Community allotments to be set up in Dunvant
WE may be living in a world dependent on technology, but Swansea communities are starting to return to the simpler things in life.
Local growing schemes are starting to sprout up. First there was Vetch Veg and now Dunvant is coming over all green-fingered.
Swansea Council has set up the Grow Local scheme encouraging communities to find patches of land which could be turned over to allotments or beds.
A sum of £50,000 was set aside for the project in the council's budget and all councillors have been asked to suggest places — and members of the public can too.
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Dunvant councillor Jen Raynor said: "To encourage us all to eat healthier and take more exercise, Swansea Council has started its Grow Local scheme.
"A small south facing area of Dunvant Park has been identified as just right for food growing. The site will be securely fenced and provide approximately 20 small plots.
"Fresh out of the ground vegetables taste very different to supermarket varieties which have been developed for storage and appearance rather than flavour.
"I hope this will attract more people to the park, which I think is really underused at the moment. You only really see dog walkers in there.
Mrs Raynor said work on the outer fencing would hopefully start next week.
It is also hoped the whole community gets together to support the project in Dunvant much like at the Vetch which involves schools as well as organisations and members of the public.
Fellow ward member John Newbury added: "I have been looking for a site for allotments in Dunvant for many years. I support the idea of using part of the Park for food growing."
Mrs Raynor said there had already been a lot of interest from members of the public and that police community support officers would be patrolling the park including the new food growing area.
The officers have also offered to go along and help with the work in setting up the plots.
Mrs Raynor added: "As the Grow Local scheme develops throughout Swansea there will be opportunities for sharing how to cook ideas, and swap and sell schemes for fruit and vegetables."
Swansea Council cabinet member for sustainability Sybil Crouch has thrown her support behind the scheme, which she has been helping to develop.
She said: "This is a very welcome initiative. We are very keen to encourage communities across the city and county to get involved in local schemes to grow food to contribute towards a healthy lifestyle and a good time.
"The Vetch Veg project in Sandfields has demonstrated this very successfully, although these are different schemes. Vetch Veg is raised beds.
"I hope the community gets involved, but each project is different."