Over 250 new plots for growing are being created across Glasgow as part of the council's food growing strategy.
Backed by a funding package of almost £419,000, the 259 new plots will be shared across all of the city's 23 council ward areas and will be built in places such as parks, disused bowling greens, formerly derelict sites, expanded allotments and within the grounds of community facilities.
The food growing strategy aims to give Glasgow residents the opportunity to grow their own fruit and vegetables in as widest range of settings possible. Interest in food growing has surged during the Covid-19 lockdown with applications for spaces within traditional allotments rising significantly over the past year. It is hoped that the 259 new plots will help to meet the current high demand for growing spaces.
Councillor Anna Richardson, City Convener for Sustainability and Carbon Reduction, sees the food growing strategy as a vital component in Glasgow's effort to become a sustainable food city. But Councillor Richardson, who recently visited the newly expanded allotments in Mansewood Park, also sees local food growing as good for the city's well-being and a way to help reduce food poverty and carbon emissions at the same time.
Councillor Richardson said: "Our food growing strategy is a hugely important part of our ambition for Glasgow to become one of the most sustainable cities in Europe. There is a great passion for food growing in Glasgow and that has been on the rise of during lockdown.
"On a very basic level people enjoy being outdoors, tending to their plots, and interacting with fellow growers, as it is good for their physical and mental health. But local food growing can also ensure more cheap, fresh and nutritious produce is consumed in Glasgow and that can also help to reduce the carbon footprint created by the city's food system.
"A huge amount of effort has already gone into bringing the food growing strategy to fruition. It's fantastic that we are now in position to break ground on sites across Glasgow to allow growing to begin in earnest. I am sure we will see new growing plots all across Glasgow flourishing in the very near future."
Despite the impact of covid, work at a number of locations was able to get underway over the course of the last year. This includes the start of the Growchapel project on gap site in Drumchapel, a social enterprise leasing part of the former plant nursery at Bellahouston Park and new growing spaces being created on the site of the former changing rooms at Queen's Park Recreation Ground.
Liaison with Glasgow food growers has so far also identified a further 170 sites across the city where it is believed there is potential for food growing. A digital mapping tool shows the location of these sites, but the mapping tool also provides information on how to access permission to develop sites, find funding and where to get help to start growing. An assessment of what growing would be suitable on each site will also be undertaken.
Further details on the locations of 259 new growing plots can be found in the committee papers to be presented at the Environment, Sustainability and Carbon Reduction Policy Committee on June 8, 2021. Follow this link for further information.
Pic shows Cllr Anna Richardson (right) with growers at the newly expanded Mansewood Allotment.