The University of Surrey is undertaking a study into the spread of Toxocara at allotment sites and has asked for our help.
Toxocara is a type of roundworm parasite, which lives in the digestive tract of foxes, dogs and cats. Once infected, animals will then shed Toxocara eggs in their faeces. The parasite doesn’t cause foxes, dogs or cats a great deal of harm and they often appear normal. When the parasite eggs are accidently consumed, either directly from the soil (e.g. children playing in dirt) or via unwashed vegetable produce, the larvae hatch out in the gut and migrate to various organs of the body. This can have disastrous consequences on people, including blindness, seizures and organ damage. Thankfully, if hands and vegetable produce are washed thoroughly, the eggs are removed and infection is avoided.
The study is investigating whether allotment-grown produce is contaminated with
Toxocara eggs. The aim is to find out whether eating unwashed vegetables could pose a risk of Toxocara transmission to humans.
The study involves obtaining samples of vegetable produce grown on allotment sites, so
that these materials can be analysed in the laboratory for the presence of Toxocara eggs.
Produce that can be consumed raw is of particular interest as cooking will generally kill the
eggs so the risk of human infection is lower.
The University will supply a container on site containing ziplock carrier bags, which samples will go into before being sealed. Within each donation bag will be a paper slip with a few short questions to complete. They would like to start as soon as possible and will empty the container every week until mid-July. All donations will be completely anonymous.
They expect to complete the study in September and share their results with us if we wish.
If you would like to help with the study and are growing vegetables such as lettuce, spring onion, spinach & rocket or anything else normally eaten raw, and would like more information contact please contact me at email@example.com
The site will be open and kindly manned by volunteers on this coming Sunday May 2nd 10am -12pm solely for the disposal of woody waste that can be chipped and removed by the Council. Please do not bring anything else and only bring it while the site is open.
Following the announcement of the further easing of lockdown on the 17th May we plan to hold a rather late Plant Sale exclusively for plotholders on Saturday 22nd May with all proceeds in aid of charity. More detailed information to follow.
There will be an informal seed swap after the Committee Meeting on Sunday 11th April at around 12:00 noon in the Shop car park. Please bring along any spare seeds you may have.
Please observe social distancing and wear masks if needed.
The site will be open and kindly manned by volunteers on this coming weekend March 27th and 28th solely for the disposal of woody waste that can be chipped and removed by the Council. Please do not bring anything else and only bring it while the site is open.
Please note the vehicle gate is to be repaired by the Council’s contractors and will be closed to plotholders whilst the repairs are carried out. Please use the pedestrian gate during that time.
The repairs are scheduled for Wednesday 17th March and it is hoped the gates will reopen some time on Thursday 18th.
Mike Walker has found a cable bike lock on the path near his plot. If it’s yours please contact him on plot 12.
The minutes of the BRAG AGM and our recent committee meeting have been added to the Archives page. The BRAG AGM highlighted a number of common problems across the Borough’s allotment sites including the number of abandoned and neglected plots and the disposal of waste.
As we have been unable to hold an AGM this year we have issued an Annual Report accompanied by a financial statement. These have been emailed to plotholders and added to the Archives page.
The Council advise that, due to the implementation of a new process for generating annual invoices, a technical error resulted in the rents charged to concessionary plot holders and standard plot holders being reversed. To resolve, credit notes will be raised to cancel all invoices issued on 1st October 2020 and revised invoices with the correct charges will be issued during the w/c 12th October. Plot holders who are ‘Out of Borough’ are not affected.