News / News Archive

May 23, 2012

Final Access to Land Roadshow in West Somerset


Somerset Community Food came to West Somerset on Monday evening for the final date of their Access to Land Roadshow.


People from across West Somerset came together on Monday evening at Alcombe Methodist Church to learn more about how to access land to grow food on in the District. The evening was organized by Somerset Community Food as part of their Land and Food Project.

Presenting the results of a detailed survey of allotment provision and demand for land in the district, Linda Hull, co-ordinator of the project, said: “West Somerset is in a unique situation compared to the rest of Somerset, with a small number of allotment plots still available on different sites."

"However there are still more than 60 people in total waiting for a site in different areas. From our experience, latent demand suggests this figure could be doubled.”

Speaking during the evening was Jeff Cox from Porlock Community Orchard, who gave an inspiring talk about his village orchard and the benefits it has brought to the community. Hester Watson also spoke about the recent Carhampton Allotment site and their journey to accessing land. Nicky Gibbard, a local farmer described her lessons from obtaining land and the desire to be closer to the community.

Attendees also heard from Maureen Smith of Transition Minehead & Alcombe who described their recent activities and current applications for funding which could transform lives and increase sustainability in West Somerset.

“It’s clear that people who really want to grow food can find ways to access land. What we need now is landowners to come forward particularly in the areas where the waiting lists are longest,” said Linda Hull. “There’s a reasonable income to be derived from leasing land for community growing, certainly better than grass keep. Both public and private landowners can benefit – public landowners can turn maintenance costs into revenue streams and local farmers can make use of marginal land and even develop captive, loyal, local markets for other crops. Not to mention the fantastic community spirit that is generated!”

If you own land in West Somerset and would like a no-obligation site visit to assess suitability for community food production, please contact Linda Hull on 01749 678770, email linda.hull@somersetcommunityfood.org.uk