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  • Writer's picturePippa Hackett

Support for Community Gardens

Recently, I wrote to the Chief Executives of local authorities offering collaboration in support of community gardens. 

Last June, I published Ireland’s National Strategy for Horticulture 2023 – 2027. One of the key aims of the Strategy is to increase consumer demand for local, fresh fruit and vegetables and Irish plants by educating consumers of all ages on the benefits of eating more and local fresh fruit and vegetables and the benefits of using Irish plants.

To help us to deliver on that aim, the Strategy includes the following action:


Work with local authorities to implement and support community
gardens and allotments to encourage enthusiasm for gardening/growing
and promote fresh produce consumption and healthy eating.

At a recent visit to Moneygall's wonderful Community Garden

This action forms part of a broader campaign to encourage consumption of fresh local produce and it aligns with the Programme for Government commitment to work with local authorities and local communities to develop community gardens, allotments, and urban orchards.


I believe that there is huge potential for local authorities to embrace the role they can play in increasing the public’s awareness and enjoyment of the benefits of growing and consuming fresh, local produce. Indeed this role is envisaged in the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended) and the Local Government Act 2001 (as amended), with provision made for local authorities to identify land for allotments within Development Plans and broad powers given to local authorities to provide, support and enable allotment development.


With a view to understanding how best to work with local authorities to implement and support community gardens and allotments, I have invited each local authority to participate in a survey which we in the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine hope will give us a national overview of the provision of allotments and community gardens across Ireland, and a better understanding of the challenges Local Authorities face in their provision and opportunities for the future.




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