PLANT Group Awarded Scottish Government's CCF Grant to Fight Climate Change by Growing Food Locally
The PLANT project will be funded for a year, starting in April, subject to planning permission being approved. With the help of a part-time funded community growing co-ordinator, it will establish an inclusive community garden and training for Tayport residents to grow more food locally while reducing carbon emissions due to food miles and travel. The garden will be a mix of allotments and shared plots and will act as a knowledge hub for developing and sharing skills through workshops and social events aimed at the whole Tayport community.
This success is a culmination of the development of the idea by the PLANT team over the last two years, inspired by growing concern about climate change and lack of local community growing space, and incorporating input from Tayport residents. PLANT surveys indicate strong interest in growing food locally (69% of respondents), in community growing space (50%) or own gardens, and developing and sharing gardening skills (96%). The application has received great practical support from the Board of the parent organisation, TCT, as well as Fife Council. Local community organisations have also expressed interest in working with the project, including Rainbow Guides, Tayport Child Minding Group, Tayport Community Enterprises (Harbour Cafe), Dolphin Centre, Tayport Primary School and Fife Diet (Food Coop).
"This is extremely exciting. I have only joined PLANT last year and have been impressed with the series of small projects they have been able to develop and sustain over time, with very few funds." Kaska Hempel, PLANT volunteer and application team member said, " I have been volunteering to help with the Harbour Café Garden, joining their drop in gardening sessions and helping with watering schedule. It was amazing how the barren and overgrown tenement garden space was transformed into a productive food garden for the Café only in one season! Although the project we are taking on this year is much more challenging, I have no doubt that the group can deliver something quite amazing with input from Tayport residents. I myself live in a council block of flats, with no garden space apart from a balcony for the herbs, and I am looking forward to having a substantial and open community food growing space to contribute to."
"The funds will be really great for us and they're intended to develop a community garden space which will be a mix of allotments and shared grounds," said Jessie Roberts, an Administrator of the PLANT group. "We've done a lot of consultation and we've had lots of interest from other groups. The plan is to run a series of workshops for people who want to share gardening skills or who want to learn - basically get together and learn how to garden, while reducing our carbon footprint."
"I should emphasise that there are conditions to the award, including planning permission," she said. "We have already consulted many local people, but further public consultation is taking place. People will have the chance to influence the plans."
Peter Duncan, Fife Councils Allotment Officer said: "I am delighted that the group has been successful with the funding application however this is subject to gaining planning consent. I will be leading on the public consultation prior to the application being submitted and I am keen to ensure that everyone's views are taken into account. The project sits very well with the strategic approach to community gardens and growing spaces in Fife."
Peter Duncan will be holding planning permission consultation sessions on Thursday, February 12, at 2pm and 6pm. They will take place in Tayport Burgh Chambers.
PLANT welcomes continuing contributions to the project plans from all Tayport residents. Alongside this continuing input into the consultations, the group is looking for hands-on enthusiastic volunteers to help with the project. Individual, family or community organisation project participants in community and home growing are also wanted.
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The Courier and Advertiser (Fife edition), 31 January 2015