Fans of the TV face of ‘real food’, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, will remember his recent promotion of the Landshare concept, in which people are encouraged to sign up if they have the time and energy to grow food but nowhere to do it, or if they have land for growing but need some willing helpers to make it happen.
What you may not know is that the Landshare project is now based in Glasgow, and I recently had the chance to meet them and talk about how the public sector could get involved.

In Glasgow very few people have gardens, and most back courts are not designed to let people grow food. There are huge waiting lists for allotments, and while the number of community gardens is increasing there are still many people who’d love to get involved but don’t have the chance.

But many public sector organisations, from local councils to health boards, could make land available if they wanted to. It’s something which “ticks lots of policy boxes” too. It’s not just about the environmental benefits of local food production but help give people access to a fresh and healthy diet, it’s great exercise, brings communities together, and saves money from the household shopping bill too.

As we face the threat of cuts in public spending imposed by the UK Government, increasing the productive use of public land could be a terrific, cheap and beneficial way of improving quality of life throughout Scotland. I’ll be working with allotment growers, community gardeners, and my chums at Landshare to try and get local and national government support behind the movement to get Scotland growing.