William and Jemmett Allotments is the usual name used for a complex of four allotment sites surrounding the “co-op field”, seen here as the green shape between Musgrove and Christchurch Road. You can see the four areas much more clearly on the Council’s website.
WILLIAM ROAD site is reached via a hard-core track leading from between Nos 18 and 22 William Road. Double gates open from this track to a smaller area on the right and a larger area on the left. The central grass path on the left is soft, and too narrow for vehicles, and the council has put in barriers to prevent cars being driven onto this part of the site. The track is wide enough for cars to be brought up to the gates for unloading, but the council asks that they should not be parked at the side. The track leads onto the William Road recreation ground, also known as the “Co-op Field”, and council contractors need access to this.
MUSGROVE NEW SITE is reached via double gates next to lock-up garages on Musgrove. It can also be reached by walking through from William Road allotments. It has a single water point. Low lying and liable to waterlogging in wet weather.
CHRISTCHURCH ROAD site is behind houses on Christchurch Road. It can be reached via a small gate on a footpath from Christchurch Road. This footpath then leads onto the playing fields, from where a double gate leads into the allotments. The council is very clear that vehicles should not be brought onto the field to access this allotment, however, as the field is damp and damage to the turf is likely to result.
However, care should be taken not to damage the turf especially in wet weather. It is also possible to walk onto the playing field from Jemmett Road, down a footpath alongside Jemmett Road allotments. There is never any parking in Christchurch Road, and parking on William Road is often very restricted, so Jemmett Road may be the best place to park in order to reach Christchurch Road allotments.
JEMMETT ROAD is a small site of only a few plots. It is reached via a footpath from Jemmett Road, almost opposite the bowling club. From this two narrow gates lead onto the plots. It has single water point.
There are only three noticeboards on the William/Jemmett complex; one by the double gates on the left as you come in from William Road, one by the large gate onto the playing field in the Christchurch Road site, and one next to the roadside fence on Jemmett Road.
WATER POINTS with tanks and taps are available on all sites here. There is one on Musgrove New and three on William Road, two on the larger section and one on the smaller. There is one tap on Jemmett and one on Christchurch.
The soil here is heavy clay. Before being set up as allotments, it was sheep pasture. Though fertile, it is inclined to lie very wet after rain, and not just in the winter. The wettest part is the larger section of William Road, and parts of Musgrove, which can flood after a prolonged wet spell. On the plus side, the soil is fertile and holds on to water and nutrients well. Jemmett Road is sunny and exposed, while Christchurch has problems with overhanging trees. Most of William Road and Musgrove is sunny and open, though there are high hedges which affect some of the plots on William Road. Some plots are shaded in the morning, which is less of a problem; others lose the midday or afternoon sun. You need to visit the site on the ground to see which plots on William Road are most affected.
The site is generally quiet and there is quite a lot of wildlife. Both pigeons and foxes can cause problems. The foxes, though they do tend to dig things up, also keep down vermin. Thefts and vandalism have been an intermittent problem in the past but are not especially remarkable.