Allotments guidance for local authorities: consultation

Consultation on draft statutory guidance for local authorities relating to certain sections of Part 9 of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 - Allotments.

15. Delivery partners and advisory bodies

15.1 The success of any food-growing strategy will depend on inclusive partnership working with key stakeholders and advisory bodies providing advice and guidance to local authorities. We include the following examples of delivery partners and umbrella organisations who should be considered, but this list is by no means exhaustive:

Advisory bodies

Tripartite Group [70]

15.2 In 2016, a Tripartite Group was established by Scottish Ministers to develop constructive dialogue with key allotment stakeholders and to monitor the implementation of Part 9.

15.3 The group consists of:

1. Local authority representatives (primarily allotment officers);
2. Scottish Allotments and Gardens Society ( SAGS) members;
3. Scottish Government officials.

15.4 The Group meets quarterly and is accountable to the Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform.

Grow Your Own Working Group [71]

15.5 The Scottish Government established and continues to support the Grow Your Own Working Group. The terms of reference for the group were to take forward the aspects of the National Food and Drink Policy 'Recipe for Success' relating to growing your own food. This included:

  • Ensuring that allotments and GYO projects are strategically supported, and their objectives are, too;
  • Providing practical advice and best practice guidance that would appeal to public bodies, communities and individuals to help them develop local GYO initiatives.

15.6 The group was set up in December 2009 and produced a Recommendations Report [72] in February 2011. The report detailed 27 recommendations under 6 themes – planning, legal, skills, community land, guidance and funding.

15.7 In September 2016, the Grow Your Own Working Group delivered a national food growing strategy event [73] aimed at local authorities and the third sector to explore the details of Section 119 of the Act. Elements of that event, for example discussions around identifying land, increasing provision and working in areas of socio-economic disadvantage have helped to shape this statutory guidance to local authorities.

15.8 Members of the Grow Your Own Working Group include Social Farms and Gardens, Scottish Allotments and Gardens Society, greenspace scotland, Central Scotland Green Network Trust, Nourish Scotland, and more.

Delivery partners

Social Farms & Gardens [74]

15.9 Social Farms & Gardens, created through the merger of the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens and Care Farming UK, is a registered charity working across the UK to support, represent and promote community-managed farms, gardens, allotments and other green spaces, creating opportunities for local communities to grow.

15.10 In Scotland, Social Farms & Gardens has over 150 members. Membership is free to community managed organisations, and works to help empower local people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to build better communities, often in deprived areas, and to make a positive impact on their surrounding environment.

15.11 Social Farms & Gardens provides core services including the provision of training, advice and publications. Specialist services include the Community Land Advisory Service, Growing Together, and Care Farming. Their members cover a total of 130 acres of land, employ over 200 people, give opportunities to approximately 4,000 volunteers, and host approximately 100,000 visitors a year.

greenspace scotland [75]

15.12 greenspace scotland is a social enterprise and an independent charitable company. They work with a wide range of national and local partners to improve the quality of life of people living and working in urban Scotland through the planning, development and sustainable management of greenspaces as a key part of the green infrastructure of our towns and cities. Their goal is that everyone living and working in urban Scotland has easy access to quality greenspaces that meet local needs and improve their quality of life.

15.13 greenspace scotland developed the Our Growing Community toolkit to help Scottish communities explore new places and more ways to grow their own food and has since supported Twechar Community Action (East Dunbartonshire) to develop a growing map and action plan for Twechar – Edible Twechar. More information is available at:

15.14 greenspace scotland has worked with Aberdeen City, Clackmannanshire, Dundee, Falkirk, Glasgow and East Dunbartonshire Council to support the development of their Local Food Growing Strategies. A suite of learning notes based on this work are available from the greenspace scotland website.

Scottish Allotments & Gardens Society [76]

15.15 The Scottish Allotments and Gardens Society works for allotment sites and allotment holders throughout Scotland to:

Protect sites by:

  • Networking among allotment associations;
  • Campaigning nationally and locally;
  • Raising awareness of the planning process and new legislation.

Preserve skills in gardening and design through:

  • Recording the ongoing history of allotments;
  • Coordinating the conservation of seeds and plants.

Promote the value of allotments for:

  • Healthy activity and good food;
  • Celebrating our open air communities;
  • Saving the ecosystem and enhancing biodiversity.

The Scottish Allotments & Gardens Society also produced Scotland's Allotment Site Design Guide in 2013. [77]

Trellis [78]

15.16 Trellis is a national organisation for therapeutic gardening and supports over 376 projects that help people to transform their lives through growing activities and green spaces.

15.17 Their garden projects work to tackle health inequalities, poor diet and many health conditions including depression and stroke. Over 90% of these projects dedicate part, or all, of their growing space to food.

15.18 Trellis provides information services, training, advice, good practice exchange, a collective voice and hands-on support in the field to help garden projects succeed, maximising health benefits for more than 9,000 people every week.


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