Want to take the LEAP?
Since 2012 FoSGP have persuaded the District Council to plant fruit trees in the People's Park.
So from having no edible varieties the park now has apple, pear, cherry and damson trees with still more fruit trees on the way. The Friends group have also planted raspberries, strawberries, redcurrants, garlic, chives, thyme and other edibles in St George's Park, the list is constantly getting bigger. This campaign to make the park more edible has had a major boost after the Friends made a successful funding bid to the People's Health Trust to kick start our Let's Eat the Park project - which begins officially on 2nd June. The People's Health Trust represents 51 Community Interest Companies raising money to address health inequalities across England, Scotland and Wales through The Health Lottery.
Let's Eat the Park or LEAP for short is a project created by FoSGP to take food growing beyond the park railings and into the Horsefair itself. The plan is to cultivate edible plots on currently unused, redundant parcels of land in the area and plant fruit and vegetable varieties which will be available for harvesting by the community, when they are ripe and ready to be eaten. If you have any ideas about what should be planted where let us know and we'll look into it.
LEAP is a local version of a movement spreading across Britain and actually across the whole world to make towns and cities more sustainable and to develop local food networks for the good of local communities. There are now many examples of these sorts of developments in England as the Incredible Edible revolution has spread from its birthplace in Todmorden West Yorkshire in 2007 right across the globe. Incredible Edible began as a community group planting foodstuffs in what they have come to call propaganda gardening and has now grown into a model adopted far and wide, making the small town of Todmorden the centre for blossoming 'vegetable tourism'. What IE have achieved in Todmorden and now in more than 50 towns across the UK and over 200 projects worldwide is a revolution in community gardening and local food production. See link below for more IE info.
Let's Eat the Park now puts Horsefair and more widely Kidderminster on the 'edible map'. FoSGP will be exploring ways of developing planting in the area adjacent to St George's Park with local land owners. Wyre Forest District Council are fully behind the scheme and the Friends group have recently received positive encouragement from our partners in WFDC parks management. The initial funding for the LEAP project has resulted from a bid made by the volunteer committee to the People's Heath Trust and the group have been awarded more than £9,700 Health Lottery funding to kick start LEAP and develop it over a period of 24 months. During that time FoSGP will be seeking other backers and volunteer helpers to make the Horsefair area a greener, nicer and more edible place to be. We are planning to eventually provide recipes for the produce that is in season in St George's Park, or at one of our satellite pocket parks, on our website and at the site itself with advice on preparation and cooking. Eventually we hope to be able to direct people to the sites where the ingredients for vegetarian meals can be harvested at no financial cost. FoSGP believe that LEAP will help provide local food and the project will be linked to the wider Kidderminster food network. Anyone interested in getting involved in LEAP please contact the Friends Group via the comments form here or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Look out for further updates on-
Let's Eat the Park
here on our website and in the media.
The People's Park in collaboration with the People's Health Trust and Wyre Forest District Council