London food growers to rally for action and call for implementation of city-wide Right to Grow

As the demand for land to grow food in London continues to rise and the debate surrounding access to public land for community cultivation continues to gain momentum, London growers are gearing up to convene at the "Our Right to Grow" Summit 

A Good to Grow event. Copyright: Miles Willis

A Good to Grow event. Copyright: Miles Willis

Hosted at Roots and Shoots in Kennington, the summit will bring together food growers from across the city to explore a citizen's Right to Grow on London's public-sector land. A collaboration between Sustain and Incredible Edible, this one-day event will provide a platform for campaigners, policy experts, and community food growers to engage in discussions, workshops, and networking sessions to address the challenges hindering urban food cultivation and pave the way for a more sustainable future.  

Speakers include award-winning food justice campaigner and policy coordinator, Dee Woods and Pam Warhurst CBE, founder of Incredible Edible.

The summit will serve as a platform for community members to advocate for a London-wide Right to Grow policy, which would require local authorities to maintain a free, accessible map of all public land that is suitable for community cultivation or wildlife projects. They would also need to make it straight-forward for community groups to secure free leases to cultivate the land, and allow those groups to bid for the land should the authority decide to sell it.

According to a study by CPRE, green spaces in poorer parts of England are less likely to be protected against being bulldozed and developed than those in more affluent areas, exacerbating the threat to urban food-growing spaces. Over the past decade, London has lost over 40 allotment sites to other projects, leading to increased waiting times for applicants for an average of four to five years.

Despite being largely unmonitored, urban agriculture has the potential to contribute significantly to food security. Researchers estimate that it could provide up to 15-20% of the world's food, showcasing the importance of supporting and preserving urban food-growing initiatives.

Pam Warhurst, founder of Incredible Edible:

People are one of our most under-used assets when it comes to addressing climate and food security. Our communities want to grow food; they see the power it has to change the world. It’s time for local authorities to trust people to steward the public land in the places they call home by giving them a Right to Grow.

Rachel Dring, Capital Growth coordinator at Sustain:

The battle for green space means almost all food growing spaces in London are under threat from development, as land is at a premium. It's time for concrete action to protect these vital community resources, remove the red tape and ensure that Londoners have access to space where they can grow their own food.

The "Right to Grow" campaign has been gaining political traction, receiving broad support in a debate in the House of Lords. Hull Council passed a Right to Grow motion last year, with others exploring implementation possibilities.

The summit is a collaboration between the Incredible Edible network, Capital Growth, Sustainable Food Places and Sustain. For more information about the event and updates on the Right to Grow campaign, visit 

Found out more about the event here