Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Tesco inviting applicants for its Bags of Help programme

Friday, July 6th, 2018

The Tesco Bags of Help programme provides small grants for community projects which can involve the following:

  • development of and activity in outdoor spaces
  • purchase of items such as sports kits, camping equipment, tools or specialised medical equipment
  • improvements to community buildings
  • seasonal events and activities

Currently Tesco stores in the areas of Ellon, Blairgowrie, Monifeith and Oban are particularly inviting applications.

Tesco Bags of Help can provide up to £4000 for projects who are a constituted community group, school, charity, community council, local authority, public body or not for profit organisation. Following a public vote in Tesco stores every two months, three projects in each of the local Tesco store areas will receive a grant, with first place receiving up to £4000, second place up to £2000 and third place £1000

Allotment associations have successfully applied for these grants, but also groups wanting to set up an allotment site should be eligible – they are developing activity in an outdoor space!  If any group in the first three towns would like to apply they should email rita.callander@greenspacescotland.org.uk

Any group in Oban should email tamara.hedderwick@greenspacescotland.org.uk

New Consultation about Allotment Legislation launched

Wednesday, June 27th, 2018

The new Allotment Legislation in Section 9 of the Community Empowerment Bill came into force on April 1 2018.  Local Authorities must implement this legislation and the Scottish Government has committed to providing Guidance for them on implementing sections that might appear difficult or contentious.  The Government has now published a draft version of this Guidance and has opened it for public consultation.

The guidance covers the following 10 sections of Part 9 of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015, where Ministers considered that additional guidance to local authorities would be helpful:

  • Section 110 – Offer to lease allotment
  • Section 111 – Duty to maintain list
  • Section 112 – Duty to provide allotments
  • Section 114 – Access to allotment and allotment site
  • Sections 115 and 116 – Allotment site regulations; allotment site regulations: further provision
  • Section 119 – Duty to prepare food-growing strategy
  • Section 120 – Duty to review food-growing strategy
  • Section 123 – Delegation of management of allotment sites
  • Section 124 – Promotion and use of allotments: expenditure

 

Those of you who responded to the previous consultation last autumn may have already received notice of this consultation which is aimed significantly but not exclusively at Local Authorities.  As in any negotiating situation not all of SAGS’ concerns have been met.  Once we have considered our response to the issues we will post our suggestions on this web site.  We will also contact as many of you as we can to ask for your further support. Our aim is to ensure the Guidance will support the direction Local Authorities will take to ensure Part 9 meets the needs of allotments in the future.

Go to this page : https://consult.gov.scot/food-and-drink/part-9-allotments/

Here you can read about the consultation, download the draft guidance document and the consultation document and click a link to fill in your responses on line.

SAGS gets grant for Resilient Allotment Communities

Monday, March 5th, 2018
Tools The Scottish Government has made some money available to help small community organisations facing disadvantage become more resiliant.  SAGS has been allocated some of this money to distribute among its members.

It has been decided to purchase 16 packs of tools to pass on to allotment sites to be used by the plot holders.  For example a new plot holder could borrow the tools until he/she is able to purchase them, or they could be available on general loan.

To apply for these tool packs a site must be a SAGS member, or a member of an allotment federation that is a SAGS member.  The site must also be in or near an area of multiple deprivation.  Click on this link to download a pdf giving fuller details of what is available and how to apply.  Applications should be received by 31 March 2018.

Dundee City Road Starts Open Day Season

Friday, July 21st, 2017

Now that the growing season is well under way allotment associations are beginning to think about Open Days.  They definitely involve some work, but are well worth it both to connect to the local community and to fund raise. Soon plot holders will have surplus produce to donate, or may already have made jam out of their soft fruit.   One of the earliest we have been notified about is the Open Day at Dundee’s City Road Allotment Gardens on July 30th.  It sounds like a great day out.  The posters give full details (click on the thumbnails to read them), particularly about the competitions for children which involve advance preparation.

CSGN Community Project Fund 2017 now open for applications

Monday, March 20th, 2017

The Central Scotland Green Network want to hear from groups who would like to deliver a greenspace project in the heart of their community.  CSGN believe that greenspace projects are of most benefit to communities if they are delivered in cooperation with the people who would benefit most.

Grants of up to £1000 are available for projects such as:

  • conservation and education projects such as developing a safe natural learning space
  • biodiversity diversity activities such as planting and improvements to ponds and wetlands for wildlife
  • developing a community growing area

This list is not exhaustive, any new and innovative ideas would be welcomed.  To find out more about this scheme and learn how to apply visit their web site.

