Sunday, 6 August 2017

Urban farming in Plymouth

'Urban farming' is on the growth:
UrbanFarmers- new - Home

Much of it is about high-tech:
Futures Forum: The future of lighting: new led technologies
Futures Forum: Sustainable intensification of agriculture: an oxymoron?

They are experimenting in Bristol:
Home - Grow Bristol

Here's an interesting project about to happen at the other end of the county:

Work to start on major new urban farmBy Neil_Shaw | Posted: July 31, 2017

By Edd Moore


A former dairy building which is now on the edge of a housing estate is to be converted into an urban farm with livestock.

The community facility will include spaces for schools and colleges to learn about farming. The current building will be renovated into a small animal enclosure by installing new windows and doors, removing milking equipment and creating suitable small animal housing.

There are already cows grazing the site at adjoining what will become part of the Derriford Community Park in Plymouth, in Seaton Valley, after fields were cleared of abandoned equipment and the farmhouse made ready for new tenants.

In April the next stage of funding for Derriford Community Park was approved, paving the way for exciting developments at the planned 140 hectare park, reports plymouthherald.

The building to be revamped

The investments, which total over £500,000, including seeing the old Poole Farm Dairy renovated and transformed, as well a new play space and the creation of foot and cycle paths around the park.

Councillor Patrick Nicholson, deputy leader and cabinet member for strategic transport, housing and planning said the whole scheme will be an "asset" for Plymouth. 

"Derriford Community Park is such a unique place," he said, "so to be able to secure funding for the next stage of development is really great news. We are incredibly proud of what we have achieved here and know that this money will see what is a fantastic community asset continue to flourish."

The old dairy will be used as a small animal enclosure and teaching space for post-16 students taking a programme in animal care with Torbridge High and Duchy College.

The application says teaching will be limited to two days a week with small groups of students. It adds a small toilet block will also be constructed on site with two composting toilets and parking will be provided within the current car park. But the teaching space could relocate in a few years' time.

The application says: "It is [the council's] view that the application should be for a temporary use of up to five years, given the longer term plans for educational provision elsewhere and the changes that will be taking place adjacent to the site in the coming years. [...] There is a longer term proposal to develop a dedicated 'learning hub' to the east of St Matthews School."

Derriford has been earmarked as a key growth area for Plymouth with a new district centre, housing and employment proposed to be built over the next 20 years. The first phase of housing development at Palmerston Heights and the new St Matthew's Church of England Primary School have already opened.

The council wants to build this facility in the future

Plans are also progressing on the new link road between Forder Valley and Brest Road, creating a new route between Derriford and the A38 and vital extra capacity on the road network.

Poole Farm, which was passed to the council as part of the planning agreement linked with the new housing development, is key to Derriford Community Park.

Plymouth City Council has teamed up with Devon Wildlife Trust, the Environment Agency and South West Water among others to make the park a 'Local Nature Partnership Hub' valuing food, wildlife, learning and volunteering,

A new partnership between Duchy College and a number of schools from the Plymouth Learning and Experience consortium will see a brand new further education course begin at the old dairy this autumn, meaning that young people in Plymouth will be able to try their hand at animal care in a farm setting within the city.

The new play space with have new features that use the rich natural environment of the community park as inspiration, although there are plans to involve the local community in the design process so that they have a say in how they want to play.

Work to start on major new urban farm | Devon Live

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