The Rules

1. The purpose of the Leisure Gardens

Leisure Gardens are so called because they are smaller (a half or a quarter the size) than a conventional allotment, and are intended for noncommercial cultivation of vegetables, and/or herbs, and/or flowers, and/or fruit.

2. Who owns Emlyn Leisure Gardens?

The Gardens are owned by the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham, and are leased to Emlyn Gardens Leisure Association on a 25-year lease. The Association, in turn, issues licences for individual plots.

3. Who qualifies for a plot in Emlyn Leisure Gardens?

In agreement with the London Borough of  Hammersmith and Fulham, who are the freeholders, at the date of the issuing of their new lease to the Association, all current plotholders are granted a new licence, provided their plot is properly cultivated.

In future, plots are to be licensed to residents of the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham only, and  in the following order of priority:

  • To old age pensioners with no access to private gardens
  • To other persons without access to private gardens
  • To old age pensioners without access to private gardens larger than the average plot size within the leisure gardens
  • To other persons without access to private gardens larger than the average plot size within the leisure gardens
  • Due account will be taken of the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham’s commitment to Equal Opportunities, insofar as it is practical, given the size and physical properties of the site.
  • Only one plot per household is permissible.
  • The plot must be cultivated by the plotholder and not delegated to someone else.
  • The plot cannot be passed on to anyone else.
  • In the event of a plotholder being unable to continue cultivating his or her plot, the Committee of the Association must be informed.


A licence shall be issued to every new plotholder. For the first six months, this will be a probationary licence, which may be terminated at any time, should the plot not be properly cultivated in accordance with the rules. If the new plotholder has worked to the satisfaction of the committee, then a full licence will be issued after six months.

  • Membership of Emlyn Leisure Gardens Association

All plot holders shall become members of Emlyn Leisure Gardens Association upon the payment of their rent and annual subscription, and shall be entitled to one vote per plot at the Annual General Meeting, or in other special circumstances.
6.Rents and subscription fees

The plotholder will be charged an annual rent and an annual subscription fee, to cover the year January-December, payable to the Emlyn Leisure Gardens Association on 1 October of  each preceding year. This must be paid within one calendar month of the demand date. See clause 10.

7. What can and cannot be grown on a plot?

Any vegetables, flowers, herbs (though not illegal substances) ,soft fruit and/or small fruit trees can be grown on the plot. Trees and shrubs are not recommended, as the plots are small, and it is unfair to neighbouring plots to grow plants that will have large root systems or produce a lot of shade on their plot. Areas of grass, except for small paths within the plot, are not permitted; and what grass that is permitted must be kept short. Weeds must be constantly cleared at all times of the year.

  1. Cultivation of a plot

The whole plot, apart from small permissible paths, must be cultivated

By ‘cultivation’ is meant:

  • tilling and preparing the soil and  keeping it in a fertile condition for the growth of crops;  planting, tending, and harvesting by labour and skill; and in so doing keeping it in good heart and free from weeds throughout the year, and
  • using environmentally sustainable practices, methods and materials, as far as is reasonably possible (particularly in relation to cultivation; crop feeding; weed, pest and disease control; composting, soil fertility maintenance; and biodiversity
  • ensuring that soil fertility, organic content and condition are maintained at an appropriate level for future cultivation
  • composting all vegetative waste as far as is reasonably possible
  • using chemical treatments in a responsible way and only where organic methods are not appropriate or reasonably available; and in a manner that will not cause pollution of the air, soil, ground water or water courses
  • on no account allowing weeds to spread roots or seeds on to adjoining plots (Persistent weeds, such as bindweed,docks and couch grass must be dug out, as must annual weeds before they set seed)
  • not allowing any large plant to obstruct passage along the main central pathway, or shade or take nourishment from a neighbour’s plot.
  • wild uncultivated gardens are not permitted.
  • See clauses 9 and 10.
  1. Warning letters

There is a monthly review of all the plots by the committee, and any plot causing concern, because it may be deemed unsatisfactory in terms of cultivation, as laid down in this rule book, will be discussed by the committee, and, if necesssary, a warning letter will be sent to the plotholder.

There are three degrees of warning letter, increasing in severity.

