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Glasgow Community Food Network calls for better access to land during COP27

Glasgow Community Food Network launch a campaign pack to help local people and organisations to access underused land in Glasgow.

Local food growing. Credit: Emily Chappell | Glasgow Community Food Network

Local food growing. Credit: Emily Chappell | Glasgow Community Food Network

Glasgow Community Food Network was established in 2017 to develop a flourishing food system in Glasgow. They want to see a city where high quality, fresh, local, organic produce is available and affordable for all and where good food is a celebrated part of our culture.

Their Food and Climate Action project have launched the results of their Demand for Land campaign: a resouce pack which helps local people and organisations to access underused land in Glasgow. Rounding off a year of activity highlighting the need for more accessible land for growing in Glasgow, their pack includes:

  • Route maps for Glasgow organisations and individuals to understand the processes for acquiring land for growing;
  • Inspirational media for highlighting the potentials of underused land;
  • Results from their Demand for Land Survey;
  • Testimonials from real people on the importance of access to land; and
  • A toolkit for market gardening.

During COP26, members of the Food and Climate Action project ran an array of different events which looked at land ownership issues in the context of food growing and the climate emergency. The learning from these events fed into their #DemandForLand campaign which took place throughout the Summer of 2022 and resulted in a number of publicly accessible resources for understanding the lay of Glasgow’s land and how to use it.

The purpose of the campaign was to inspire the people of Glasgow to think about the city’s land differently. It helped them to see the possibilities that it has for food production, as well as to look at the barriers to accessing land, and where changes could help lessen those obstacles. The resulting pack is free for all to access and has been built upon, and in response to, feedback from numerous participants who were engaged in conversations, competitions and events throughout the campaign. Glasgow Community Food Network hopes that by making the processes for acquiring and working land in Glasgow clearer, and by sharing positive stories of communities coming together over food, more people will become involved in growing.

The survey returned a huge amount of insight, generating ideas for projects and specific calls for actions from Glasgow City Council. Some participants said:

“It would be amazing if there was a project that would help communities use their backyards.”

“Growing spaces support human connection, developing resilient communities - we need more communal spaces to help us face challenges ahead!” 

The campaign pack was released in good time, anchoring itself in COP27, which is set this year to have a greater focus on food and agriculture. It demonstrates an incredible year of effort, continued discussion, and engagement with the climate crisis following on from COP26. To celebrate, and to keep the conversation going, the Food and Climate Action project has also commissioned a mural for Kinning Park Complex, a community owned space in Glasgow’s Southside. 

Local artist, Barry Neeson, is heading up the mural. He will lead participatory art workshops across the whole of Glasgow, with each area helping to create a section of a larger piece, reflecting people's views on growing and land in Glasgow. The mural will be the final addition to their temporary exhibition at Kinning Park Complex which also includes two community banners made during COP26, the Demand For Land Illustrations by Emily Chappell, and posters from the ‘Sow a Seed, Grow a World’ booklet. The mural will be unveiled later in the month.

Keep up to date with their progress and explore the Demand for Land campaign pack by following Glasgow Community Food Network on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and checking our website.

View the campaign pack here.

Published Tuesday 22 November 2022

Food for the Planet: Food for the Planet is helping local authorities, businesses and organisations take simple actions to tackle the climate and nature emergency through food.

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