Community Growing

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: Green Space Designations

Neighbourhood Plans establishes general planning policies for the development and use of land in a locality. The plans are drawn up by Neighbourhood Planning Groups and are influential. According to the Government, Neighbourhood plans are intended to allow local people to get the right type of development for their community, while still meeting the needs of the wider area.

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Useful Link: Edible Estates Good Practice Guide

Neighbourhoods Green, a partnership initiative which highlights the importance of open space for residents of social housing and works with social landlords to raise the quality of their design, management and safe use, has published a comprehensive guide for Housing Associations about community growing on their land.

The guide covers resident led projects, housing association led projects and third party led projects. You can find the guide by clicking the following link:

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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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Valuing Grasslands - Environmental Impact Assessment

Community gardens value their local natural environments and are keen to look after native ecosystems. However, some may overlook the habitat value of grassland.

While grassland may not always look appealing or exciting, some areas contain very active and precious ecosystems which should not be disturbed. For example, they may contain wildflowers that are becoming rarer and support a wide range of insects, mammals and birds of prey that feed on them.

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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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News: Green Space Research Confirms Positive Effect

Living in urban areas with more green spaces - including community-run sites such as gardens farms and orchards - can significantly improve mental health and well-being for local residents, according to a new study from the University of Exeter.

Data drawn from 10,000 people over 18 years showed that they showed significantly lower mental distress and significantly higher wellbeing during the times they were living in areas with access to local green spaces.

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Useful Document: Somerset Land & Food Project Report

The Somerset Land & Food Project has been a three year access to land project, launched in 2009 and funded by the Big Lottery Local Food Programme. It was managed by Somerset Community Food, a grassroots charity founded in 2004, which aims to re-connect people with the social, health and environmental effects of growing, buying, preparing and eating local food. 

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CLAS Advisory: Community Lettings Questionnaire

The aim of this document is to aid communication between a community group and landowner, regarding a proposed project on a piece of land. By completing the questionnaire the community group will address a number of important issues that will be key to the project’s success. The landowner will be reassured of what form the project will take. It could be seen as part of a business or action plan for the project and may also help with funding bids. Download the document using the link below:

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© Community Land Advisory Service 2018