Call for 2017 Living Garden Mentors

Monday, November 28th, 2016

SAGS has been part of the Living Garden at the annual Gardening Scotland Show near Edinburgh for many years now. Living Garden mentors is an exciting volunteer opportunity to provide support to Eco-Schools entering the ‘One Planet Picnic Pocket Garden competition’ – the winning gardens will be displayed in the Living Garden next year (2nd – 4th June). As a volunteer mentor, you would offer up to two hours of time (this can be more if you wish to) to support a local school, but you should not produce the design or build the garden on behalf of the school. If you would be interested in becoming a volunteer mentor, please get in touch with our secretary  (secretary@sags.org.uk), as soon as possible and not later than 12th December and she’ll send you further details about what’s involved.

Climate Challenge Fund continues for another year

Friday, January 29th, 2016

ClimateChallengeAllotmentThe Climate Challenge Fund is once again open for applications.

The Scottish Government has made £10.3 million of funding available for community-led organisations to run one year projects that tackle climate change. Grants of up to £150,000 are available per project. The funding is for one year projects with a start date of April 1 2016 and a completion date of March 31 2017.  The deadline for applications is February 19 2016.  The development of many of Scotland’s new allotment sites was made possible by grants from this fund.  So it has a record of being well worth the effort for a new allotment group as well as being a source of funds for upgrading existing allotment sites.

As long ago as 2009 six allotment/community garden related projects were kick started by this fund.  Since then there has been a steady stream of successful allotment applicants, one of the most recent being  Killandean Allotment Association in West Lothian, where summer of 2015 was the first full growing season.

To find out how to apply see the Climate Challenge web site.  If you feel uncertain about the suitability of your project, or the amount of work involved, do get in touch with SAGS.  We have many members who have succeeded with the scheme and can offer advice.

CSGN Development Fund Launched

Thursday, November 12th, 2015

The Central Scotland Green Network has just announced its fund for projects to be implemented in 2016/17. The projects can start in April 2016 and should be completed by the end of February 2017.

One of the strands that will be funded is Community Growing: Formal or informal projects …. engaging local communities and encouraging the Good Food Nation ethos (that people in Scotland are able to buy, serve and eat food that is affordable, healthy and sustainable). They are looking for fairly big projects in this area – there is £100K available and minimum size of project is £10K, but a group looking to start up or regenerate an allotment site in the CSGN area may well be able to write a successful proposal.

To find out more about the grants on offer, to determine whether your project is in the eligible area and in general discover how to apply see their web site at http://www.centralscotlandgreennetwork.org/resources/funding/csgn-development-fund

Land Reform: A new political challenge!

Sunday, August 16th, 2015

Just when you think it’s safe to relax and concentrate on weeding the plot another political challenge comes along.

The Community Empowerment Act has just passed through the Scottish Parliament.  SAGS is as confident as possible that Section 7 of the act will help to protect allotments into the future.  Now we must turn our attention to the Land Reform Act that was published in June of this year and is now going through a consultation process.  The publicity surrounding this bill has concentrated on its possible effect on Scotland’s sporting estates and the emphasis has been very much on rural land.  However the bill is about ‘widening the ownership of Land’  in general, about transparency of ownership and about the protection of Common Good land.  These issues apply to urban land just as much as to rural land.  Since the bulk of Scotland’s population lives in urban settlements it is vital that access to underused or derelict urban land is taken as seriously as that to rural land if increasing urban food production and ‘grow your own’ is to be supported.

Sags committee members have been looking at the bill and have created a response to be submitted to the Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee which is currently considering the act.  The response can be downloaded and viewed by clicking here.

 

Danish Allotments feature at the Edinburgh Festival

Sunday, July 12th, 2015
Allotment Gardens. Vennelyst, Copenhagen

Allotment Gardens. Vennelyst, Copenhagen

As part of the Nordic House at the Edinburgh Festival Lesley Riddoch, broadcaster and Director of Nordic Horizons, is organising an exhibition of Nordic landscapes.

The Danish “entry” is about one of the earliest kolonihaver or allotment gardens. Birger Andersen, who has the kolonihaver described in the exhibition would be available on 30th July in Edinburgh for a meeting to talk his site and discuss the similarities and differences between the way Danish and Scottish allotments work.

This talk would be of interest to all plot-holders because of the different mixtures of sites in Copenhagen with both traditional Scottish-type allotments and those like Vennelyst with quirky huts for summer living. In addition the Danish Government stipulates there should be ten gardens per 100 flats without a private garden, so there are seventeen thousand plots in the city. Edinburgh, with a population roughly similar to Copenhagen has approximately 1300 plots.

The suggested time for this talk and discussion is 2pm – 3.30pm on July 30th in Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh.
Please confirm your attendance to Judy Wilkinson at judy@atlas.co.uk and she will send more information