Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Hands off our land

As part of the continuing Red Tape Challenge, it has been revealed by The Independent that Eric Pickles, the Communities Secretary, is considering ending the obligation upon councils to provide plots of land for allotments. 
This is Not Good! 

In February it was revealed that Saudi Arabia's oil reverves may have been overstated by up to 40% suggesting that Peak Oil may be even closer than we suspected.  Considering the embedded energy in our food as well as the need to reduce our environmental footprint and reduce our food miles, this decision by the government seems bizarre. 

The assumption that we will all have a garden to "grow our own" ignores all the urban flat dwellers and others who do not.

The potential of allotments as growing spaces, as social regreening and reskilling hubs in the urban wasteland, should not be underestimated.  They can help to empower people, enable us to reconnect with the land and to take personal responsibility for addressing some of the urgent issues of our time.  Even leaving all that aside, it is difficult to see how the government can justify its plans given the growing demand for allotment space; demands that, in some areas, have resulted in 10-year waiting lists of people keen to rent this land in order to grow their own fresh produce. 

The outrage over this policy is growing.  To join the campaign, you can visit LandShare.

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