Cairngorms National Park

Uath Lochans from Farleitter Crag, Kingussie

Room to grow your own

18th January 2011

Ever fancied a bit of the ‘Good Life’ but never had the space or the know how to grow your own food? Well, help could be at hand thanks to a partnership between the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA), The Highland Council and Voluntary Action Badenoch and Strathspey.

The Cairngorms Food for Life project was launched in September 2010 and aims to promote an increase in food production and processing across the Park and increased consumption of Cairngorms produced food and drink. This will reduce food miles, boost the tourism and retail sectors and encourage people to consider a healthier diet. As part of the Cairngorms Food for Life project, the CNPA wants to help people grow their own and is keen to assess the demand for allotments or community growing spaces.

The Highland Council has already identified sites in Badenoch and Strathspey that could be used as allotments and officers have also been looking into using other community spaces for the proposed initiative such as hospitals or care home gardens. If you would like to register your interest in community growing space/ allotments please contact Keith Walker at [email protected] or call him on 01463 702247.

Furthermore, the CNPA’s Land Based Business Training Programme is also investigating training opportunities for communities to allow them to embark on Grow Your Own projects on a community-wide basis.

CNPA board member and local councillor Jaci Douglas explained: “We know there are people who are interested in growing their own food but until they maybe weren’t sure how to start and embark on such a project. The work that The Highland Council is doing on identifying suitable sites, coupled with the Cairngorms Food for Life project, I can see us making real progress in this area in 2011, allowing individuals and communities to produce their own fruit and veg in a sustainable and enjoyable way.”

Anyone wanting to find out more about allotments or community growing spaces is encouraged to come along to the next Highland Council Ward Forum meeting, where Community Growing Spaces will be the highlight of the agenda. The meeting will take place on Wednesday 2 February 2011 from 7-9pm, at Dulnain Bridge Community Hall. For more information visit the Highland Council website or contact  [email protected] or tel 07901 560523.

For more information on allotments and growing your own please visit the Scottish Allotment and Garden Society website.