New Ill Health Guidelines for Open Farms
A new Code of Practice on Preventing or Controlling Ill Health from Animal Contact at Visitor Attractions has been published with help from FCFCG. It replaces the Health & Safety Executive guidance AIS 23 and can be viewed at www.face-online.org.uk/CodeofPractice
Every year millions of people visit premises, including city farms, where members of the public, particularly children, can view and potentially touch animals. The purpose of this Code of Practice is to help ensure visitor health and safety by providing sensible, practical and proportionate guidance on preventing or controlling ill health at visitor attractions.
This Code of Practice has been produced by the industry and is aimed at the owners, operators and managers of such visitor premises.
Scotland Community Growing Boost
Community growing in Scotland has been handed a boost by the Scottish Government, alongside a new three year commitment to FCFCG in Scotland to help its working in supporting the development of community growing projects.
Environment Minister Stewart Stevenson announced a £600,000 package of support to encourage the development of more community growing and support the growth of Scotland’s grow your own sector. £450,000 of the funding has been allocated to the Central Scotland Green Network Development Fund and will be distributed to community growing projects over three years. The remaining £177,500 has been allocated to organisations to support the growth of the community growing, including FCFCG.
The Federation's Scotland team will use the funding for the provision of training, advice and publications - benefitting over 120 community farms and gardens in Scotland, and improving the knowledge and skills of 3,000 volunteers and more than 100,000 visitors.
Mr. Stevenson also launched a new website - www.growyourownscotland.info. Developed by the Federation of City Farms and Gardens, the site brings together all the organisations and grow your own resources that are available for people in Scotland.
Northern Ireland Workplace Allotments
A unique new workplace allotment project for civil service staff working at Northern Ireland’s Stormont estate has been launched, with the help of the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens.
The Allotment project is aimed at providing staff based at Stormont (the base for the Northern Ireland Assembly) with the opportunity to participate in a healthy, outdoor, recreational activity during their own time. 25 individual plots and one community garden training plot have been created and will be used year round to grow fresh fruit and vegetables
The project was launched by Finance Minister Sammy Wilson. It is hoped the pilot project will be the catalyst for more sites across other public sector workplaces.
European City Farms Newsletter
The most recent edition of the European Federation of City Farms newsletter is available to download (in English) with news of the EFCF's AGM, plus examples of good practice and useful websites.
The mission of the European Federation of City Farms (EFCF) is to work with our members through city farming to actively build a future in which their community lives in harmony with nature; by enhancing their local city farm’s and communities natural environment through mainly biodiversity, air, water and soil, and ensuring that the use of renewable resources are sustainable and to minimise pollution and wasteful consumption.
The newsletter is available to download from the FCFCG website, which also has lots of information about European city farms and similar organisations, good practice guides and information for children.
Countryside Week Celebration
New research from The Prince’s Countryside Fund has revealed that British people love the countryside, yet are clueless about its scale and importance to the economy. The survey was conducted for the first ever National Countryside Week (July 11-18) which celebrated the British countryside and the people who take care of it.
City farms and Community gardens are often referred to as green oases that bring a taste of the countryside into urban areas. And their popularity is no surprise – the Countryside Fund survey found that 93 percent of British people value the countryside for relaxation, fresh air and peace and overwhelmingly agreed that it is important to protect the countryside.
Yet at the same time the general public underestimate the value of the countryside to the economy. More than three quarters of those surveyed incorrectly estimated it as less than £1bn – the true figure is more than £80bn. When questioned about what percentage of the UK’s total area is agricultural land, 60 percent thought it was less than half, when it actually makes up 75 percent.
Launched in July last year by HRH The Prince of Wales, The Prince’s Countryside Fund is a unique collaboration of brands and businesses committed to caring for the people who take care of the countryside. To date, the companies involved in The Prince’s Countryside Fund have contributed over £1million and already nearly £500,000 has been given in grants to 13 projects throughout the countryside including the development of 50 new school farms.
For more information on National Countryside Week and the Prince's countryside fund visit: www.princescountrysidefund.org.uk/
Scotland Celebration Success
Community gardening and farming went to Holyrood in March, when Ministers and Members of the Scottish Parliament took part in an well-received event to recreate the unique flavour of community growing groups springing up across Scotland.
Guests were able to compete in a produce competition with certificates for the best spring flowers, fruit and veg, jam and chutney, and cheese. They also enjoyed music from the Columcille Ceilidh Band which uniquely features musicians with and without learning disabilities. The aim of the event, organised by FCFCG, was to celebrate the work of the people involved in Scotland's community green spaces and give them the opportunity to showcase their work.
Hosted by Roseanna Cunningham MSP, Minister for Environment, and attended by eight MSPs as well as representatives from Scotland's community farming and gardening projects, the event also featured the publication of an updated map of Scotland's community gardens and farms. It the only one of its kind in Scotland and the number of groups featured on it demonstrates how far community gardening and farming has come since FCFCG first set up its Scotland office five years ago. The map also highlights the phenomenal amount of interest there is in these community-led activities in Scotland, especially in relation to growing food, due to concerns over issues such as food miles, climate change, improving well-being and healthy eating.
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