Roots ‘n’ Shoots is Growing

With the assistance of development funding from BIG Lottery, we are currently working with Hillhead Housing Association 2000 to develop their Community Growing Project and to prepare a Stage 2 Community Spaces application. The project will involve slightly differing community growing facilities on two different sites.Hillhead Consultation

We are lucky enough to be working with a very enthusiastic steering group and in July they came with us on a bus tour to similar established project in Dumbarton, Clydebank and the west end of Glasgow, taking in lunch along the way. The feedback from the visits to these projects helped to inform the design principles of the initial sketch layouts prepared by CLS, namely to include raised beds, keep bed sizes small and manageable, allow for wheelchair access, include specialist high production fruit trees on one of the sites, lockable site at night important, have provision for wildlife including bug hotels and have provision for social activities including barbecue area/pizza oven! The hen coop on the Centre 81 site in Clydebank was very popular with the steering group but it was agreed that it might not be appropriate for their project at this stage!

CLS prepared three sketch layouts and the steering group agreed on two of them to be taken forward for wider community consultation. This event took place in September on a particularly windy day when plans to hold it in a gazebo were thwarted after several attempts to erect same in a near gale! Instead the display boards were mounted on nearby railings, the volunteer face painters wrapped up in fleeces and East Dunbartonshire Food Co-op weighted down their veg boxes!

The turn out to the community consultation was positive and supportive and as a result CLS were able to identify the preferred site layout for each site. The Meiklehill Road site will incorporate polytunnel, soft fruit cage, raised beds, kiddies area, social area, storage and meeting huts and a wildlife garden all in separate ‘rooms’ divided by trellises supporting nectar rich planting but linked with a winding, paved path. The much smaller Friar’s Croft site is to be dedicated to fruit growing, working with high production dwarf varieties and will also have a small storage/shelter shed and picnic table.

Planning applications for the sites have now been submitted and we are now beginning the critical task of detailed costings for the proposals.

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