Archive for October, 2009

Greenlink Allotment Project Gets Funding

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

The Greenlink allotment project aims to create allotments on the Greenlink, off Braidhurst Street in Motherwell.  (The Greenlink is a 7 mile cycle track connecting Motherwell Town Centre to Strathclyde Park). The allotment project committee have had two pieces of really good news recently.  North Lanarkshire Council has agreed a lease for the land that they want, and they have been awarded a grant of £10,000 by the Big Lottery Fund to produce a business plan.

The plans for the site include 39 individual plots, of which 9 are earmarked for community use.  They also propose a wildlife garden, a play space for children and a community hut.  Click here to learn more about the allotment project, or any other aspect of the Greenlink project.

Community Gardens at Royal Edinburgh Hospital

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

Really good news: Lothian Health Board have just released a briefing paper in which they indicate a firm intention to release unused land for temporary community gardening.  As a first step the board has identified up to 15 acres of land in the grounds of the Royal Edinburgh Hospital which they will allocate to community gardens over the next few years.

A community garden in this context means a combination of allotments worked by individuals and small groups with communal areas of grass and other cultivation for the amenity of the whole community. The health board is keen to involve individual local people, local community groups and patient groups in this initiative.

Slight down side: The land is eventually destined for potential NHS development or commercial use, so the gardens and allotments will be let on short (typically 12 month) rolling leases.  This will obviously impact on the type of crop that people will feel like cultivating.   However the health board intend to provide infrastructure such as tool storage areas, toilets, access roads and water so the groups and individuals renting the land will not have to find large sums for capital investment before they can even get started.

Controversy over allotments in Kirkcaldy, Fife

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

An attempt to create new allotments in Kirkcaldy has led to disagreement and debate. According to the Fife Free Press, locals were not consulted over plans to create allotments in the Dunnikier area.  Ann Watters, chairman of Kirkcaldy Civic Society  has now made a number of objections.   In particular she claims that the allotments would interfere with access to Dunnikier House Hotel and golf course.  She also says that allotments would spoil the view from the hotel.  Mrs Watters, however, is keen to promote the development of allotments at Ravenscraig Walled Gardens.
The main problem with the Dunnikier development seems to be the lack of early consultation and the failure to keep the local community in the loop.  It would be sad if a potentially worthwhile venture should suffer because of a failure to inform the very community whose members should be the main beneficiaries of its success.