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FARE Lochend - Where good news is standard

A blog post by Jim Jeffrey

To celebrate Jim Jeffrey becoming Chair of the Garden for Life Forum, which Keep Scotland Beautiful is a member of, we’re delighted to share this blog he wrote about FARE Lochend Community Allotment, one of our wonderful It’s Your Neighbourhood groups who won third prize in our NatureScot Pollinator Friendly Award in 2021.

#TeamKSB's Juliette, Jenna and Natalia recently paid a visit to FARE Lochend Community Allotment and created this wonderful video showcasing the amazing work the group do.

Don’t you just love it when you open up an email and feel a warm glow? That sensation happened to me a few days ago when Susan Wilson from the FARE Lochend Community Allotment contacted me with an update from Easterhouse containing a batch of fantastic photographs.

Back in April 2021, local residents in Easterhouse set to work on getting an area of allotments up and running again. To say they succeeded is to put it mildly. The group they turned to was FARE Scotland, a grassroots charity working to improve people’s aspirations, improve their life chances, and tackle poverty and its symptoms.

Today they not only sow, grow and harvest their own vegetables, they embrace the local community. Just listing the number of groups who make use of the site is heart-warming. Fareplay Nursery, St Clare’s Day Nursery, Buchlyvie Nursery, Lochview Nursery, Westerhouse Family Learning Centre, Oakwood Primary, St Benedict’s Primary, Lochend Community High School, Busy Bees Childminders, the Daffodil Club…the list goes on. To say Lochend is a popular site is to put it mildly.

It’s not just the pollinator team at NatureScot and Keep Scotland Beautiful staff that are full of admiration for the work Susan delivers. Others think so too.

Angela Smith, one of Keep Scotland Beautiful’s volunteer It’s Your Neighbourhood assessors from the Royal Horticultural Society, visits regularly to promote wellbeing by delivering free workshops and a ‘Grow To Eat’ wellbeing programme. Children, families and volunteers in the area enjoy the sensory garden, a rock garden, a wildflower garden, a quiet peaceful sanctuary, bird watching area, mud kitchen and much more. It’s a catalogue of success after success.

There is a great deal of talk these days about encouraging the private sector to get involved in nature-related activities and support. The folks at Lochend are on the ball here too. They have worked closely with Jewson, B&Q in Parkhead, Scotbark, Assist Glasgow, MKM building, Wickes, Johnstone’s Paints, Alba Engineering, and are immensely grateful for a range of donated materials and plants. Recently volunteers from Hymans, Robertson & Morgan Stanley helped out with maintaining the rockery and creating an extension to the group’s woodland area.

Visit today and you will find that everywhere is bursting with colour and life. The NatureScot community pollinator seed packs have been put to good use and the reward is a runway of nectar through the garden. The rewards for pollinators are superb and visitors thoroughly enjoy seeing the increased numbers of butterflies, moths, bees & dragonflies.

On top of all this the children at the Fareplay Nursery rescued a hedgehog from the street, took it to their hedgehog house on the allotment and felt pretty pleased about their rescue. Little wonder they received a five-star award from the Royal Horticultural Society and scooped a further award in 2022 from Keep Scotland Beautiful for engaging children and young people.

FARE Scotland is a voluntary organisation working together with communities throughout Central Scotland, on the evidence of Susan’s email they have a lot to be proud of. In an era when good news is not always easy to come by, the folks at Easterhouse fair brightened my day with their fantastic update.

Entries to this year’s NatureScot It’s Your Neighbourhood Pollinator Friendly Award are now open! If your group is taking part in It’s Your Neighbourhood this year, please get in touch with Juliette for the nomination form – deadline for entries is 9am, Monday 13 November.

If your group would like free support, resources and national recognition, please contact Juliette to find out how you can join our Climate and Nature Friendly network and our It’s Your Neighbourhood family in 2024.

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