Plans to put unused land to use to grow food are one step closer with the launch of a community land bank scheme.
In January, Brighton and Hove City Council announced it was looking at ways of freeing up land such as grass verges and car parks for the cultivation of fruit and vegetables – and on Monday, we reported that Harvest Brighton is looking for volunteers to set up a demonstration vegetable plot in Preston Park.
Yesterday, it was announced the city is to work with the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens to pilot a community land bank to act as broker between land-holders and community groups who want somewhere to grow food.
Brighton and Hove City Council will be working alongside Harvest Brighton, which has anyone who knows of a spare bit of land to contact them. It is also working on a project to team up keen vegetable growers with neighbours who have neglected gardens.
Local private and public sector landowners which could include councils, NHS, private developers will work with the federation to identify possible sites and link them up with community groups looking for land.
The scheme will also offer support and advice to landowners and tenants over the purchase, sale or leasing of land.
Announcing the scheme, communities secretary John Denham said: “From guerrilla gardeners to community growers there is a real keenness to combine 40’s style frugality and 70’s style good life ethics to meet 21st century demands for healthy living, cheaper meals and locally sourced food.
“We are making it easier for community groups and keen gardeners to access the hundreds of acres of unused land. This will mean communities can grow their own food while brightening up the neighbourhood by turning unloved spaces into fragrant herb gardens and abundant vegetable or flower beds.”
*Meanwhile, Brighton Up Your Garden are looking for volunteers to start a new community garden in a corner of Saunders Park, off the Lewes Road just north of the Vogue Gyratory.
The garden project is being funded by Marks and Spencer through their Project A campaign, collecting money it gets from people paying for their plastic bags.
It will include a butterfly garden with butterfly friendly plants, nature pond, bog garden, raised beds and picnic tables.
Volunteers are needed to help construct the garden this Saturday and Sunday. If you can help, email email@example.com.
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