A new food growing space in Drumchapel that was originally nurtured as a way to tackle mental health issues and anti-social behaviour in the area has now been formally handed over to the community.

The seed for the Growchapel Community Allotment Garden was first planted in 2019 by local police officers and council neighbourhood staff, including Councillor Paul Carey and Baillie Malcolm Balfour, who wanted to create diversionary activities to help channel people's energy into productive tasks.

The project grew quickly, drawing in further support from a wide range of community groups, local schools and third sector organisations that focus on health and well-being.

Glasgow Times:

A Growchapel mural from Drummore Primary

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A piece of derelict land between Halgreen Avenue and Abbotshall Avenue has now been transformed after work to build paths, a drainage system, a polytunnel and other features were all completed earlier this year.

As previously reported, the site was hit with delays when the coronavirus pandemic began.

The thirty-five growing plots have been now been officially allocated to future growers who will now have the opportunity to begin preparing their soil so it is ready for seeding and planting in the early part of next year.

Councillor Anna Richardson, city convener for sustainability and carbon reduction, said: "Our food growing strategy is a hugely important part of our ambition for Glasgow to become one of the most sustainable cities in Europe. Locally grown food can help to ensure more cheap, fresh and nutritious produce is consumed in Glasgow, which assists our efforts to reduce the city’s carbon footprint.

“But food growing can also provide many other benefits to individuals and the communities they live in. Food growing helps to improve physical and mental health and that’s a major aim of the Growchapel project. People get to spend time outdoors while tending to their plot and nurturing their crops alongside fellow growers, which can create a real sense of satisfaction and well-being.

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“The site for the Growchapel Community Allotment Garden was also previously under used and attracted anti-social behaviour, but now there is a positive focus on using the land constructively. The buy-in to the project from the local community and the many groups who been involved in its development has been tremendous. I am very hopeful that the work undertaken with Growchapel can form a template for other community gardens across the city.”

Cllr Carey said it was "truly amazing" to witness residents using the space and was excited for the future of the project.

Plans are already in place to extend the allotments with additional growing plots, an outdoor learning area, an orchard, wildflower meadow and foraging hedgerows are also planned.

A series of workshops to help develop the skills of new growers is also being scheduled.