Growing opportunities for all

The Broadford and Strath Community Company has, to date, been awarded three grants from the Climate Challenge fund.  The first two grants were awarded to the Green Grower’s Project and enabled us to turn, what was, forestry wasteland into our Community Allotments.  Our third grant, £58,900 including £12,875 from the European Regional Development Fund,  will allow us to develop the allotments further with more polytunnels and raised beds.  We plan to have a Woodland Cabin, a wood re-use area, and we have also engaged a part time Greener Broadford Project Officer Janet Ullman.

The Greener Project Officer, Janet will be running events, workshops and activities for the local community and for clubs, societies and schools. Many of them will be with project partners locally and from across Scotland. The main themes will be about how ‘You’ can reduce your Carbon footprint through a number of simple, innovative and creative ways. Practical ideas which help not just save the World but could also help keep a few extra pounds in your pocket, improve your health and stir your creative side. If you have a brilliant idea on reducing, reusing and recycling, or just want to get involved, contact Janet on the email below.

Our main focus is on:

  • community allotments scheme
  • community compost scheme
  • climate change and environmental awareness within our community
  • accessibility to all ages and groups within the community
  • access to growing projects for schools and playgroups

All of which help with the reduction in CO2 emissions.

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Surprisingly for a rural area access to growing space is a real issue.  Less than 10% of people within the Broadford and Strath community have a croft and much of the surrounding land is owned by estates, individuals or trusts.

The initial stimulus for the Green Growers project came from the purchase of the Community Woodland. Over the last five years we have recorded over 70 consultations with a mix of practical sessions, informal sessions in local shops, on site events, newsletters and formal public meetings. We identified a consistent need for the creation of growing opportunities, either through planting an orchard of fruit trees or allotments to allow individuals or groups grow their own fruit and vegetables.

The infrastructure of a new growing and composting facility has now been developed thanks to funding by the Climate Challenge Fund.  The first pioneer growers have achieved some excellent results stimulating others. Training has been undertaken and relationships built within the local commercial and public sectors and a number of premises are now participating in the compost scheme. We wish to increase our facility so that more members of the community can utilize the project.  There is also an obvious need for demonstration plots to show how easy it is to grow certain categories such as soft fruit, herbs and ornamentals.

There has been a clear demand for the facilities and training provided to date. Classroom days and practical workshops have been fully booked with waiting lists. Training and workshops have increased people’s confidence to get involved as well as stimulating growing at home.

We are actively working with and hoping to work with:

Hotels, hostels and restaurants

Local residents keen to grow their own – all ages

Broadford Primary School (Roll 94) and Elgol Primary (Roll 16)

Portree High School (Roll 554)

UHI/West Highland College – Crofting and countryside skills

Kyleakin Connections and other initiatives to improve physical/mental health

NHS Highland at many levels

In order to target potentially high producers of waste the composting project first engaged with commercial premises but is now expanding to include many other sectors within the wider community. The growing operation has a voracious appetite for compost.

We  have also just been successful in our recent funding bid to the Climate Challenge Fund.  We believe that our new project will build on the credibility of our Green Growers operation and engage a much wider proportion of our community who have not, so far, been enthused by growing but nevertheless are ready to take some new practical steps into greening.

The project will be managed by Broadford and Strath Community Company who are a constituted group of volunteers and local experts. The site will have its own working group, the Allotment Committee, within Broadford and Strath Community Company to manage and develop the project.  This spring the Broadford and Strath Community Company will start work on the construction of a new Campsite & Events Space Project. The profit from the site will be used to maintain and develop Broadford and Strath Community Company assets, which include the Allotment site. So the maintenance and ongoing work at the site will be sustained.

For more information please contact Nicholas Kelly or Janet Ullman:

nicholas@broadfordandstrath.org / 07572 655 433

janet@broadfordandstrath.org 

 

KEY FACTS

Time frame: 2014 – Present

Funding: £159,400.00

Location: Broadford Community Woodland

Benefits to the community: Reducing the carbon footprint of Broadford & Strath.  Providing a healthy and safe environment for  members from across the community to grow their own produce. 

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