The local allotment is used for community groups and food banks (locally and village butchers), for people of the village to grow food for family and friends, and where the group grows flowers for their hanging baskets and barrels that help brighten up the village streets.
In 2023, the group was recognised with the Beautiful Scotland discretionary award - the RHS Scotland Award for Overcoming Adversity: being a resident here, brings many challenges, not least due to an exposed location and perceived lack of facilities. However, Flourishing Forth and its partners seek to address these.
The Eco-Hub is a pivotal response to changing community circumstances. Regular deliveries to the local food bank and providers, enable people to access fresh fruit and vegetables on a regular basis. Organisations such as the local resource centre and church provide warm spaces and soup made from this produce.
The Eco-Hub is completely off grid, and the group has accepted this adversity challenge with gusto! They’ve installed solar panels, battery storage, and rainwater harvesting to support an extensive irrigation system. This latter addition has proved invaluable during recent episodes of water scarcity.
In 2022, the group won the Jim Murdie Award for Sustainability for their Eco Site: The community hub was created to supply a need in Forth. It has impressive new compost bays, enabling them to recycle green waste produced and to provide compost for plot holders to use rather than buying it in. The site is completely off grid, using solar panels to be able to grow in the polytunnels year-round, has huge water capture tanks and, amongst many things, has a dedicated growing area to supply the local food bank.
In 2019 the group won the 'David Welch Memorial Award for Something Special': One of the key strengths of the Flourishing Forth Group is the Eco site where community food growing is a primary function. Food is provided to food banks, veg boxes for older residents and there are 32 raised beds in productive use. A variety of fruits are produced in the orchard including peach, plum, nectarine and pear. Several local charitable groups use the site and the group’s polytunnel provides barrels and hanging baskets for the village displays. There is an emphasis on environmental responsibility: solar panels, compost bins and a large watering system have been installed. Work is undergoing to create a Forth Development Trust to build on the strong community support from residents of all ages and businesses. Marie McGurk, Agnes Gallacher and team are to be commended for their significant efforts to meet the criteria of the three pillars of Beautiful Scotland.