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A new guide for Scotland’s community gardeners and ‘allotmenteers’ offering information about growing food on land that may be contaminated, has been launched by the Grow Your Own Working Group. 

'A Guide For Growing On Land Which May Be Contaminated' has been written in response to an increasing demand from community groups.

This resource focuses on what to do about sites which could be contaminated through past use and is aimed at community gardens, allotments and other growing spaces. It details the steps needed to determine if land is suitable to grow food, illustrates methods to mitigate contamination, provides case studies of techniques that groups have used to overcome the issue and signposts to specialist agencies.

The information in the guide will also be useful starting point for landowners, local authority officers and people supporting groups that want to grow on potentially contaminated land.

This guide was produced in partnership by the Central Scotland Green Network Trust, the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens, Scottish Allotment and Gardens Society and Scottish Natural Heritage.

Alison Swanson of Scottish Allotments and Gardens Society said that as the grow your own movement has developed people were looking at all types of sites with a view to growing food: “This guide is the ideal resource to refer to when we get enquiries from people who know very little about soil contamination or are uncertain of where to start when looking at a new site. The guide will help to demystify the area before seeking professional advice.”

Catriona Scriven from Scottish Natural Heritage added: “This guide will be an asset to communities wanting to look at the opportunities to grow food on unused land in their area. Encouraging people to grow food is beneficial to peoples' health and well- being, supports community cohesion and improves local environments.”

A pdf copy of the guide can be downloaded from the Grow Your Own Working Group website.

Printed copies are also available by contacting the FCFCG via: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or tel: 0131 623 7058.