In February greenspace scotland hosted three informal workshops to inform the development of the South Ayrshire food growing strategy. South Ayrshire Council (SAC) wanted to engage with as many groups and individuals interested in community food growing as possible - to shape its Food Growing Strategy, create a vision for the future and identify how the Council, organisations and individuals can work together towards this.

Following a welcome and presentation of the background to the food growing strategy and its planned development the attendees took part in short workshops to gather their knowledge and ideas.

We carefully mixed participants at different tables so that they could network with new people. Each table was given lists of Allotment sites, Community Gardens, Orchards, Health facilities and School sites (with growing activities) that SAC had researched to date and were asked to sense check and update. During the mapping activity participants were also encouraged to make SAC aware of sites in their communities that could potentially be used for community growing. SAC provided large scale maps that attendees could annotate via post-it notes.

To conclude the evening the small discussion groups were asked if there was anything specific, they wanted to highlight from their discussion about support needs and support available. Suggestions varied but were all focusing on the theme of networking and peer support. Everyone had enjoyed the opportunity to get together with like-minded people and share ideas and networking. Hopefully SAC will be able to support the request to do more of this in the future!