Mayor welcomes 99,000 Londoners growing food in the city
Growing Success: The impact of Capital Growth on community food growing in London
Growing Success, a new report out today reveals the huge and positive impact of the Capital Growth programme over the last four years. The programme, funded by the Mayor of London and the Big Lottery, and run by London Food Link has helped get around 99,000 people growing on 2,012 new community food gardens, with 82% in the more deprived parts of London.
Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, who wrote a foreword for the report, said:
‘Capital Growth has proven to be an astonishing success which has unlocked a primal love of gardening in city dwellers. The scheme has been especially successful not just in the leafy suburbs, but in the more deprived inner London areas where gardening has brought people into contact with neighbours often for the very first time. London is now an acknowledged world leader in urban agriculture with Capital Growth showing that bringing people together to make a physical investment in the soil, reaps environmental, social, educational and even economic dividends.’
Rosie Boycott, Chair of London Food, said: ‘Capital Growth is a proven recipe for success, unleashing Londoners’ rediscovered love of grow your own, binding communities together in a way we scarcely hoped possible. We hope that our experiences and lessons learned will help other urban areas do likewise.’
The report, which is being launched at the Edible Urban event in London’s City Hall, also calls for food growing spaces to be provided in all public spaces, all new residential development and in all schools.
Sarah Williams of Capital Growth, explains, ‘This programme has shown that not only do people have an appetite for food growing, but there are also huge benefits such as improving how a community looks, and feels about itself. We want to see Government and landowners give support, as a matter of routine, to more food growing areas in new developments, and also weave them into existing communities.”
The report captures a flavour of the thousands of stories where gardens have helped individuals and their local communities. Some 71% of people have made a new friend with someone in their neighbourhood as a result of getting involved. Also, 38% of those involved felt safer in their neighbourhood because of the food growing project.