It’s an ambitious plan that could hand over hundreds of vacant acres of Dundee to the community to be transformed into lush greenery.
The proposals, which were revealed last week, could mean 3,706 acres of available land to be given over to the community for them to grow fruit and vegetables.
It is also hoped the move will help tackle the 121-strong waiting list for an allotment in the city – currently there are 508 allotments in Dundee, with most people waiting two years for a plot.
However, since it was announced, some who already have their own allotments or community gardens have urged the council to approach the proposals with caution.
Michael Vine from Whorterbank Community Garden, who announced he was stepping down last week, said it was vital the council went into the plans with its eyes open.
He said: “This is a good idea but it needs to be a lot more than just being left to the people in the community.
“With Whorterbank, for example, there are one or two people who look after it, and the rest just leave it to us.
“This can’t just be something that is looked after by a couple of people.
“It shouldn’t just be given over to the community, it needs a proper structure.
“For example, I have noticed during lockdown plants have been disturbed or damaged, which isn’t great.”
He continued: “However, if this was done properly, for example like what is happening down at Camperdown Park where the older nurseries are, you could get people growing their own food and having an outdoor kitchen.
“You could share recipes and get teaching people how to make things from cheap products you can grow yourself in a community garden.
“Growing your own food won’t sustain you for the whole year, but it will really help for a few months.”
It is hoped by giving over this green space to community groups and individuals, it could theoretically meet the fruit and vegetable needs of more than a third of the city’s population.
As well as identifying suitable areas of land for growing food, councillors will also discuss the resources and skills needed for such a project.
John Alexander, leader of the Dundee City Council and chair of the subcommittee set to discuss the issue, said: “Dundee is blessed with a considerable number of popular and well-tended allotments, both council managed and privately leased.
“The consistently long waiting lists also show that there is a demand for land within the city to grow fruit and vegetables, and this strategy not only identifies how and where that capacity could be increased but the health benefits of doing so.”
Meanwhile Councillor Anne Rendall, neighbourhood services convener at the council, added: “As well as the more traditional allotment sites we have a wide and inspiring network of community growing spaces, which have been developed by organisations, as well as the council.
“A number of the ones we set up are now run by local communities.
“It is clear that there is an appetite for cultivating food locally and this strategy aims to help meet that growing desire.”
The proposals will be considered by Dundee City Council’s recovery subcommittee later today.