Ernesettle project is good to grow!

 by wayne perryNeighbours living around open space on Rochford Crescent will be growing their own, on land they now own, thanks to the Four Greens Community Trust and Plymouth City Council.

Residents approached the trust to see if they could help with a community food growing and allotment project. Not only did the trust help them set up the project, they worked with the Council to arrange for the land to be transferred to the community.

The site will now host a number of 16 individual allotments and a communal growing area.

Councillor David Downie, who is Cabinet Member for Safer and Stronger Communities and is a member of the trust board said: “This is what the trust is all about, helping the community to help themselves and to connect with each other.

“Getting this land transferred to the community is a great achievement, a cracking start to a great project and one which will see different generations growing together and side by side.”

As well as local residents, the Plymouth 31st Scouts, Ernesettle Care Centre and Barefoot youth project will be looking after plots.

The communal area is for people who want to grow and share food, and cook together. The aim is to encourage more people to get involved in growing their own fresh veg and fruit, get physical exercise, and eat healthily.

The trust and residents held a birthday garden party at the weekend to mark the start of their new venture. Experts were on hand to help with activities and growing tips, and there was a free BBQ, cream teas and strawberries.

As well as financial support from the FGCT and the Council, including Section 106 funding, the group successfully applied for a £2,500 National Gardens Scheme’s Elspeth Thompson Bursary. They also put their project on the city’s Crowdfunder platform. Altogether they raised just over £16,000.

Local resident Alison Sargent said “Thank you, thank you for digging deep into your pockets to enable our community allotment fund to grow enough to seed the start of the project. The actual digging and turning over of soil can now start in earnest and we hope for a great harvest on all counts propagating more community spirit here in Ernesettle.”

Resident Marie Gillbard added: “My daughter has been talking about the project for about a year now. It’s great that it will soon be started thanks to the Council and Plutus’ match funding. The community can now start working together.”

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