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We're good to grow

A couple of years ago, in a community consultation meeting, someone suggested creating a space for the community to grow their own food. There are a number of successful groups around the isles, so after visiting Tagsa Uist and Horshader Development Trust, The North Harris Trust (NHT) decided to try to create something similar in Tarbert. About the same time, NHT was speaking with Scottish and Southern Electric Networks (SSEN) about overhead lines on the estate. It turned out that SSEN has a bit of land in Tarbert beside the Harris Health Hub that it bought to protect the overhead lines from development. It was keen to see it put to a good community use. So started the Tarbert Growing Project.

In 2022, costs were gathered for a Polycrub and associated groundworks. Planning Permission was secured with the help of North Harris Community Council. The search for funding then got underway. After a number of rejections, a budget was created with contributions from CnES -Crown Estate, Harris Voluntary Services, NHT, The Pebble Trust and Western Isles Development Trust.

In Spring 2023 the Polycrub was ordered. A new footpath from the main road was laid in August with a pad for an eleven meter Polycrub. The Polycrub was erected in November when the ground was probably at its wettest and stickiest. Since then, NHT staff have moved 10 ton of stone up the path for the floor of the Polycrub, timber for the raised beds and finally 12 ton of topsoil to fill the beds. With the help of Sir E Scott pupils, gorse has been cleared from an area for future growing beds and the path has been repaired after all the heavy traffic. The last remaining task on the construction side is securing a water connection. Eight months since applying, we are nearly there.

The aim of the project is to create a growing community that can expand as time goes on. There are a number of Government and Local Authority initiatives at the moment that use community growing to address food poverty and reduce food miles. NHT will look for opportunities to secure training  and further funding for the project when they become available.

Two years on, and as the weather warms up, growing can finally get underway. There are 8 beds in the “crub” and a large lazy-bed outside that NHT is now looking for community members to take on.  An application form has been created and is available below

Polycrub EoI
Download PDF • 134KB

or in WORD

Polycrub EoI
Download DOCX • 1.16MB

The closing date for applications, delivered to the Trust office or emailed to  is March 31st.


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