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Participation in urban horticulture (UH) is increasing in popularity, and evidence is emerging about the wide range of social and environmental benefits “grow your own”…
Participation in urban horticulture (UH) is increasing in popularity, and evidence is emerging about the wide range of social and environmental benefits “grow your own” can also provide. UH can increase mental and physical well-being, as well as improve nature connectedness, social capital and community cohesion.
This study focusses on allotments, which is one of the dominant forms of UH that takes place in the United Kingdom. 163 volunteers in England and Wales participated in keeping a year-long allotment diary as part of a citizen science project investigating activities on allotment gardens. This study examines the unprompted comments that 96 of these gardeners offered as observations when visiting their allotment plots.
Participants recorded high levels of social and community activities including the sharing of surplus food produce, knowledge exchange, awareness and interaction with wildlife, emotional connection to their allotment, appreciation of time spent outside and aesthetic delight in the natural world around them.
At a time when waiting lists for allotment plots in the United Kingdom are on the rise, and allotment land is subject to multiple pressures from other forms of development, this study demonstrates that these spaces are important sites not only for food production but also health, social capital and environmental engagement.
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LIBRARIANS in Britain stand at the threshold of great possibilities. Having passed through the ages of the ecclesiastical library, the rich collector's private library, the academic institutional library, and the rate‐supported public library—all general libraries —they have reached the age of the special library. The next will be that of the co‐ordinated, co‐operative library service.
The next month or two behind us and this decade will have passed, to merge in the drab background of the post‐war years, part of the pattern of frustration, failure and fear. The ‘swinging sixties’ some called it, but to an older and perhaps slightly jaundiced eye, the only swinging seemed to be from one crisis to another, like the monkey swinging from bough to bough in his home among the trees; the ‘swingers’ among men also have their heads in the clouds! In the seemingly endless struggle against inflation since the end of the War, it would be futile to fail to see that the country is in retreat all the time. One can almost hear that shaft of MacLeodian wit christening the approaching decade as the ‘sinking seventies’, but it may not be as bad as all that, and certainly not if the innate good sense and political soundness of the British gives them insight into their perilous plight.