odour problems, the run and hen-house should be cleaned a minimum of once a week or more frequently as necessary
With respect to the above, the deep litter system is not acceptable on Bolton Council allotments
Poultry kept on the same ground for more than a month will need regular worming Any health serious/longstanding or contagious problems MUST be reported to the Neighbourhood Services as soon as possible, as well as detail of the treatment being received and notification when the problem has cleared.

Poultry need companionship and should be kept in-groups of two or more.
Provided your chickens are happy, healthy birds they should not become a nuisance to others. It is important however to be aware  of potential problems, such as dirty sites attracting vermin and causing smells.
Please note that due to potential noise problems, Cockerels are not permitted on Bolton Council Allotments.


We have received the following email from the Council - could all member secretaries take note

Dear Society Secretary,

Further to our previous e-mail in December I am writing to advise that DEFRA have extended the Avian Flu Prevention Zone to 28th January 2017.
The H5N8 strain of Avian Influenza has been circulating in Europe for several weeks. An outbreak was confirmed in turkeys at a farm in Lincolnshire on 16 December and a further case was confirmed in a back yard flock in Carmarthenshire on 3 January.
The disease has also been found in wild birds in Wales, England and Scotland.
The recent H5N8 avian flu findings in wild birds and a backyard flock in Wales highlight just how essential it is to minimise contact between wild and captive birds and maintain good biosecurity to reduce the risk of infection.
We would be grateful for your assistance in bringing this information to the attention of fellow tenants.
Further information is available on the DEFRA website at .

 From looking at our records in December, in an effort to contact individual tenants, we are aware that there are far more tenants with poultry than our records show. Because of the risks associated with Avian Flu we would like to have more accurate information easily available, we would therefore be grateful if you could help us update our records by letting us have a list of plot numbers for those plots on your site which currently have poultry.
We do provide new tenants with guidance on keeping poultry and whilst we don’t want to re-introduce a permission system we would ask that we are made aware by individual tenants or through your reports of any new poultry keeping on site. That way we will have the most current information reasonably possible.
Thanks for your help and Happy New Year!

 Malcolm Russell
Head of Service (Neighbourhood Services)
Bolton Council

Monday, 12 December 2016

GMSF - Jeff's report

Our Chair - Jeff Gibson has devoted considerable time to scanning the GMSF documents currently available - he has drawn the current conclusions

I have reviewed the GMSF map to determine if any of our 37 Allotment Sites are under treat from proposed Housing Development 2014/2035.

It would have been much easies if the GMSF Web site had their proposed developments indicated with a Post Code but I suppose that would be too easy, However the following are my observations.

 Chequerbent Allotments  BL5 3JD,  3 Plots Not Statutory  Site. not Members of Abas
These 3 plots appear to be within the Perimeter of the Westhoughton Parkland 3 , 103.9ha , ID 1453731805946 proposed Development and as so "At Risk"

 Dealey Road Allotments BL3 4NA,  25 Plots Statutory Site and Members of Abas
Proposed Housing Developments 973-Bol 2014/19, and 1308-Bol 1014/19 are on two sides of the Allotments Fence line and consideration should be given for adequate Secure Fencing.

Lever Park Allotments  Horwich, BL6 7LU, 32 Plots Statutory Site  and Member of Abas
Proposed Housing Development call for Sites Winter 2015/16 Submission 1453220474434, 3.07ha of land comes up to one of the Allotments Fence Line and consideration should be given for adequate Secure Fencing

Longworth Road Allotments Horwich BL6 7BE , 18 Plots Statutory Site   Not Members of Abas but have an OMA
This Site is "OK" but we must be aware the nearby Private Site is earmarked for Housing Development Ref 577-BOL

 Sapling Road Allotments BL3 3EB , 61 Plots Statutory Site  Members of Abas
There is an Housing Development Plan # 1453214036932 , 6.21ha [ Off Slack Fold Lane ] which borders along the entire boundary fence line of the Allotment Site and consideration should be given for adequate Secure Fencing

 Tonge Fold  Allotments  BL2 6BJ  38 Plots Non Statutory Site
There are two proposed Housing Developments 2014/35  1222-BOL one will be on the Health Centre and the other is the near by  Romer Street Works and consideration should be given for adequate Secure Fencing

Cross St Allotments - does anyone know the location of these?

Hall Lea Bank Westhoughton  BL5 3DD 1 Plot
No Map and not visible on Google Maps  

Wednesday, 7 December 2016



DEFRA have issued an instruction that all poultry (in whatever size flock) should be kept indoors if possible or at least out of contact with wild birds from December 7th 2016 to January 6th 2017.

This is because of a fear of a new strain of avian flu, being spread from continental Europe through migrating birds.

Poultry keepers are advised to keep a close watch on their flocks.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016



November 29, 2016

Drop-in events for Spatial Framework

A series of drop-in events about the draft Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF) will be held in Bolton.

The GMSF sets out how much housing and employment land is needed up to the year 2035 and identifies a number of strategic sites across Greater Manchester to help in meeting these requirements.

In Bolton around two thirds – 10,000 - of the proposed 16,400 homes are proposed on urban sites, the majority of which are brownfield.

Bolton has worked with other Greater Manchester local authorities to produce the joint plan and the public are being invited to attend a drop-in event to find out more about the GMSF. The drop-ins will be an opportunity to meet with council officers on a one to one level.

The drop-in events are as follows:

·        Carnegie Hall, Market Street, Westhoughton, BL5 3AE, from 3pm – 7.30pm, on Thursday, December 8.

·        Friends Meeting House, Silverwell Street, Bolton, BL1 1PP, from 3pm – 7.30pm, on Tuesday, December 13.

·        Bromley Cross Village Hall, Darwen Road, BL7 9JG, from 3pm – 7.30pm, on Thursday, December 15.

Bolton Council’s Executive Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Cllr Ebrahim Adia, said: “The Greater Manchester Spatial framework is designed to ensure that we are able to meet the economic development and housing needs for our borough in a planned and strategic way. This has been prompted by changes in Government policy which has increased house building targets for local authorities.

“Our focus in Bolton remains on ensuring we develop our brownfield sites first, and most of the sites that have been put forward for the framework are on urban or brownfield sites. However, there this is still a shortage of housing sites and it does mean that some areas of greenfield, greenbelt and protected open land are being considered for future development. We understand residents’ concerns about development on greenbelt and this is why we are consulting.  

 “Our intention is to develop a long term strategy where development is supported with the requisite infrastructure, rather than ad-hoc development on greenbelt through the appeals process.”

Public consultation on the draft GMSF runs from October 31 to 5pm, December 23, 2016.

For further information on the consultation, and to view and download the documents, visit

Responses to the consultation can also be made online at: Greater Manchester Spatial Framework - Consultation portal, by e-mail to; or by post to: Greater Manchester Integrated Support Team, PO Box 532, Town Hall, Manchester, M60 2LA.

< ABAS is drafting letters to the relevant planning authorities in Bolton and in Greater Manchester setting out our views. These will appear on this blogsite in the near future.

An initial scan of the GMSF information to date by Jeff Gibson suggests that certain small sites in the Westhoughton area may be at greatest risk. We intend to check. >