Archive for the ‘environment’ Category
The summer before last I commissioned the fresh, green loveliness we know as Landshare (www.landshare.net) from Keo Films and Mint Digital. It has now sprouted a verdant little app, currently featured on the App Store.
The Landshare website and campaign has sparked a nationwide revolution over the last year. It connects would-be growers of fruit and veg with people with land to share – and they share the produce.
There are currently 2 growers to every 1 plot offered and the new app is designed to enable the public to take action.
- Councils will be held to legal task to provide allotments according to their statuary obligations
- tens of thousands of acres of wasted, unproductive land around the UK is to be identified
The Landspotting function was an idea I originally came up with inspired by a long-empty plot at the end of my road, a wasted gap between the last house and a tyre workshop on the corner.
The app functionality includes:
- using the camera with geolocating technology
- giving users live access to expert growers for instant advice
- extending accessibility and full integration of tools with social networks
The Landshare App is free
The app also gives users direct, on-the-move access to the core Landshare tools – extending its ability to match growers to land, through a postcode driven map and listing database, and more. Already, Landshare has seen more than 3,000 acres of land offered and matches in every region of the UK.
It has been cited by the House of Lords, New Local Government Network, the international Wikinomics team and most recently – the Food Ethics Council – as changing the landscape in food accessibility and security.
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall spearheads Landshare and says of the new App: “Landshare has always been, literally, a ground-breaking initiative but now it’s set to really push the agenda. We know there are 100,000 people on council waiting lists in England alone, with up to 40 year waits, plus a significant amount of waiting lists that are actually closed! This app will ensure that councils can no longer shut the door to their legal duty to provide.
Landshare has been at the forefront of the debate on land use and accessibility – it is no longer acceptable to say that the land is not available because most of us pass derelict land in our travels every day. By bringing attention to the scale of space that is already on our doorsteps with “LandSpot”, we hope to help enable this potential to be realised and for much more land to be made fertile.”
The Landshare app launched on Friday (6th August 2010) and can be downloaded free at www.landshare.net/iphoneapp
Users without iPhones can also make use of the new tools at www.landshare.net
Some Landshare facts & figures:
- Landshare is a movement of more than 50,000 people – and it’s growing daily.
- The idea came out of Channel 4’s River Cottage, when Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall helped some Bristol families grow food on disused council land.
- More than 100,000 people are on waiting lists for local authority allotments in England.
- An estimated 16% of council waiting lists in England are closed.
- Despite having a legal duty to provide allotments, some 12% of councils do not know what the status of their waiting lists is.
- The Local Government Association reckon that 200,000 allotments have disappeared in the last 30 years
- 6 million people in Britain are estimated to be interested in an allotment.
- There is 60,000 acres of unused rooftop space in London alone.
- There is an estimated 80,000 acres of official derelict land in England.
- In Scotland, more than 44% of derelict land is in urban areas.
- Landshare addresses concern among policy makers about future food security and greenhouse gases from industrial farming and food miles.
- Landshare was recently cited in “Food Justice: The report of the Food and Fairness Inquiry” published July 2010
- It’s one of the best things I’ve commissioned at C4.
And the last word to a happy customer on the App Store: “this app literally changed my life”.
To celebrate our record recession as marked by today’s announcement of a neat 0.4% shrinkage of the UK economy between July and September, making this recession the longest since records began, here are 4 things that have been bugging me on this front…
Earlier this week I read in the Evening Standard an article celebrating the rise in retail sales figures in September with a woman from Selfridges revelling in all the spending, just like the good ol’ pre-Crunch times. Are we all just going to slip back into buying all that Chinese-made shit we don’t really need?
There seems to be no sign of genuine banking reform. Even Boris Johnson is now feeling stiched up by the bwankers. Short-term thinking (if you can call it thinking) is the nemesis of long-term well being.
In the wake of the oil prices hitting their peak, the moment they started coming down a bit, I remember reading the depressing newspaper headline: Supermarket forecourt price wars. This just after you started noticing people really thinking twice before making a car journey. Our capacity to fall back into old ways is frankly depressing.
People keep referring to it as if it’s another run-of-the-mill, cycle-of-things recession, perhaps a bit worse but still a known quantity. My instinct about it is that it contains elements the like of which we have not seen before and understand no better than the bwankers understood what they were doing when they bought those packages of cancerous debt.
We had a chance for a moment there to stop and reflect and consider where true value lies, make some radical changes and get our lives back into balance, perhaps healing our battered environment to a sufficient degree in the process. I hope that moment hasn’t passed but I wouldn’t bet my bottom dollar on it (if I could afford dollars these days).