Right to Grow Policy

The Incredible Edible Network started in 2008 in a cafe in Todmorden. Their vision is to create kind, confident and connected communities through the power of food. Their Right to Grow campaign is designed to give people the right to grow food on suitable public sector land. The campaign successfully obtained a proposal to amend the Governent’s Levelling Up Bill to include the Right to Grow. This proposed amendment received positive support during the bill’s debate in the House of Lords. The Levelling-up and Regeneration Act 2023 has now become law having received Royal Assent.

Up and down the country public land is being left unloved. However, this costs local authorities money to care for, and gives nothing back to the community in return. Incredible Edible growers have shown that with a little TLC these parcels of land can be turned into oases for food and wildlife. Red tape and complex leases often stop communities from making good use of public land, not to mention the fact that it can be incredibly hard to find out where exactly this unloved public land is.

In September 2023 Hull was the first city to pass the Incredible Edible Right to Grow motion. This shifts access to public land from a permission-based approach, to a rights-based system with an emphasis on meaningful and trusting engagement between community and authority. Then at a meeting in Hackney, London The Right to Grow idea was received with a great cheer from the floor. Therefore, people are now coming together to form a group to work on initiating a Right to Grow for the borough. Hackney could be the first of many London councils to take this bold step; to change the rules and empower people to grow food on public land by right, not permission.

There is a lot of information on the Incredible Edible Right to Grow page. Maybe persuading the local council to adopt a Right to Grow policy is something we could consider doing. TTW has already made some progress with the sites we manage, with the help of our local councils.

On Wednesday 19th June 6-7.30pm it’s the Wellington Town Council’s Environment Committee Meeting. This open meeting is for anyone from the public to attend, and TTW will be proposing that our council adopt a “Right To Grow” policy. We’d encourage you to show your support for this, so please do come along: a clap or cheer after the explanation to councillors from our team, from a bigger-than-normal group of members of the public would go down very well and show there is public support for this idea! The location: the United Reform Church on Mantle Street, Wellington- arrive at 6pm! Let’s hope they adopt it- Wellington would be the first in Somerset as far as we know and would not only benefit our town but would also help other eco groups locally to do what TTW do in their town, by showing their councils how supportive ours is and the great things that can happen when you allow people to grow!