Plotholder rules – [updated January 2024]

The Loughton Potato Ground is a charity. LPG plotholders are members of a wider community of like-minded individuals, keen on growing their own fruits and vegetables and mindful of the broader needs of the community. Members are diligent in maintaining their own plots, respectful of their neighbours and helpful in the general maintenance of common areas. 

LPG rules are commonsense and a matter of consideration to our allotment community. Any matters arising but not provided for by these rules shall be decided by the Loughton Potato Ground committee.

a. Annual membership dues are payable in November of each year. Payments are best made at the Annual General Meeting which is usually held on the first Saturday in November.

b. The deadline for payments is Nov. 30. Dues submitted after Nov. 30 incur a £10 penalty per plot. Failure to submit a payment by Dec. 31 means forfeiture of the plot which will be let to someone on the waiting list.

c. The preferred payment route is by Bank Transfer but can be by cash or cheque to the Treasurer   Cheques should be made payable to “Loughton Parochial Charities.”

a. Plots may not be transferred or sublet to anyone else without the approval of the Membership Secretary.

b. Plotholders must keep plots clean and in a good state of cultivation and fertility. Undergrowth and weeds on any adjacent uncultivated plots should be chopped down to prevent seeding or spreading.

c. Trees on a plot may not exceed 2.5 metes (eight feet) in height. Plots should not soley be used for the cultivation of fruit or other trees. At least half of each plot should be dedicated to vegetable cultivation.

d. Although the mowing of many paths and the trimming of some hedges is arranged by the LPG Committee, all pathways and hedges are the ultimate responsibility of the plotholders adjacent to them.

e. In the case of prolonged absence, plotholders should notify the Secretary of arrangements in place to keep the plot in good order.

f. Barbed or razor wire may not be used under any circumstances. Glass in cold frames and similar should be avoided and substituted with safer materials

g. Plotholders should be vigilant for vandals and thieves.

h. The Secretary or any Committee member should be notified immediately of any apparent encroachment over LPG boundaries.

i. Dogs may be taken onto the LPG provided they are kept on a lead.

j. Members of the LPG Committee and Trustees have the right to inspect plots at any time.

k. Cooperation with committee members: We ask that members adhere to the plotholder rules. Failure to comply with a request by any committee member within one week will result in a first warning. If there is no response or action taken after another week, a second warning will be sent. After another week, a third and final warning will be issued, after which the plot must be surrendered back to Loughton Potato Ground. One week will then be allowed for the removal of tools and equipment, which if unclaimed, will be offered to other members. Flexibility with this rule is at the discretion of the committee.

l. Plot boundary lines may not be extended or altered, except where prior agreement has been sought from the committee.

a. Bonfires are still legally permitted but, to maintain that right, plotholders should ensure they aren’t a nuisance to neighbouring houses or plotholders, especially on warmer days when windows are likely to be open or on windy days when the smoke may be driven directly towards neighbouring houses and plots. Prior to any planned bonfire, permission should be sought from a Committee member. 

b. Bonfires are not allowed on Saturday, Sunday, Monday or Bank Holidays.

c. Bonfires must not be used to dispose of domestic rubbish or non-organic material such as rubber, oil or plastics. Consider composting suitable waste instead of burning or removing it to a council recycling centre.

d. To reduce smoke, only burn dry materials.

e. Fires must not be left unattended. They MUST be supervised directly by plotholder until wholly burned out and fully extinguished.

d. Barbecues are not permitted.


a. No buildings are permitted on plots, except small storage boxes, compost containers and low-level cold frames.

b. Fruit cages may not exceed two meters in height (6 ½ feet) and must be kept in good order.

c. Any structure, excluding plant supports, that exceeds 1.2 meters (four feet) needs prior approval from the secretary.

d. Plot holders should refrain from installing extensive structures without approval from the Committee. 


a. Use of pesticides and fertilizers should be limited and well controlled to minimise side effects or dispersal on neighbouring plots.

b. Do not overdose with pesticides and do not spray in windy conditions.

c. Keep all chemicals away from all water sources and store them in secure boxes or off-site.

d. The use of organic approved pesticides and weed killers are encouraged. Do not use others unless absolutely necessary. 

e. Plotholders should avoid using chemicals which may be hazardous to wildlife

f. Plotholders are encouraged to do what they can to encourage and support UK wildlife.

a. Piped water at the 13 standpipes on the LPG is available from mid-March to late October, depending on frost conditions.

b. Hosepipes can be used from the standpipes to water plots directly and may be used to fill water butts on individual plots.

c. Report any damaged standpipes or leakages to the Secretary immediately.

d. When using a hosepipe, concentrate the water around roots and don’t leave the hose on automatic sprinkling mode.

e. Do not leave hosepipes running unattended.

a. All gates must be closed whenever no cars are parked inside the LPG. In practice, this means that the last car out must ensure the gate is closed.

b. As good neighbours, the LPG grants access to walkers but plotholders should ensure such walkers stay on the main footpaths, keep any dogs on leads and clean-up after their dogs.


a. Members with a plot immediately adjacent to their permanent residence may install a simple and secure one-door gate to the LPG grounds with written permission from the LPG committee. Such gate is to allow access to the plot for cultivation of fruits and vegetables but not to extend a private garden.

b. The gate must be removed upon surrender of the plot or change of residence by the plotholder.

c. The LPG committee reserves the right to revoke this privilege at any time.

a. Keeping of chickens, pigeons, rabbits or other domestic animals on the Potato Ground is not permitted. Bee-keeping, though recognised as a positive horticultural activity, has been problematic when previously allowed and currently is unlikely to be agreed by the Committee.  

a. The LPG Committee has no fixed number of members but should not be less than six members or more than 10. A quorum of Members at Committee meetings shall be half the number of Members on the Committee

b. Committee Members are elected at the Annual and General Meeting. New Members may be nominated with two seconding plotholders at the meeting and removal of Members may be proposed at the AGM with two seconding plotholders. In both cases, a majority of attendees at the AGM must then vote in favour of the proposal for it to pass.

c. A Special Meeting of all plotholders may be called at any time by the Committee or by any plotholder supported by a petition signed by 20 other plotholders.

d. Additions or amendments to LPG rules require the approval of a majority of members attending Annual or Special meetings. Effective rules are those posted on the LPG website.

e. Applications for LPG membership will be restricted to residents of Loughton, including Debden, when there is a waiting list.

Any matters arising but not provided for by these rules shall be decided by the committee.