The Cottonmill and Nunnery Allotment Association (CNAA) was established in 1994 and now supports allotment tenants on the Cottonmill, Nunnery & Sopwell Mill sites in St. Albans, Hertfordshire.
The allotments are owned by and leased from the St Albans City and District Council and we keep a 'watching eye' on them. We offer services encouraging and helping people to get the most out of their plots, organise frequent events and socials including our popular Annual Summer Show, offer discounts on seeds, suppliers and equipment hire and publish quarterly newsletters.
We hope you like our website, which is a work in progress so please forgive us if some pages aren't quite complete. We'd love to have your ideas for things you'd like to see on the new site.
The association works closely with its members and the Council to maintain and improve amenities on the allotments. We especially aim to provide a strong and united voice in our dealings with the council.
We are an affiliated member of the Royal Horticultural Society, to find out more about this contact a member of the committee. Click the link to the right to see their website.
CNAA Committee Members
Your committee meets every two months, usually on a Wednesday evening, plus there are additional meetings held relating to the events and organisation. If you have anything you want to raise, see one of the committee members or email us at:
Our AGM is usually held in May each year and all members are encouraged to attend. It is normally held prior to the plant swap.
Current elected committee members are:
Chair: Keith Reynolds C 4
Secretary: Janet Wyatt C 68A
Treasurer: Terry Beckett C56
Cottonmill Plot Officer: Terry Beckett C 56
Cottonmill Assistant Plot Officer Paul Littlewood
Nunnery 1 Site Representative Brian Gilson N1 24
Nunnery 2 Site Representative: Jane Ridge N2 12-14
Sopwell Plot Officers and Site Reps: Clare Norman and Jim Standen
Newsletter Editor: TBA
Website Admin: Jane Ridge N2 12-14
Facebook Admin: Michelle Mackenzie C 56
Erica Weindorf: Project officer C
Vacancies - We are currently looking for
Committee members and volunteers
We are looking to co-opt committee members for general help with the years events and promotions as well as other volunteers from all plots. Your commitment can be as small as helping with the foodbank, or coming along to a working party but would be much appreciated by the current committee.
If you don't want to commit to a formal role but would like to get involved, do still get in touch, as we need people on all the plots to help out the committee!
To view the minutes of recent meetings you will need to log into the members area.
Meet the comittee
Keith Reynolds - Chairman
Janet Wyatt – Secretary
Cottonmill plot 68a
I took over my allotment in 2013. My son and two of my grandchildren helped to clear what was a very
overgrown and neglected plot with masses of carpet and blue plastic layers. Through renovations in my flat
we've had a large amount of timber available (which could be seen as either free, or expensive if the cost of
my new floors is taken into account). My son and I decided to use this timber to create raised beds and also
substantial frames for beans, a lean-to greenhouse, and a fruit cage cover. We try to be chemical free so do
battle with slugs using barrier methods and slug traps. These don't work, but nor, it seems from talking to
other plot holders, do many of the more aggressive approaches. So we re-plant after an attack. We had
three brilliant sweet corn cobs last year and then the squirrels got a taste for them and took the lot. So we
will net this year and see if we can get more of the produce ourselves. I retired last year and now have
more time to spend at the allotment and hopefully this will mean more productivity and pest control. I may
even manage to sit and admire our hard work this year.
Terry Beckett – Interim Treasurer & Plot Officer: Cottonmill
Cottonmill plot 56
As plot officer I show new potential plot holders round the site for the council, and liaise between the
Cottonmill Site Rep, committee and the council on any matters concerning the site or plots.
Michelle (my daughter), Wendy (my wife) and myself have had our plot for 12 years now. We grow all types
of vegetables, and we have two small apple trees, a cob nut tree and two grape vines that go absolutely
crazy every year but do give us a nice shady spot for our bench by the shed. A couple of years ago I built a
cold frame out of odd bits of wood I had laying around, and this year we built a double compost area out of
We just love the peace and quiet of being at the allotment.
Michelle Mackenzie – Site representative: Cottonmill and Facebook Administrator
Cottonmill plot 56
It was spring 2004 and I'd recently taken redundancy after working for BT in St Albans, Watford and London
for many years. Both my boys were at primary school and I thought it would be a nice idea to have an
allotment. I persuaded my mum and dad to take it on with me (my husband loves the peace and quiet of
the plot but has no interest in digging!) In May '04 we took over the tenancy of our plot.
Twelve years later, I still love being down on my plot. Red, black and white currants are always our best
croppers. Courgettes, beans, pumpkins and tomatoes vary in success year to year. Sweetcorn, if we manage
to keep the squirrels away, is a big favourite with my family. And strawberries. Everyone loves
strawberries! We also always have plenty of rhubarb and horseradish and I have both my grandads to
thank for that. Our original rhubarb crowns and horseradish roots belonged them. They came from their
gardens and these plants must have been going for well over 50 years now!
Brian Gilson Site representative Nunnery 1
Jane Ridge – Site representative: Nunnery 2 and Website Administrator
Nunnery 2 plots 12-14
Jane has had her plots for about 20 years and loves to eat whatever's in season. Her favourite vegetable to
grow is sweetcorn, as the plants look so beautiful!
Clare and Jim – Plot Officer: Sopwell and Site Representative: Sopwell
TBA – Newsletter Editor