Grow your own way: National Lottery funded groups utilising green spaces

If you haven’t tried growing anything before it can be daunting, but utilising community spaces allows you to meet others and share ideas and experiences”

Rhona Kiernan, Project Support Officer, Forth Environment Link.

Not only do community growing spaces tackle climate change, but they also have a huge impact on the quality of life of local residents.

To reduce their carbon footprint, many groups have decided to take matters into their own hands. Creating more green spaces and educating their communities on climate issues.

In this blog we find out how two National Lottery funded community projects are creating more green space in their community. Helping people to grow their own food whilst learning and developing new skills.

The Revive Wood Skills project offers local young people practical skills such as tool training and designing and making items.

The Revive Skills project, run by Forth Environment Link, works with local young people to build and install items such as raised beds in community gardens.

The charity based in the Forth Valley received £9,999 in National Lottery funding to also run sessions on planting and growing. With the aim that the people involved learn important skills like harvesting and composting. As well as recipe ideas for the fruit and veg produced in the garden.

Rhona Kiernan, Project Support Officer at Forth Environment Link explains how their project aims to deal with some of the biggest challenges around growing your own food. She says “Many people don’t have access to a suitable outdoor growing space in their home, but using community gardens and spaces is a great way of getting around this.”

Last year, Forth Environment Link started their Veg Your Ledge programme. This supported 262 families to start growing their own food at home.

These families had little to no access to a garden or green space, but starting in something as small as a window box planter, they were able to learn the basics of growing and to produce some of their own vegetables.”

The project not only supports people to grow their own food but is a way for people to connect with others and with nature. At a community scale, they are building a more resilient local food system.

Close up of the power tools Forth Environment Link are using to build the raised beds and benches for the local green spaces and community gardens.
Forth Environment Link are helping local young people building raised beds and benches for the local green spaces and community gardens.

Castletown Youth Club: The Greenhouse Project

The Caithness based group received £6,612 of National Lottery funding to build a greenhouse and start a growing project in their community. They aim to encourage young people to enjoy outdoor activity and healthier lifestyles.

Stephanie Remers, Project Officer, hopes that by being able to educate the children through practical skills such as growing fruit and vegetables will give future generations a better understanding of climate change and food waste.

“With the Highlands, the main problem is the weather, it is challenging to grow a lot of things in the open space. That’s why there is a real need for the greenhouse…the challenge is that people are not sure how to grow or they think it is a complicated process.”

The group run will run cooking workshops using the fruit and vegetables they have grown. To teach the children how to cook what they grow and how to cook with leftovers. In turn, this will educate them on where their food comes from and where it goes when we throw it away and the effects this has on our environment.

Bringing the community together through the youth club and doing intergenerational work to educate and show all the benefits it has [to grow our own food], is something we are very much looking forward to.”

Available funding

The National Lottery Community Fund is proud to support communities tackling climate change across the UK.

Our Together For Our Planet programme is open to groups that want to take local action in areas such as waste, transport, food and the natural environment.  

For more details on how to apply head over to: 

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