The Fairview allotment site provides 34 plots and is situated in the Pathfield Lawn area of Barnstaple.
Fairview is in a low lying area so the water table can be found near to the surface and this often leads to drainage problems in sustained periods of wet weather. This problem has been made worse on some plots as some of the top soil has been removed, making them even more low lying. However, the site does benefit from being fairly well sheltered from winds due to its low lying position.
This varies, some plots seem quite silty and others have considerably more clay. Probably river deposits (if this was an old refuse dump then soil would have been brought in, possibly when they were doing other building works in the town)
Quite deep with underlying clay which also effects drainage. Often waterlogged, so consider raised beds or drainage ditches.
The pH readings across this site are variable with some plots having a pH range of 6.5-7.0, whilst other nearby plots testing at around 6.0 - so do conduct your soil own soil tests.
There are only 4 taps and your nearest tap might well be quite a distance from your plot.
Make good use of water butts. Some plants will seek out the underlying water, so its not always necessary to water established plants.
Many of the recently cleared plots now have a worse problem with convolvulus, so don't attempt to rotavate until you can be sure its all gone.
Oxalis. This tends to be a major problem on the drier, lighter soils.
There are lots of brambles which encroach from neglected plots and boundaries. They do help to protect the site from unwelcome visitors and are good source of blackberries.
Wind blown dandelions from neglected plots. Thistles, again wind blown from neglected plots and wasteland.
Pests & diseases
Apparently, rodents have been a problem in the past, so take adequate precaution against these and don't store produce on site unless you can prevent vermin attack. As with all allotments sites, Woodpigeons are a nuisance, so use netting over Brassicas and other susceptible crops.
Carrot fly Flea beetle has been suggested as a problem and we need confirmation of that.
Access & security
and consequently a bit secluded, only really overlooked by a few houses, so vunerable to unwanted visitors, particularly as there is no real security fence.
Silty soils need less lime to change the pH and a soil with a high pH already will not need any at all unless specifically needed to combat clubroot.
Children, normally the bigger ones who have no business on the site. Your children/grandchildren are welcome, just be careful there is still a lot of rubbish on this site.