Mark, try stringing a wire between two posts or other points and hanging the feeders from the wire, at least a metre from either end. That also helps deter squirrels, too. I had to remove the trays I fitted to the bottom of my feeders as the woodpigeons had learnt how to land and balance on the trays. It's a constant battle trying to outwit them as they are intelligent birds and learn new tricks fast!
They do like a drink:
On allotments, I would grow in the ground. However, raised beds can be useful if you have very heavy clay soil or if you have trouble with certain pests as you can more easily cover a raised bed with enviromesh or fleece. The latter works well against pests common on allotments such as carrot fly.
Netting is the only thing that works for me Bill. You could try a fake bird of prey (ie a decoy) - google 'pigeon scarer decoy' for a range.
It's a Greater Plantain and is a weed I'm afraid Cathy.
Just about the only things you can safely use on edible crops and which might work against beetles is diatomaceous earth or neem oil, Lynn.
I wonder if there are also flea beetles present and it is those which are causing the damage with the pollen beetles just being incidental, Dove?
It would be difficult to tell as the flea beetles would jump off at the slightest disturbance.
Here's a zoom of the original photo:
Compare to the black pollen beetle (Fabogethes nigrescens):
Why a pollen beetle is eating your lettuces is, however, a mystery!
I still recommend that you cut all of the leaves from the broken bit (so that it doesn't die by losing all of the moisture from inside the stem through transipration through the leaves) and then plant it in a 50/50 mixture of grit and compost. I've just gone outside to take a photo of what will happen:
That is about 18 months after I broke a piece of of my yucca.
I would tread down a rectangle the size of the raised bed frames. Don't put down weed membrane inside them as many veg require deeper soil than just 15cm. However, you could put membrane down to create paths around your beds to help keep them weed free - remember you will need access to the beds in order to tend them. You could tuck the membrane under the edges of the raised beds which would help keep it in place.