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Road verges to become allotments say Shropshire Council

Shropshire Council has voted to turn road verges into allotments after a council allowed residents to grow their own food in response to the cost of living crisis.

The unanimous vote was included in the recent "right to grow” initiative that was unveiled last week. This will allow community groups to convert small plots of public land into mini-allotments. Areas of land as small as 13ft squared can now be used to grow fruits and vegetables.

This includes areas such as grass verges next to main roads. A council spokesman said, "It’s always good to use land and, at the moment, we have a perfect storm." Furthermore, it is understood that contaminated and unsuitable ground can also be used by residents for beekeeping or composting.

Labour Councillor Rosemary Dartnall of  Bayston Hill, Column, and Sutton promoted the scheme and said, “It’s a perfect grassroot movement. Their is a substantial amount of unused land in the country.” She further commented, “With the cost of living crisis and increasing food prices, this scheme has the potential to fulfil a need. The energy price crisis is also causing lots of people to make the choice between heat and eat."

“I’m not suggesting this initiative will solve all people’s problems, but it will help supplement what food they have [and] help communities to budget better. It won’t solve the crisis, but it’s a positive move in providing healthy, fresh food to [people].”

Ms Dartnall suggested the fledgeling scheme was about, “exploiting little pockets of land” that most authorities will have, but might not think are suitable for purpose. All manner of unused land can be used from road verges to small patches next to developments, to ground that was previously used but has fallen into disrepair. Even small plots on schools can be used. It’s always good to use land to the best of our ability and, at the moment, we have a perfect storm of lots of things,” she said.

It is believed that individuals and community groups will be able to apply for a plot of land through their local council.


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