: Fife Council new allotments strategy to get people growing  ( 687 )

Big Gee

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Multi Plot Cultivator
  • *****
  • : 7528
  • Gardening knowledge unshared is wasted
    • Aeron Vale Allotment Trust
Fife Council new allotments strategy to get people growing
« : October 14, 2017, 04:42:19 PM »

Fife Council comes up with new allotments strategy to get people growing - and also a new price

WE want you to grow your own fruit and veg – but also to pay a little bit more for it.

Fife Council are encouraging keen gardeners to get their hands dirty and make the most of their allotments.

They manage 27 of the sites across the Kingdom and have come up with a new strategy to improve them, manage waiting lists and create new growing spaces where possible.

But after “extensive” work and consultation they’ve also worked out that the rental charges for plots “are too low for the facilities provided”.

A statement added: “Councillors have now agreed a range of charges from 15p per square metre per year for a site with no, or basic facilities, to 45p for a site with full facilities including toilets, water, meeting space, huts and tool storage.

“This means that the most expensive allotment plot, based on 100 square metres, would cost £45 per year.”

The council said they were “leading the way in Scotland” in developing a strategy to support the rising demand for growing your own fruit and veg.

Consultation with plot holders began in 2014 and the information is also guiding how the Scottish Government and other councils are approaching the issue.

The strategy has created employment opportunities in Fife with a new supervisor and four trainees recruited to take forward and improve plots.

Councillor Judy Hamilton said: “The benefits of ‘growing your own’ are well documented.

“Everybody can get involved – there’s no training or expertise needed so people of all ages and abilities can join in and enjoy the benefits of fresh air and exercise as well as delicious home grown produce.”

One of the main aims is for the allotments to become self-sustaining by encouraging communities to take on the management, while other key themes include education in horticulture, food production and promoting biodiversity. Allotments officer Peter Duncan explained: “The Community Empowerment Act means the council has a legal responsibility to provide allotments and encourage communities to get more involved in these sites.

“We manage and maintain 27 sites across Fife and there are some great examples where local people are now self managing their own allotments and growing food in their communities.”

He said local communities are also being creative with spaces next to allotments, such as in Kelty.

Mr Duncan added: “The local greening group and allotment holders are working with the council to create a community wildlife garden in an area that’s too wet for cultivation.

“A pond and wetland is used by frogs, insects and other wildlife and local school children are helping by making bug hotels, bird and bat boxes and log piles to encourage more local wildlife to make this their home.

“Allotments are rated number one for wildlife amongst all urban greenspaces and we’re keen to further enhance these areas.”