Date: 09 December 2007 16:56:15
We have just come back from the meeting with Chris the Environmental Officer, where he proved just as useful as we had hoped. Jon was also able to attend with Jeff and myself.
Chris has provided us with a plethora of useful contacts as well as the offer of help in getting the plot dug over for the winter, by use of his own midweek group and/or some local volunteers. He has also indicated how we may access tools on loan and gain temporary use of shelter in the short term, whilst we sort out our permanent solutions in these matters. There is also the possibility of our plot becoming a Green Gym, which is an initiative run by Chris' employers, the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers. This would provide us with such benefits as training in the management of a therapeutic allotment, health and safety information and access to insurance. We have yet to decide whether to become a formal Green Gym, under the BTCV banner, or simply use the support they provide. It is a matter of looking into the info Chris has given us and weighing up the pros and cons. Either way, he seems only too happy to act as a consultant for us (although the idea of cutting off his dreadlocks and donning a suit in order to look the part did not seem to appeal!)
So, all in all, a very productive meeting. This appears to be the beginning of a very good working relationship with Chris, one in which I hope that our project will be also be of use to him in turn. Some definite answers to prayer there, I think!