Calderdale’s community growing scheme goes global


From Todmorden to Japan and New Zealand…everyone wants a taste of Calderdale Council’s community growing scheme.

The scheme makes it easier for people to work together to create spaces where they can grow their own fruit and veg. It was launched as a pilot in Todmorden in March, to build on the success of Incredible Edible Todmorden. Working with the internationally-renowned group, the Council has identified patches of unused land across the town and has created an online map system that shows all the Council-owned land available for community growing. Easy-to-understand guidance has also been produced.

Just a few weeks into the pilot, a request from New Zealand for advice, and an upcoming visit from Japan, are putting Calderdale firmly on the world map.

Staff at Calderdale Council were in for a big surprise when they received an email all the way from New Zealand. It was from Auckland Council, who want to make it easier for people to grow their own food in their communities. They were so impressed with the community growing guidance on Calderdale Council’s website that they got in touch straight away to learn more.

Steve McLuckie, Community Development Facilitator at Auckland Council, said:

“I was fascinated to see the community growing guidance document that Calderdale Council has partnered with Incredible Edible to produce. The map of suitable locations is a fantastic tool. I love the enabling, positive tone. Making it easier for people to grow more of their own food is tremendous.”

Calderdale Council is happy to share this knowledge and Auckland Council is using these insights to help facilitate more community food growing in the city.

To add to the international interest in community growing in Calderdale, the Japan Centre for Regional Development has also been in touch. In June, senior representatives are visiting Calderdale Council and Incredible Edible Todmorden to find out more about their joint work. On Monday 16 June, Calderdale Council staff who coordinate the community growing pilot are meeting the representatives in Todmorden and talking to them about how the Council supports initiatives like Incredible Edible as part of its wider work to support communities. The Council will also share its knowledge of promoting healthy eating and sustainable tourism.

Calderdale Council’s Director of Communities and Business Change, Robin Tuddenham, said:

“Our community growing pilot has really taken off in Todmorden and it’s brilliant that more and more residents are getting in touch with us about growing their own food. We’re delighted that people as far away as New Zealand and Japan are interested in the scheme and using our advice to benefit their areas.”

Pam Warhurst from Incredible Edible Todmorden added:

“When we started Incredible Edible seven years ago this is exactly what we dreamed of. Calderdale Council leading the way, helping every one of its residents find an easy way to grow local food and get all the benefits that we all know about. There are real heroes amongst the Council staff who have made this happen. They have shown councils wherever they are that every community can just get on with making a better life for themselves through eating good, locally grown food.”

To see Calderdale Council’s guidance and online map system, visit the sustainable food page at For more information contact Kirsten Fussing, Calderdale Council’s Neighbourhood Coordinator, at or on 01706 548133.

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