Community Growing

Barriers to community land in Scotland Report 2015

Many types of community activity in Scotland, such as the development of community gardens, housing projects, and renewable energy initiatives, require access to land. However, the transfer of land rights and responsibilities from landowners to communities can run into difficulties. A report by James Hutton Institute social scientists highlights the different types of barriers communities can face when pursuing land-based activities and how they might be resolved.

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Pros and Cons of taking on extra land

Successful groups who have done a good job with a project frequently find that they are offered additional sites to work their magic on.  We often find that these groups feel obliged to say yes to the extra land but with hindsight they wished they had said no!

The aim of this guidance is to support you through this decision process, giving you points to consider so you can decide whether  your group should say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to taking on extra land.

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Guidance for Registered Social Landlords

This guidance is aimed at Registered Social Landlords such as housing associations which may want to get involved in community gardening or design community gardens or allotments into their plans. It is intended as a primer to help RSLs understand the needs and benefits of community growing and draws on examples of current housing-led community growing projects and explains how each has been developed.

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Case Study: Llangollen Community Garden

This organic food-growing community garden, based on the site of an abandoned plot in Llangollen, is owned by Denbighshire County Council which gave permission for the development of community growing in 2012. It’s an excellent example of the process of setting up a community garden on a council site, with a licence rather than a lease.

Catherine Veasey, who has been involved in the development of the garden through the local Friends Of The Earth group, describes more about the garden and how it worked with the council.

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Plans for Social Investment Tax Relief to be Extended

The government plans to extend social investment tax relief to small community farming and horticultural activities, after recommendations during the consultation from the Community Land Advisory Service.

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Case Study: Our Garden (Brit Growers)

A lively community site in Evanstown near Bridgend, the aptly named ‘Our Garden’ has a wide mix of users from across the Ogmore Valley, and is used daily by local people who go to tend their plot or to simply sit and chat with friends and neighbours. They formerly derelict site was transformed after an approach to the landowner, a housing association.

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Finding Land: Community Growing On NHS Land

The National Health Service owns 6.9 million hectares of land across the UK and already provides space for dozens of community growing sites.  If your group is seeking land and think there might be some suitable NHS-owned land available, then an approach is definitely worth making.

Download the following document for more information: Community Growing On NHS Land

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Planning: Planning Policy & Community Growing

Sustain have produced a special guide to using planning policy to meet strategic objectives through community food growing.

The guide brings together examples of planning policies around the UK that support community food growing. It is aimed primarily at planning authorities to help them to use food growing as a way of creating healthy communities. 

This is a specific recommendation within the Planning Practice Guidance that goes with the National Planning Policy Framework for England, but a principle that is relevant across the UK.

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Video: Community Foodie

This Community Foodie Project video shares information about community food growing in rural areas of Bridgend, Vale of Glamorgan and Torfaen (South Wales). Through the support of the Community Foodie Project, local communities have created areas that offer an abundance of locally grown food, as well as education, improvement of health and well-being, social inclusion etc.

The film gives an insight into various land-based issues, as well as inspiration around community food growing. Visit www.communityfoodie.co.uk for more details.

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Case Study: Incredible Edible, Todmorden

A local food coaltion in Northern England. A group of passionate committed local people are aiming to provide access to good local food for all, through working together, learning – from field to classroom to kitchen - and supporting local business.

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© Community Land Advisory Service 2018