Archive for July, 2012

Allotments to open soon at Forgewood

Monday, July 9th, 2012
The Greenlink Project is based around a cycle path linking Strathclyde Park and Motherwell Town Centre.  In 2009 Greenlink received funding to start to develop allotments on a site in Forgewood next to the cycle path.  This site is now nearly complete and will be opened shortly.The site has 39 plots for individual plot holders and also a number of plots reserved for community groups and school groups.  There is also a play area for children and a wildlife garden attached to the site.

The 39 plots are currently all taken.  However the allotment association is opening a waiting list and anyone who is interested can look at the Greenlink Allotment Project web site to see how to join the waiting list.

Community Empowerment and Renewal Bill consultation period launched

Wednesday, July 4th, 2012

The aim of the proposed CERB is ‘to support communities to achieve their own goals and aspirations through taking independent action and by having their voices heard in the decisions that affect their area’. The Scottish Government says that ‘….it wants to make it easier for communities to use buildings, land or resources that are not being used.  It wants to help people to get involved in decisions about the services in their community’.  The consultation must be completed by August 29 2012′.
There are many important questions here, and a major consultation has been launched to try to determine the opinions of the people of Scotland. There are several documents available on the web:

The question of the use of land in urban areas is obviously one dear to the hearts of all allotment plot holders, and in fact for the first time in 60 years there is a specific question about allotments in the consultation documents for a bill (see page 10 of the easy read summary or sections 77 – 80 of the full consultation).

The SAGS committee would like to encourage all plot holders to make their opinions heard on all  aspects that interest them, but particularly on the topic of allotments.  We feel that if the response shows evidence of the public interest and demand for allotments then, again for the first time, it is just possible that the Scottish Government will draft in provisions to facilitate the use of land for allotments.  What is certain is that if no interest is shown then they won’t bother to do this.

How your shop bought fruit and veg is grown, stored and supplied

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

The International Society for Horticultural Science has recently published an overview,Harvesting the Sun, of the state of the horticultural industry world wide.  It makes many fascinating claims.  For example according to their figures a large proportion of the ‘carbon footprint’ of what we buy is attributable to our car journeys to the supermarket.  So in fact to import produce by sea from far flung countries can be less damaging than to truck the same produce by road from a European supplier.   There is wide range of information about the choices supermarkets make on behalf of their customers, and the technology used to provide these customers with a uniform, attractive produce buying experience.

The report is expressed in simple language, and does not give much in the way of references, or original sources for their conclusions but it certainly provides food for thought.  It can be downloaded from the ISHS website

Grow-Your-Own-Orchard funding announced

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

This announcement might be of particular interest to allotment associations with some spare un-allocated land on their site which might be planted with fruit trees and so turned into a community orchard involving all plot holdiers:
Following on from our last two year’s success, Forth Environment Link has announced the launch of a third round of funding of its Central Scotland Green Network Orchard Grant Scheme 2012 / 2013.

The scheme, supported by the Central Scotland Green Network Development Fund 2012, aims to encourage anyone with an interest in orchards – including communities, schools, public agencies and landowners – to plant and manage orchards, use them for learning or celebrations, or use the fruit more productively.

We are looking forward to receiving applications that create and look after orchards, and bring people together to have fun in events to use and celebrate orchards.

The Central Scotland Green Network Orchard Grant Scheme 2012 / 2013 is open to all groups and individuals in the Central Scotland Green Network area, as long as they can demonstrate wider community involvement in the design, creation and management of the project, and can provide evidence of landowner approval.

Grants of between £100 and £500 are available for designing and creating new orchards, managing traditional or other existing orchards, enhancing orchard biodiversity, and developing orchards as a learning ground.

Applications should be completed online via the Forth Valley Orchards’ Initiative website at, where the full application pack is available. The deadline for the receipt of applications is midnight on Monday, 10 September 2012.