Website helps community groups to find gardening sites

Public and private landowners in England and Scotland can use a new website to help find community gardening and food-growing initiatives that could make use of underused plots of land.

The Community Land Advisory Service (CLAS) website (www.communitylandadvice.org.uk), developed by the Federation of City Farms & Community Gardens (FCFCG), will launch by the end of March to serve as an intermediary for community groups and landowners.

The site was created thanks to Government-backed research into finding solutions for the lack of available land for community food-growing and gardening.

Site users can access guidance on negotiating terms for land use and download examples of lease and licence templates that can be modified to suit specific needs.

Staff in Scotland and England can offer advice while talks are underway to expand the service into Northern Ireland and Wales.

FCFCG chief executive Jeremy Iles said: "If corporate or statutory institutions such as local authorities, hospitals or universities have spare bits of land, we want to see them make it available far more readily than has been the case in the past.

"We are harnessing the energy and goodwill that is out there and coordinating it to make it simpler for everyone. If we can make access to land less difficult, I think more people will take it up."


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