Agrobiodiversity and Communal Crofting
'An urban community growing area can be a rich haven of agrobiodiversity supporting agroecological production as well as its other benefits to growers, to the community and to overall biodiversity.'
Review of Croft Diversity, 2020
Below you will find the first systematic survey of agrobiodiversity of our communally managed Croft plots.
The report’s conclusions are encouraging, stimulating and constructive. The resounding message is that the Crofter community maintains a high diversity of useful plant species (122), showing ‘that an urban community growing area can be a rich haven of agrobiodiversity supporting agroecological production as well as its other benefits to growers, to the community and to overall biodiversity’ (pg. 5). This diversity is strengthened by the varied backgrounds and cultures of Crofters, and the mix of community areas and individual plots.
From the Introduction
This shows that self-organisation for growing within a diverse community works – it gives many individual Crofters and groups the freedom to use the allocated space according to their values and strengths, leading to agrobiodiversity benefits that are ‘greater than might be expected for the area available (pg. 5).
Taken together, the benefits (agrobiodiversity, community, overall biodiversity) and challenges (little available land, vulnerability, pollinator species) identified in this report clearly support our vision to reclaim derelict urban land and establish urban crofts across Scotland. We believe that these urban crofts can provide their people and communities with the necessary growing and seed-saving skills, land and human connections to build real personal and collective agency in the food system. As a decentralised network of allied community growing projects, they could play a central role in Scotland’s move towards food sovereignty and in its fight to tackle climate change and inequality, while building solidarity with international peasant and climate justice movements.