Dundee Food Growing Network – Links and ideas

This is an article that brings together resources and ideas shared by the members of the Dundee Food Growing Network, made up for now by Community Gardens across Dundee and surroundings. We have met in June, August, October 2022 and January and March 2023. Our next meeting is in May and we are having an Open Community Gardens day on Saturday 24th of June in partnership with Dundee Art Night.

We support each other by sharing resources and ideas, influencing policy and making Dundee growing spaces more visible and accessible. We have just been voted to access some funding by the Dundee Council Climate Change Fund to do this through an online map and calendar of events as well as our meetings and training opportunities.

For now we have all Dundee city growing spaces on Grow Dundee online map please contact Manuela at mdmaxinfo@gmail.com if you have any resources we could add to this map or to this article, if anything needs to be corrected or is missing.

Dundee City Council Departments – policy and plans that can support

·         Dundee City Council (DCC)–DCC Neighbourhood services  Environment | Dundee City Council improve relationships and make use of their services, organize a meeting to address issues with Discovery compost supply, – Councillor McPherson and Heather Anderson (attended meeting 18/06/22)

·         Kate Treharne – DCC Community Allotments Officer – helps with advice, finding resources, planning, general support, etc. kate.treharne@dundeecity.gov.uk

·         DCC Bonnie Dundee (sally.mcconville@dundeecity.gov.uk) Bonnie Dundee | Dundee City Council

Training, support, networking, information, etc.:

Volunteeering and Volunteer Award schemes 

(updated with results from 2nd network meeting August 2022)

·         Idea for a ciity wide volunteer network – Community gardens helping each other with volunteers. 

  • Volunteers need to feel valued, sharing food, recognition with certificates etc, proactively motivating, available guidance and support, help clarify objectives, making sure they feel part of the project

– There is a need for knowledgeable growers to support volunteers and facilitate their work

·         Certificates for volunteers

·         Saltire Awards For organisations – Saltire Awards

·         Duke of Edinburgh Awards – Horticulture Activities – The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (dofe.org)

·         Making schools aware of volunteering opportunities

·         Grow and Learn Award and others – Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society (The Caley) – Accessible for any age, they complete a workbook Grow & Learn Awards – RCHS (thecaley.org.uk)

·         Advertising Opportunities (volunteerscotland.net)

·       They refer volunteers  https://www.projectscotland.co.uk

·         Get Involved – Dundee Volunteer & Voluntary Action (dvva.scot) support for volunteer policies etc.

Green Health partnership – signposting, wee forest project, Social prescribing/ social capital

– Placing a value on volunteer work (skilled/ unskilled)

– Corporate volunteering – ie DWP, BT, SSS,  Social Good Connect, Neighbourly DVVA

Ideas for engaging more people, events and publicity

(updated with results from 2nd network meeting August 2022)


  • Open days, use existing events like Big Garden Birdwatch, plant swaps, etc.
  • Set up a Dundee wide Harvest Festival – all gardens open
  • Set up fun activities that are not garden related too, events like musical groups to attract different people
  • Food and friendship – Engage people to learn how to cook with homegrown produce – a way to address food insecurity
  • Use a range of services, activities, hook “events” to attract diverse and less regular visitors from the community and makinf sure we are accessible to everyone
  • Build memberships (get something/give something) ie Social events for members
  • Holiday camps, climate festivals, gala, music, stories in the garden,days out,  
  • Contact with schools, after school clubs, games like giant jenga, appropriate horticultural or wildlife projects with them like bee hotels, ponds, wormeries. Work with eco-school projects


  • Use our community partnerships and existing list of resources make this information more accessible online (ie Grow Dundee (4) Grow Dundee | Facebook) and offline (ie leaflets to go to community noticeboards, libraries, etc.)
  • Highlight and showcase the benefits of what we are doing, share widely
  • Info in community buildings, hubs, schools, libraries,On street presence, Word of mouth
  • Through the council Whats On and Events, networks,mail shots,make the community gardens well known through social media, newspaper, libraries, advertising, sharing what your goals are
  • A6 cards (postcard size) for info and handing out


There is an essential need for garden facilitators to support many of the growing groups and also for this network. For tasks like organising events, governance, funding, insurances, communications, design, organising/ centralising surplus veg to go to food larders and community fridges etc where needed, etc,

– Showcase all our gardens through a city map with an App a leaflet for locals and for visitors to include programme of activities, volunteering opportunities, etc. Good map and directions for all growing spaces.  Each garden should be on a map, with contact details, qr code, 


