‘Good life’ in Camden

A council is promoting a ‘grow your own food’ scheme
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Camden Lock
The area around Camden Lock could become even greener under a new local authority scheme
New housing developments in north London could come complete with fruit orchards and communal allotments, under new plans being drawn up to promote healthy eating.

Camden council, keen to increase the amount of home-grown fruit and vegetables in inner London, is considering insisting that on all major new schemes, property developers include fruit and nut trees and vegetable plots or green roofs where space is at a premium.

'The plan will reduce bills and produce fresh, healthy food'

Those who don’t comply could risk being refused planning permission.

The council will also encourage residents to grow food in their gardens or in window boxes, on balconies and even in hanging baskets.

The council is to run a pilot “Good life” scheme with 70 families who will be given free or subsidised equipment and seeds.

The proposals, part of a draft master plan on how to make Camden more environmentally friendly, are expected to be formally adopted this summer.

Councillor Chris Knight, Camden environment chief, said food growing should be a key part of people’s lives.

“The benefits for Camden residents involved in this activity include reduced shopping bills at a time of financial uncertainty for many people, a restored connection with the source of the food they consume and of course access to fresh, healthy food,” he said.

'In London temperatures it is possible to grow peppers'

Kate Swatridge, co-founder of environmental charity Food Up Front, said: “We try to spread the message that its not that hard and you don’t need much space to grow something edible. The temperature in London is warmer than elsewhere in the country, so it is possible to grow globe artichokes, peppers, chillies and sweet-corn, as well as tomatoes, courgettes, peas and spring onions.

“There is obviously also a reduction in food miles and a lot of what we do is about getting to know people locally in your area, which leads to other community activities.”

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