Council digs up new community food growing strategy
Scottish Borders Council has launched its five-year Community Food Growing Strategy, which aims to provide support to anyone who wants to be involved in community food growing.
The strategy looks at food growing of all kinds, from allotments to community gardens, and has been developed through engagement with communities and stakeholders across the region.
Community food growing is an increasingly popular model of local food production, and a 12-week public consultation in 2019 identified the need for additional guidance to help such projects find suitable space and get them off the ground.
The Borders has a broad range of existing community growing projects, from self-managed allotments to community gardens, which are promoted throughout the strategy and an interactive web map is included.
Councillor Robin Tatler, executive member for community development and localities, said: “There are already some fantastic food growing projects across the Borders currently and this strategy sets out a clear action plan on how those can be used as a basis to promote a greener, more sustainable region.
“Growing projects are an important aspect of community life that provide a wide range of economic, social and environmental benefits and it is vital that we do everything we can to help and support and nurture these.”
If you would like get involved or find out more about community growing in your area, click here to visit the site.
The strategy aims to promote the wide-ranging health, social, environmental and community benefits associated with community food growing. These include:
Highlighting the physical and mental health benefits of community growing, from accessing outdoor exercise and fresh local produce to engaging with nature
Using community gardening projects as a way of creating opportunities for social interaction
Tackling prominent environmental issues by creating opportunities for pollinator friendly planting, as well as reducing food waste and food miles.
As part of the council’s commitment to supporting communities, it has announced additional resources which will further support delivering the Community Food Growing Strategy.
The strategy will run from 2021 to 2026 and will be reviewed every five years.