The Landshare campaign, which aims to connect growers with people with land to share, has launched a free iPhone app to help further its cause.
Landshare is a movement of more than 50,000 people that was born out Channel 4’s River Cottage programme, when presenter Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall helped some families from Bristol, UK, grow food on disused council land. According to Landshare, more than 100,000 people are on waiting lists for local authority allotments in England, and an estimated 16 per cent of council waiting lists in England are closed. Despite having a legal duty to provide allotments, an estimated 12 per cent of councils do not know what the status of their waiting lists is. The Local Government Association estimates that 200,000 allotments have disappeared in the last 30 years.
The app aims to help uses identify hundreds of thousands of acres of wasted space around the UK to be identified, using the iPhone’s camera and GPS technology. It will also give users live access to expert growers for instant advice, and give users direct access to the core Landshare tools, helping match growers to available land, through a postcode driven map and listings database, and more. Landshare says it has already seen more than 3,000 acres of land offered and matches in every region of the UK.
“Landshare has always been, literally, a ground-breaking initiative but now it’s set to really push the agenda,” says Fearnley-Whittingstall. “We know there are 100,000 people on council waiting lists in England alone, with up to 40 year waits, plus a significant amount of waiting lists that are actually closed! This app will ensure that councils can no longer shut the door to their legal duty to provide... By bringing attention to the scale of space that is already on our doorsteps with ‘LandSpot’, we hope to help enable this potential to be realised and for much more land to be made fertile.”
The Landshare app can be downloaded here.