The New Diggers Mon 1 Feb 2010 21:00 BBC Radio 4

dicegeorge at hotmail dot com dicegeorge at
Wed Jan 27 18:04:40 GMT 2010

Mon 1 Feb 2010 21:00 BBC Radio 4   The New Diggers

The Incredible Edible team in Todmorden

In 1649 the chaos of the English Civil War inspired a group that declared 
our land to be a common treasury and began to plant fruit and vegetables on 
common land in southern and central England. It was a response to a shortage 
of food and what the Diggers saw as the misuse of productive land by the 
large landowners.

Alice Roberts meets the new Diggers - groups and individuals across the 
country determined to tackle the looming food crisis by making the wasteland 

In Todmorden in West Yorkshire locals began by secretly planting up the 
gardens of their derelict heath centre. Today the whole town seems to throb 
with fertility; new allotments fill the retirement home gardens and feed the 
residents, an aquaponics growing system is being built behind the secondary 
school and pak choi self-seeds through the cracks in the town centre 

Near Gateshead a National Trust-owned stately home has cleared its enormous 
Georgian walled garden and invited local people in to create their own 
allotments. Meanwhile, a farming estate in Oxfordshire has decided that a 
reliance on arable farming leaves it vulnerable to world markets. New 
farmers and growers are being invited to rent small plots of land to try 
their hand at making the tricky transition from amateur grower to real 

Alice Roberts asks if this grassroots revolution will produce enough food to 
feed Britain. Will it transform the shape of our countryside and the look of 
our towns?

Related Links
The Campaign For Real Farming (
Landshare (
National Trust allotments (
The Diggers (
The Incredible Edible team in Todmorden

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