  • The 1st warning letter will be left on the plot concerned, stating the Committee’s reasons for issuing the warning and giving the plotholder one month to improve matters. Unless there are extenuating circumstances the plotholder will automatically be issued with 3(three) penalty points(see clause 10).  At the next committee meeting, after the expiry of the one month, the condition of the plot will again be discussed. Should the committee feel that enough effort at improving the plot has been made, the plotholder will be allowed to continue holding their plot.
  • Should the plotholder, after one month, or at any time within the next three years, again be found not to be managing the plot to the satisfaction of the committee, a 2nd warning letter will be left on the plot, and a further 3 penalty points (see clause 10) will be issued.
  • If, after the expiry of a further month (or at any time within the next three years), the committee feels that the plotholder has still not maintained the plot to a satisfactory standard, the 3rd and final letter will be sent to his or her home address, and (s)he will lose  4 penalty points (see clause 10), and  the licence will automatically be terminated.
  • The committee’s decision is final.
  • In the case of a plotholder being ill or having other extenuating circumstances which prevent him or her from cultivating the plot, the committee shall review the situation every two months.

10.   The penalty points system and termination of licences

In fairness to the many plotholders who maintain their plots well, and do not behave in a manner detrimental to their neighbours, a system of penalty points is to be instituted. Anyone who acquires a maximum of ten points will automatically lose their licence.

  1. Warning letters:
  • 1st=3 points
  • 2nd=3 points
  • 3rd=4  points
  • 10 points mean automatic loss of licence.
  • Failure to pay rent and subscription within one month of the demand = 3 penalty points.
  • Should any plotholder or a member of his or her family be found to have committed theft or vandalism on any plot, or on any common part, 10 penalty points will be issued, and that person’s licence will be terminated immediately. There will be no appeal.
  • Other misdemeanours:
  • Allowing children, unsupervised, into any part of the Leisure Gardens = 3 points
  • Allowing any dog to run loose and foul another person’s plot = 3 points
  • Dumping of rubbish in common parts = 3 points
  • Bringing in any non-biodegradable rubbish from outside the gardens and dumping it = 3 points
  • Trespassing on another plot = 3 points
  • Persistent infringement of any of the rules can lead to additional penalty points being issued and to possible termination of the licence.
  • All penalty points will remain in force for three years from the date of issue.

11. Demarcation of the plot

The boundary of the plot may be demarcated by wooden pegs at each corner, no more than 30 cms (l foot) above ground, markers on the back fence, or a white marker on the path. The plot number must always be displayed discreetly, preferably at the back of the plot. No fences may be erected between plots. A path about a foot wide should be left between each plot to allow plotholders ready access to the sides of their plot, unless  both neighbouring plotholders agree not to have a path.

  • Toolstores, greenhouses, hot and cold frames

As the plots are small, only small toolstores or lockers, or very small greenhouses are permitted, and as is also the case with cold or hot frames covered with glass, these must be kept towards the back of the plot to avoid accidents, or causing a nuisance to neighbouring plots.

  • Trespassing on other plots

It is absolutely forbidden to enter another plotholder’s plot without their express permission, or to walk across another plotholder’s plot for any purpose, or to pick any of their produce or use any of their tools without their express permission.

  • Rubbish

Rubbish which is not biodegradable should not be left on the plots, but should be taken away from the Leisure Gardens and disposed of. On no account must it be left lying by the path, or in common parts, where it can be a hazard to other plotholders, or in wheelbarrows. Nor must it ever be brought on to the plots from outside. See clause 10.

  • Lighting of fires

No fires are to be lit without permission from the committee. And on no account must any fire ever be lit near a fence

  • Noise

Noisy machinery should not be used before nine a.m. in the morning on a weekday, and before twelve noon on a Sunday. No loud music is permitted on the plots, and plotholders should respect the peaceful atmosphere of the neighbourhood

  • General maintenance of the common areas, and volunteering help

Plotholders are expected to join in and help with the general maintenance (weed-clearing) of the central path, the paths between plots and the common areas, to help keep them clean, not to leave any litter, and to behave in a socially responsible way.

Free time permitting, it is also hoped that they will join in wheeling the manure from

the main gate to the manure heap, and in any other common effort, when the need arises.

