Community Gardens (CG) Ireland has welcomed commitment by department ministers to a new policy to help local authorities provide more allotments and community gardens in Ireland.

Representatives from CG Ireland, Dónal McCormack and Maeve Foreman, met with two ministers from the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage on Wednesday (September 28).

Representatives explained the need for better support at government level to ministers of state Peter Burke and Malcolm Noonan to help local authorities provide more allotments and community gardens.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) highlighted urban agriculture initiatives such as community gardening as a contributor to reducing greenhouse gases (GHGs).

“This agreement to a new policy on allotments and community gardens is welcomed by community growers throughout Ireland. There are currently fewer allotments and community gardens in Ireland than 100 years ago.

“This policy will help communities and local authorities to carry out climate actions such as growing local food, and will ultimately help local biodiversity,” CG Ireland chair, Dónal McCormack said.

L-R: Dónal McCormack, Maeve Foreman, Minister Burke, and Minister Noonan at government buildings. Image source: CG Ireland

Allotments and community gardens have the potential to improve urban food security and biodiversity, while adapting to the impacts of climate change, according to CG Ireland.

These urban agriculture initiatives also offer a cost-effective, accessible solution to improve health, strengthen community ties, and build a more resilient nation, the representatives said.

“Support for this has been evident with hundreds of people around Ireland making submissions to their local TDs asking them to make changes. There is evidence of support for our initiative throughout all political circles.

“We look forward to working with both ministers and their department on the policy in the coming weeks,” CG Ireland committee member and secretary of Mud Island Community Garden, Maeve Foreman said.