The 2013 Scottish Allotments conference, with its theme 'Designing the Allotment Community' was particularly exciting. Derek Mackay the Minister for Local Government and Planning was an excellent keynote speaker. He gave an informative account of the progress of the proposed Community Empowerment and Renewal Bill and answered questions from the audience clearly and helpfully. In addition the minister formally launched our latest publication - the Scottish Allotments Site Design Guide produced as part of our contribution to the Grow Your Own Working Group.
Our other main speaker, Jim McColl from the Beechgrove Garden, talked about the issues associated with vegetable growing in Scotland and fielded a question session that turned into our very own private 'Gardeners Question Time'. Nick Cooke from the Butterfly Conservation Society gave us all sorts of ideas of what to grow to benefit these valuable and beautiful insects. The reports from new sites demonstrated the wide variety of routes that allotment groups travel to reach their goal. In the afternoon participants divided into groups for workshops on their own special interests.
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