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Allotment gardens show how it's done – productive and sustainable

For about 200 years there have been allotment gardens in Germany for the cultivation of horticultural products for personal use, initially out of sheer necessity to provide oneself with essential food, nowadays for the joy of gardening, as an experience for children and for healthy organic produce. "Urban gardening” is in vogue.

However, the value of allotment gardens for food supply should not be underestimated. Knowing how, a family can be self-sufficient all year round through the organic cultivation of fruit and vegetables on a plot. An estimated 5 million people make use of the benefits of allotment gardening, which is protected by the federal allotment garden law, an initial situation that is unparalleled internationally.

What is a hobby in our country forms the backbone of the food supply of the population in global terms as "small-scale agriculture". It is worthwhile to take a closer look at these forms of food production and to research them further scientifically!

The BDG therefore supports "Hidden Champions", a discussion paper by the Deutsche Schreberjugend Bundesverband e.V., which uses individual examples and scientific studies to highlight the potential and importance of self-cultivation in allotment gardens.

In view of the challenges of our time, we are more than ever dependent on sustainable land management and food production that is socially, naturally and environmentally compatible. Our allotment gardens show how it can be done, regionally and seasonally, ecologically, environmentally and climate friendly! In addition, the knowledge of growing one's own fruit and vegetables has always been promoted here and passed on to children and adults. This must be preserved and further developed!

Eva Foos, BDG

 

You can read the paper “Hidden Champions” here: (automatically translated)

https://deutsche--schreberjugend-de.translate.goog/projekte/hi/

 

COP 26 31st October till 12th November 2021

The INGOs of the Committee on Environmental and Sanitary Crisis from the Conference of INGOs at the Council of Europe, make their voice heard and call for solidarity and urgent action by States, economic actors and civil society for the safeguard of the common house.

Their text was approved by the Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe.

PDF englisch

World Congress of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN): The French allotment gardeners were present!

Much has been said about the World Congress of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) which brought together experts from all over the World in Marseille from 3rd to 11th September 2021 and which was inaugurated by the President of the French Republic. The subject of this session was biodiversity and its conservation. An idea the French allotment gardeners know well.

Many thanks are addressed to the presidents of the allotment garden sites and the allotment gardeners who answered the questionnaire of our biodiversity study! They gave us the opportunity to speak twice during the « Espaces Génération Nature » which were opened to the public. The three management board members who took part in the event could illustrate with well-chosen pictures all that our allotment gardens allow to achieve in terms of cultivated biodiversity, the presence of auxiliaries and the cohabitation with plant and animal species. The results of our biodiversity survey were presented. In a more precise way, the garden Badis Merad in Marseille was a very good example, which even had the right to an article in the magazine “Jardin familial de France”. Very interesting contacts were made with the spectators who were able to ask many questions.

The logo of the Fédération Française des Jardins Collectifs et Familiaux (French allotment federation) and the summary of its interventions were included in the program, which should also bring it links with other structures all over the world.

The French Federation was therefore perfectly in its role in presenting its work on biodiversity at this world congress.

A contribution to biodiversity

August 28th 2021: inauguration of a new arboretum in Skellefteå, Sweden

“This weekend I spent an absolutely wonderful day at the association “Dalkarlsliden” in Skellefteå. We were there celebrating that the union, “Koloniträdgårdsförbundet” turned 100 years old. The highlight of the day was the inauguration of their new arboretum, where I was involved in planting a tree. A previously empty lawn has been given 70 new trees and bushes by more than 30 different varieties. Talk about long-term investment in biodiversity! The sun was shining, all the gardens looked fantastic and the area was filled with happy and nice visitors” says Ulrica Otterling, director of the Swedish allotment federation.

 

This inauguration is part of our campaign: "Allotment loves trees"

During our jubilee year all our 229 associations have been involved in planting thousands of new fruit trees and berry bushes all over Sweden. We wanted to show how many positive contributions allotment areas make, not only for the colonists but for the whole society. The areas have a great biodiversity and it is highlighted through the campaign, where over 2000 new fruit trees and berry bushes have now been planted.

Planting trees is the best thing you can do for biodiversity and is one of the global environ

New award celebrates wildlife-friendly allotments in Devon

Devon Wildlife Trust (1) media release

Devon Wildlife Trust has revealed their new Wildlife Awareness Allotment Award to celebrate allotment gardeners making space for wildlife.

The most recent State of Nature (2) report showed almost half of UK wildlife is in long term decline and 15% of species are at risk of extinction. Loss of habitats and overuse of pesticides are two major reasons for these declines, particularly in our vital insect populations.

The patchwork of green spaces across our towns and cities are hugely important for wildlife and can help communities tackle the biodiversity and climate crises. Domestic gardens are often celebrated as potential wildlife havens and there is a growing movement to make space for nature elsewhere, from roadside verges to green roofs. Allotments are part of this network of valuable green spaces, providing food, water and shelter for animals, as well as producing a colourful spread of local produce.

Devon Wildlife Trust and the South West Branch of the National Allotment Association have teamed up to champion allotments as budding spaces for wildlife, by launching the Wildlife Awareness Allotment Award! The award, hosted on the Devon Wildlife Trust website, aims to inspire and encourage allotment gardeners to make space so that wildlife can thrive.

Katie Wilkinson, Devon Wildlife Trust Wilder Communities Team Lead says
”This award is a fantastic opportunity for people to be recognised for their efforts in creating wildlife friendly allotments. Greenspaces such as allotments are vital stepping stones – if every gardener did a few things for wildlife on their patch, such as going chemical free, it would make a huge difference to local wildlife’’.

Tim Callard, Chairman of the South West Branch of the National Allotment Society (3):
“It is my hope that other communities and groups are inspired by this award and that it is adopted on a national scale, linking up allotments into a wider network. I see the award as a way of promoting allotments as safe havens for our wildlife and allotment gardeners as an ever-growing section of society across the UK who really care about wildlife”.

Devon Wildlife Trust has already seen fantastic examples of allotments hosting a range of wildlife, including those nurtured by staff within the charity. Russell Luscombe, one of Devon Wildlife Trust’s Fundraising Officers, has planted wildflower borders which have burst with colour this summer, attracting insects and birds to his allotment in Exeter.

This award also highlights The Wildlife Trust’s Action for Insects campaign, a nationwide effort to reverse the massive insect declines by encouraging people to create more nature-rich places and make cities, towns and parishes pesticide-free.

The allotment award is open to anyone with an allotment in Devon and provides a range of ideas and resources for helping wildlife. To find out more, go to the Devon Wildlife Trust website: https://www.devonwildlifetrust.org/wildlife-awareness-allotment-award

 

Ends

(1) Devon Wildlife Trust is the county’s leading environmental charity, with more than 35,000 members. The charity manages 52 nature reserves and six Valley Parks across Devon, including a range of beautiful landscapes such as woodlands, meadows, wetlands and heaths as well as caring for the marine environment around our coasts. Devon Wildlife Trust relies on charitable donations, grants and the generous support of its members and the general public to raise more than £ 4 million every year. Money raised is spent maintaining our work for wildlife conservation and education in Devon, for present and future generations.
More at www.devonwildlifetrust.org

(2) https://nbn.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/State-of-Nature-2019-UK-full-report.pdf

(3) National Allotment Society is the leading national organisation upholding the interests and rights of the allotment community across the UK. The society works with government at national and local levels, other organisations and landlords to provide, promote and preserve allotments for all.
more at natsoc@nsalg.org.uk

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