Bernera Community Association were awarded £8,000 from the Tesco Bags of Help, Spring 2016, to encourage local residents on the island of Great Bernera to grow their own vegetables. The site is run day to day by volunteers and the produce is used by the nearby Community Café, also the Soup and Sandwich Club that meet in the Community Centre.

The community are encouraged to come along, not only help in the tunnels, but to grow their own, including Bernera Primary School. Their project has given the community robust, weather and rabbit proof poly tunnels in an inhospitable growing environment on the Outer Hebrides. New structures were needed to combat a short growing season, storms blowing in from the Atlantic, heavy acid soil, constant high-water table and a plague of determined rabbits.

Keeping ethically green, pipes and blocks of polystyrene washed up on the shore from the fish farm industry were collected to make the skeleton, provide insulation and drainage, then covered with Shetland Polycrub. Local voluntary labour cleared and levelled the ground with road chippings left from road surface works.

"We can provide more fresh produce to the community and bedding plants for use in a new community garden and to brighten up local homes. Volunteers have taken a great pride in the buildings and will continue to gain satisfaction from growing their own plants in a construction they have been involved in putting up. The other good thing is that the new structures have inspired at least two residents on Bernera to build their own based on the same design."

▬ Colin Halliday, Volunteer

Key Facts
Location: Isle of Lewis
Project type: Community Growing
Bags of Help Funding: £8,000
Grantee: Bernera Community Association
Facebook: Bernera Community Association

View the printable pdf  Bernera Food Project

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Up to £2000 is available from Tesco Bags of Help to support a wide range of projects that benefit your local community. Tesco Bags of Help is administered by Groundwork working with greenspace scotland to support applicants and successful projects in Scotland. 
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