  • Children

These leisure gardens are areas of cultivation, not a play area, and can be hazardous for children. At no time should any child be allowed to play unattended in these gardens. Nor must they be allowed to stray on to other plots. See clause 10.

  • Dogs

Plotholders who bring their dogs to their plots should keep them under control and not allow them to roam over or foul other people’s plots. See clause 10.

  • Ponds, wildlife, and the control of vermin

Emlyn Leisure Gardens hopes to encourage wildlife.

  • Small ponds for frogs and toads are permissible, provided they are situated at the back of any plot and are covered with a suitably thick broad-meshed  wire or heavy plastic mesh, for reasons of safety. On no account use the type of mesh that either frogs or birds can get trapped in.
  • Please do not leave rubbish or bits of old food lying around which could encourage rats.
  • The feeding of grey squirrels is forbidden, as they cause much damage and breed very rapidly.
  • Needless to say, the use of guns for culling vermin is absolutely forbidden. Pest control is only to be by way of the Council’s approved pest control measures.
  • Bicycles

Bicycles if ridden down the central path should be done so with care and consideration; they should never be left obstructing the path.

  • Wheelbarrows

Communal wheelbarrows should always be returned empty to the area near the main gate after use, and must not be removed from Emlyn Leisure Gardens. They should not be left with rubbish in them at any time.

  • Manure

Do not take any manure from the central heap without first informing a member of the committee. Help in carting this manure would be appreciated

  • Noncontiguity of licensee’s garden and plot

As from the date of the new lease with the Council, no licence will be issued to any householder in Abinger Road or Emlyn Road for a plot that is directly contiguous to his or her garden.

  • Access to the gardens
  • Access to Emlyn Leisure Gardens is through the main gate from Emlyn Gardens Estate, and should kept locked at all times.
  • Only one point of access for any plotholder is permitted.
  • While Emlyn Leisure Gardens Association cannot prevent any owner of a fence adjoining the Gardens from making a gate in their own fence, this does not imply easement or that they have any right of access to the Gardens. Indeed, they would be trespassing should they step beyond that gate. For the moment, they may only have access (a) providing they have a licence for a plot in the Gardens, and (b) providing the gate opens directly on to a pathway between plots. On no account must there be any point of access which would mean trespassing on another plot.  This ruling is provisional, since the Association reserves the right, at some future date, to erect a perimeter fence around the Gardens to protect them from theft and vandalism. In the meantime, any plotholder who currently has access from houses on Emlyn Road or Abinger Road should keep their gate locked at all times.
  • Rights of way through the gardens

There are no rights of way through the Gardens. The central path is for common use of licensed plotholders only.

  • Misuse of land

It is an offence to dig for sand, gravel or other minerals, or excavate the leisure gardens, or to keep animals on the plots

28 Surrounding fences, overhanging branches

It is an offence to  tamper with or damage the surrounding fences in any way. Any branches that overhang plots from surrounding gardens may be removed, although it would be polite to inform the owner first. Any branches cut off should be offered  to their owner.

29 Accounts

There shall be audited accounts produced once a year that shall be submitted to the Council, and to the Annual General Meeting

30 Rights of access

The Council of the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham reserves the right to have access to Emlyn Leisure Gardens at all reasonable times

31  Contravention of the Council’s lease to the Association

Notwithstanding any of these rules, no person may act in any way so as to place the Association in contravention of  the Council’s lease to the Association.

32. Water supply and use of hoses

• The water supplied in Emlyn Leisure Gardens is to be used solely for the cultivation of plants, or for filling a small pond at the back of your plot. It is not to be used for any other purpose.

• Do not waste water.

• Do not leave water running, unattended, at any time.

• Do not hog the hose when other people are waiting. In

such cases, limit your use of the hose to no longer

than 10 minutes. Remember that when you are using

a hose, the water pressure is reduced for other users in

other parts of the gardens.

• Use the hose as hand-held and not a sprinkler left unattended.

• Do not remove the hose from the tank tap, and do not remove the end of the hose.

• Please take care when carrying the hose along the path, and do not leave it lying in other people’s way. When hanging it up, make sure there are no kinks.