New Government publication helps to plant the seeds for community-grown food

New, simple 'how to' advice to inspire communities to spot a plot of disused green spaces in their local area to use for food growing has been published by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles.

The publication gives local people practical advice on new ways to get access to less conventional sources of land and green space to grow their own food as well as suggestions for wider community involvement, helpful tips on how to get funding and examples of projects already in bloom.

A recent survey revealed that nearly two thirds of adults want to grow their own food. This is increasingly difficult as local authority allotments are significantly oversubscribed - with waiting lists over ten times longer than those in 1996.

Downloands and further information available:

This guidance sits along side previously published community orchard 'how to' guide available at:

Surveys undertaken by West Kirby Transition Town in conjunction with the National Society of Allotment and Leisure Gardeners show that 57 people are waiting for every 100 allotment plots managed by principle local authorities. The latest survey results were published on 6 May 2011 and are available to view at:

Royal Horticultural Society Community Programmes Manager:
"The RHS knows that community gardening provides untold benefits, boosting people's health and wellbeing and strengthening the ties that bring neighbourhoods together. With more than 5,000 groups involved in the RHS community gardening campaigns, we welcome any steps to help local people transform disused spaces."

Groundwork UK:
"Groundwork has been supporting communities to improve their local environment and their own health and well-being for 30 years. Food growing is an activity which can bring communities together but which can also create skills and nurture enterprise. We know that more and more people want to get active and grow and welcome the additional support and guidance being provided."

Eric Pickles:
"The practical advice we have published today can really help plant the seeds of garden growing and turn disused land into thriving green areas for the whole community. With so many people looking to grow their own food there's lots of great tips to help people look outside the allotment and spot a plot in more unconventional places to start community gardens."

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