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Your Right to Grow: Debated in the House of Lords

By Incredible Edible

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Public land belongs to the people, but all too often communities have to fight red tape, complex paperwork and compete with developers to secure access to these vital and often unloved growing spaces. 

you put a garden in, and something magical happens

Incredible Edible CIC, with sponsorship from Baroness Boycott, Baroness Scott Of Needham Market, Baroness Young Of Old Scone & The Earl Of Caithness, secured an amendment proposal in the Levelling Up Bill which would revolutionise community access to land, and help our growing spaces flourish. After much anticipation, the amendment was debated in the House of Lords today. Baroness Rosie Boycott spoke of her positive experiences of community gardens in London and emphasised that community gardens offer huge benefits saying you put a garden in, and something magical happens”.

Baroness Young spoke of the immense importance of a bill to change the way things are done. She lamented a project she had been involved in which had spent 3 years trying to secure a community garden site on public land to support a deprived urban area but which was so hampered by legal challenges that it caused the project to collapse; “For me [this bill] is about allowing communities to express self agency”.

The Earl of Caithness spoke of gardening with his grandson and the importance of children having the opportunity to grow food “He has now taken charge of his vegetables in the garden and his willingness to eat green vegetables has gone up. They are his vegetables and they go on his plate.

The amendment received vocal support during the debate so there’s reason for optimism that the Right to Grow could be kept in the bill through the report stage. The Levelling Up Bill still has to pass through more debates in the Commons, so this is not the end of the story, but the start of an exciting process to put more trust in the hands of the people to change our world through the power of small actions. 

To find out more and take action by contacting your MP about the Right to Grow check out the ‘Right to Grow’ tab on the Incredible Edible website. You can also watch the debate here: https://rb.gy/54vku

 

*EDIT: The Right to Grow amendment did not make it into the final Levelling Up Bill. This was due to the unusually huge number of amendments on a very broad range of subjects in the bill, and prioritisation of other issues.