FEDAGA has been encouraging moves to convert unused publicly held land into growing spaces. Ideally, we would like to see the greater provision of traditional allotments on a permanent basis. However, it must be recognised that a lot of land that could be used is retained for future development. The large area at the back of the Royal Edinburgh Hospital abutting Myreside Road is one such area.
This is now to be developed into community gardens by NHS Lothian, who own the land, and the charity Cyrenians.
Eventually at the site there should be about 30 community gardens, each one having community plots and individual "growing plots", maybe a third or a quarter the normal size of an allotment plot. The tenancy agreements will be on a rolling 12 month basis. Individuals and groups can apply. The contact point is
The City of Edinburgh Council have assured us that no one will be removed from the allotment waiting list if they get a growing plot. These smaller size plots may suit many people, will introduce beginners to the pleasure of growing your own, give invaluable experience, and foster a genuine community spirit.
For those outside Edinburgh get in touch with your area NHS about starting similar schemes.