The inspiring work of Scotland’s community gardens and how they help with improving healthier eating, wellbeing and education was given a boost when Angela Constance MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security and Equalities visited Polbeth and West Calder Community Garden.
This award-winning community garden provides opportunities for local people, schools and community groups to grow fruit and vegetables and take part in a range of outdoor leisure activities. The event was organised by the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens (FCFCG) which supports, promotes and represents community growing projects in Scotland.
It is hoped the visit will help showcase the great work being done by community growing groups right across Scotland, but also spark interest in the role community gardening can play as part of the Good Food Nation Bill which will formally be consulted on in late 2017.
Lisa Drinnan, of Polbeth and West Calder Community Garden, said: “Angela Constance is very supportive of local voluntary organisations and has supported Polbeth and West Calder Community Garden from the start. She has also helped with advice and guidance when the garden has approached her and we appreciate her visiting again.”
FCFCG Scotland Development Manager Roz Corbett said: “The garden is a fantastic example of how community gardening is thriving in Scotland and how valuable they are to local neighbourhoods. Not only do they often improve the environment, but research shows they can have a great impact on healthy eating, better well-being and education, helping children learn more about where their food comes from.
“FCFCG have over 120 members in Scotland and recent reports suggest that there could be double that number of community growing sites overall operating in Scotland. Our own research in 2016 showed that FCFCG members in Scotland cover 130 acres of land, employ over 200 people, give opportunities to approximately 4,000 volunteers, and host approximately 100,000 visitors a year. We hope the visit will give the MSPs a taste of the activities going on, but also help in consultations to develop the Good Food Nation Bill.”
Angela Constance has posted about the visit on her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/angela.constance.snp