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Though my work in terms of Orchards, and in developing the Children’s Garden, I have supported a number of community groups seeking ground to grow food, fruit and for developing Community Greenspace. 

I have inputted into many fora – including the Grow Your Own Working Group, I carried out a census of community growing projects in 2011, and have input into various studies such as the Sow and Grow Everywhere report. I have also had discussions with various businesses and landowners. While some of these discussions have led to positive outcomes – the observation is that landowners – public and private – have goodwill towards community growing projects. However it is not a high priority for them – and frequently it is slow and agreements made are tilted in favour of the landowners.  It is on the basis of these various discussions that we believe some action to give local communities a stronger right of access to land is necessary.

There are positive examples where landowners have made land available, and we believe that some strategic leadership at Government level especially to public agencies and local authorities could lead to a cultural change which would make far more land available.

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