The Sunnybank allotment site has 63 plots and has the benefit of reasonably good vehicular access into and on the site. The main entrance is located off Barbican Lane which runs behind Victoria House (Victoria Road), but you need to drive in from the Ashleigh Road direction as Barbican Lane is blocked by a bollard at the Victoria Road end.
This generally warm site faces due South and is slightly sloping. Despite being fairly sheltered, it catches the prevailing (South-Westerly) winds, so ground and crop coverings, supports and structures need to be secure. There are good views across the town from the top part of the site.
The soil is clay and varies according to the amount it has been worked and how much organic material has been added over the years. It is of reasonable depth (about 2 spits deep), although as drainage is a problem in places, this is going to make the soil difficult to work. There also seems to be a natural spring at the bottom of the site near the main gate which makes adjacent plots particularly damp, and a blocked land drain at the top of the site.
Lots of Sunnybank plots have a problem with couch grass. Neglected plots will have lots of it and it does tend to creep in from adjoining paths. Convolvulus isn't a major problem unless you have a plot which has been neglected for years. Hairy Bittercress is also very common - so don't let it go to seed!
Pests & diseases
Clay soils have tiny black slugs that live in the ground. Other slugs hide away under stones and bits of wood. There are a few frogs, slow worms and hedgehogs but they won't make that much of an impact on the slug population. Pigeons will eat your brassicas and they love gooseberries. Squirrels will eat sweetcorn and strawberries, so don't encourage them.
Some of the plots have a problem with Clubroot and White onion rot. These diseases enter your plot on soil, so be careful because you don't want either.
Access & security
Vehicular access both into and around the site is fairly good, although it can be a bit of a challenge negotiating the sloping entrance when towing a trailer.
The robust fencing and entrance gate have improved site security, but as always, there is room for improvement.
Major Plus: Several plot holders have been there for quite a few years and will be able to give valuable information about the site and individual plots if asked nicely. One tenant has even had the same two plots on the site for over 50 years!