an INNOVATIVE green group has launched a gardening project – which could help solve the area’s shortage of allotment space.
Bakewell and District Organic Gardeners has received around £4,000 of funding which it is set to be put towards a community micro gardening scheme.
The creative idea will see small plots of land being used to grow food and offers an alternative to large allotment plots.
Colin Shaw, of the group which has 25 members, said by utilising small areas of space, families can grow varieties of vegetables and reduce their weekly grocery bill.
The group is set to launch a two-year project which will see around 50 gardeners from the community taking part in a micro gardening project.
Mr Shaw, who lives in Eyam, said: “Over the last 20 years there has been a huge increase in organics and a huge increase in people wanting to grow their own food. I think there is growing concern about the use of pesticides in food production.”
He added: “A couple of years ago I started using small beds to see what I could grown in a square metre. The results were quite astounding.
“It is very easy and anybody can do it. Lots of people can’t get allotments but they might still be able to find a little bit of land to grow food on. If a lot of people do a little bit it can add up to a huge amount.”
The group received a grant for £2,300 from the Peak District National Park Authority, £1,000 from the Co-operative Community Fund and £450 from Derbyshire County Council Greenwatch Action scheme.
Matlock-based eco group Little Green Space has also received a £350 boost this week from the county council to put towards a project at Matlock’s Castle View Primary School to make the school grounds greener. Wooden planters have been constructed for the playground, which will allow the children to grow vegetables and plants to attract bees and butterflies.
The group has also provided 150 native broad-leaved trees so that every pupil can have their own tree, to create a small woodland in the school grounds.
The grant will also fund the creation of bee and butterfly gardens at Matlock’s All Saints’ Junior School and All Saints Infants School.
Richard Bunting, of Little Green Space said: “Children benefit from having access to nature and green projects like this are really good and exciting for them.”
The project has already received support from businesses, with compost and stone chippings for the planters donated by Vital Earth of Longcliffe, liners for the planters by Twiggs, pots by the National Trust, free trees by the Woodland Trust and tree labels by Lorna Cross Nurseries in Tansley.