Devon communities get help growing their own
By Ed Mitchell 21st October 2010
The Community Council of Devon has assembled three ‘toolkits’ to help food groups across Devon with doing their thing.
You can find these handy sounding toolkits online, or read more information about some case studies on their site. Here’s their press release:
As of today, groups across Devon who want to grow their own food will be able to get help from three new toolkits, launched by the Community Council of Devon (CCD) . The 3 toolkits, developed with help from the Soil Association  as part of the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) project, cover Legal Tenure, Planning and Access issues and are intended to help communities when they set up new food growing projects
Funded by the Big Lottery Local Food programme, CCD’s ‘Home Grown – Community Owned’ (HogCO) project is already working with over 20 groups across rural Devon, helping them with their own food growing projects. The toolkits will help farmers, landowners and local councils feel confident that they are following the right procedures, asking the right questions and making the right decisions. The new tool kits are a great way of helping people overcome the barriers and give them access to good food with a community ‘flavour’.
Sophia Elek, CCD’s HogCO Project Officer said that the toolkits would be a great help for people involved in community food projects. She commented that: “community groups often don’t know where to start with technical issues like planning permission, negotiating for land tenancy agreements or making their project accessible to everyone in the community. These toolkits give lots of tips, templates and case studies for groups to learn from”.
Buckland Food Growers’ group used the toolkits to help them approach the National Trust about acquiring land for food growing. Member Lucy Morgan said: “They’ve highlighted things we had never thought about and gave us guidance to get through the legal and planning processes. I had no idea that I might need planning permission for a fence! The National Trust have now agreed to provide the local community with the land we need to grow our own food!”
The 3 Toolkits are available free from:
CCD’s HogCO website: www.hogco-devonrcc.org.uk
The Soil Association’s website: http://www.soilassociation.org/csa.aspx,
CD or hard copy: HogCO, CCD, School Huts, County Hall, Topsham Rd, Exeter, EX24 QB, or request one from firstname.lastname@example.org