  •  Get a blogging coordinator (paid position ie Tayport PLANT, shared?)
  • Coordinate events to avoid clashes where possible and promote each other’s events (ie plant cutting sharing and swaps)
  • We should create a calender with all opening hours, events and volunteering days available for across the whole city’s growing spaces
  • Promote the uniqueness of each garden 
  • Set up Walks/cycle routes to go to different gardens
  • Video to showcase growing spaces across Dundee

Networking and partnerships

·         Establish a strong city wide Food Growing network or/and Community Gardens working group

·         Link up clusters geographically within Dundee, better networking needed

·         Reaching out to other areas/ groups (Ie Templeton Woods)

·         Link up with community cupboards etc – providing food bags from garden produce

·         Opportunity to get involved in Dundee in Bloom

·         Growing map of Dundee with all gardens allotments urban orchards and growing spaces listed Map – Grow Dundee


Fundraising links and resources from the Maxwell Centre

NEW Dundee City Council Fund Finder for Climate related projects: Community Funding | Sustainable Dundee

Community gardens need unrestricted funds, an opportunity with communities climate change funding coming soon. Opportunity for a joint application? Dundee Climate Fund (communitychoices.scot)

Volunteering Matters (£250) Action Earth – Volunteer in Scotland (volunteeringmatters.org.uk)

Community Innovation Fund NHS Tayside (scot.nhs.uk)

Tesco Community Grants Tesco Community Grants

Awards for All and others – National Lottery Community Fund Home | The National Lottery Community Fund (tnlcommunityfund.org.uk)

Community-led research funding – Competition overview – Community Research Networks – Expression of interest – Innovation Funding Service (apply-for-innovation-funding.service.gov.uk)

Local regeneration forums Community Regeneration Forums | Dundee City Council Locality funding

Free or affordable resources

Call them to check (I think around October time) if they have used very fine compost you can collect (excellent for seedlings)

Comment by Kate Treharne: Gentech compost is 90% peat AFAIK so many gardeners may find it unacceptable to use. Might be worth asking them what is in it? Of course, it is already used so not directly supporting environmentally-destructive peat extraction but if there wasn’t an army of people taking away the old stuff (mostly in fossil-fueled vehicles) they would have to pay to dispose of it so we do encourage them to use peat in a way.

Normally available for free for city community gardens – get in touch for delivery around February-March

  • Community pay-back team have been great at supporting community gardens to build compost bins, raised beds, etc.Contact Lesley Thom, Project Manager (Building Manager) (Intgtd Children’s Srv & Cmunty Justice) at Dundee City Council Lesley.thom@dundeecity.gov.uk
  • Maxwell Gardening tool and book library (£1/year membership) – free seeds also available

See the catalogue of tools and books online here

  • (Seeds and free tools at the Centre – on Thursdays)
  • Plant/seedling/seed swaps and sales at various gardens

Ninewells, Duntrune, Victoria, Maxwell, Others?

Idea of – Seed saving and sharing/ seed co-op

Horse manure supply?

Yan – Tayside Tree Surgeon –  07917226230 can give away full loads of wood chip but needs 2m to come in with vehicle and tip over (Amanda from fruitbowls contact) 

And Alan too 07967673127 depending on where he is working in the city

NOTES FROM 3rd NETWORK MEETING and meeting of focus group for MAP/ CALENDAR development

(Jek, Amanda and Rowan wrote these up, thank you!)

BOARD 1: Leaflets? Postcards? Posters? What should they include?

Sustainable –

  • Make sure info doesn’t go out of date. 
  • A nice image on one side. Something people will keep. 
  • Compostable – with seed paper . reduce waste

Who is target audience? Ie Schools, Libraries, etc.

A city TRAIL – like the bucket trail 



Jauntily App

DC Thomson

Tap into existing networks: 

  • Students 
  • St andrews transition
  • Dundee Plant Society
  • Shared stall at volunteer fair. 
  • Dundee Climate Action Network 

Newsletter – Printed or email? – newsletters via email already saturated

They have a QR code on the or link to website with changeable information 


  • Digital Map
  • Opening times
  • Transport
  • Public Transport
  • Routes
  • Active Travel – Walking routes
  • Type of Growing Spaces
  • Allotments
  • Designated Beds
  • Community Garden
  • Share Garden Themes
  • Therapy Garden
  • Youth work
  • Flowers
  • Work Experience
  • Food Growing
  • Wellbeing
  • Filter by Activity
  • Digging
  • Building
  • Food
  • Community Fridge Locations
  • Visual – Show Photos of the Space
  • Partner Organising – DVVA
  • Accesibility – clear information about physical space
  • Knowing what to expect from prams, wheelchairs.
  • What there is to do for each age group
  • Sign Posting along routes between the gardens
  • Who keeps it up to date? – skilled volunteers. Offer Training
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