This project is one of 12 actions being delivered by the Mayo LCDC (Local Community Development Committee) & CYPSC (Children and Young People’s Services Committee). The Healthy Ireland Fund budget 2017 for this project is €7,000. The Edible Landscape Initiative aims to promote greater awareness of biodiversity,food security and sustainability through the planting of edible landscapes in public places, such as greenways, town parks and community spaces in County Mayo.

The project is being delivered under Strand 1 of the Healthy Ireland Fund. A budget of €5 million was committed by the Department of Health (DOH) in 2017 to the Healthy Ireland Fund. Pobal’s role is to manage and administer the Fund on behalf of the DOH.

A steering group was established to deliver the project, with representation from local organisations and groups such as Le Chéile Family Resource Centre; Mayo Volunteer Centre; local Foróige Youth Groups;Tús scheme – South West Mayo Development Company; Mayo CYPSC; Castlebar Tidy Towns Committee and the National Museum of Country Life, Turlough.

This particular project focuses on providing edible food within the community, while also working with youth and Community groups to raise awareness of the issues of food security, biodiversity and sustainability through the planting of edible plants and trees in their own local community.

Impact of funding

This Edible Landscape project demonstrates how local youth and community groups can work together to promote biodiversity and make positive changes to their local environment.

The project supports greening and gardening in urban spaces and enhances opportunities for community food growing. The project also lays the foundations for the development of community food initiatives promoting the benefits of eating locally produced produce by utilising the planted fruit and nut trees when they mature.

The Group is working in conjunction with a local expert group – Edible Landscape Project (ELP) (www.ediblelandscape.ie). This organisation is delivering onsite workshops to local groups and volunteers focusing on forest gardening design and techniques, food security and the planting and maintaining of fruit and nut trees.

The trees and plants have been primarily sourced from a local supplier and are of diverse varieties, including the reintroduction of native varieties.

Overview

  • Two locations at either end of the Castlebar to Turlough Greenway were identified as an ideal location for planting of edible landscapes:

-An orchard has been developed at the Castlebar Town Park.

-A Forest Garden has been designed at the National Museum of Country Life, Turlough at the end of the Greenway.

  • Eight workshops were held with youth and community groups, with 70 people in attendance.
  • This project contributes to Goal 4 and Goal 2 of ‘A Framework for Improved Health and Wellbeing 2013-2025 and the implementation of ‘A Healthy Weight for Ireland 2016-2025’.