The second lockdown – what does this mean for community gardens?
The second lockdown officially started on 5th November and we’re aware that many community food growers are wondering what this means for their gardens and allotments.
Credit: Zoe Warde Aldham
We’ve digested the guidance in relation to community food growing and below are some key points we hope are useful in helping you keep your garden open safely and confidently, keep volunteers coming and keep growing:
- Volunteering outside your home can continue but everyone should make every reasonable effort to comply with the social distancing guidelines set out by the government (2m, or 1m with risk mitigation where 2m is not viable).
- Support groups that are essential to deliver in person can continue with up to 15 participants where formally organised to provide mutual aid, therapy or any other form of support. For example, in a community garden context, this could include therapeutic gardening projects.
- Outdoor public places you can visit include public gardens and allotments (you cannot meet in a private garden).
- Outdoor recreation and exercise is encouraged (visiting allotments is included in permitted exercise).
- Individuals can meet one person from outside their household in an outside public space (this could include a public garden).
- Clinically vulnerable people are advised not to leave the home to work or volunteer.
- Garden centres will remain open.
Sustain maintains, as we did in the first lockdown, that community food gardens are a necessity for many, playing a significant role in accessing fresh fruit and vegetables in local communities both in the short term, but also in the medium term (leaving gardens derelict would take months to turn around post lockdown). As well as the role gardens play in food production, they also provide opportunities for access to nature and green spaces for those that use them, contributing towards increased mental and physical health.