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Land identified to meet growing demand for Dingwall allotments' scheme as health and wellbeing benefits flagged


By Hector MacKenzie

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DCDC's Jim Holden and community councillor Jack Shepherd check out allotments in the Highland capital. Picture: Callum Mackay
DCDC's Jim Holden and community councillor Jack Shepherd check out allotments in the Highland capital. Picture: Callum Mackay

A DINGWALL community group is laying the groundwork for an allotments scheme to meet growing demand and provide a boost to the health and wellbeing of local folk.

Dingwall Community Development Company (DCDC) has hooked up with Dingwall Community Council and Highland Council's community food growing coordinator to plot progress with a patch of land already identified.

DCDC's Jim holden said: "We all think that providing allotments in Dingwall would be a great idea, enabling anyone living in the town to grow their own vegetables, fruit and flowers, to learn from other allotment holders and enjoy the benefits of being physically active in the open air.

"DCDC is leading on this project and is very keen to hear from anyone living in Dingwall who wants to have an allotment. We have identified a piece of land which we think will be suitable for allotments and the landowner is willing to lease the land for that purpose."

The project emerged from demand with around 10 people already interested.

'There has been an increased awareness over recent years of the benefits of growing your own food; improved health and wellbeing, access to quality produce and improved food security, as well as enhanced natural environment.' - Kirsty Ellen

DCDC's proposal is to create an area to accommodate 20 full-size plots with room to double that number if demand increases. Standard allotment sites typically have a toilet and tool shed and sometimes a meeting shed for tea and coffee.Polytunnels sometimes follow.

Kirsty Ellen, community food growing co-ordinator at Highland Council, said the local authority seeks to improve access to information for growers and to work with community groups to support their aspirations.

She said: "There has been an increased awareness over recent years of the benefits of growing your own food; improved health and wellbeing, access to quality produce and improved food security, as well as enhanced natural environment. Interest for allotments is continuing to grow in Ross-shire and Highland more generally we are delighted to be working with Dingwall Community Development Company to fulfil the demand for Dingwall.”

Anyone interested in being part of the new project can email to dingwallallotmentsassociation@gmail.com.

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