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Landshare goes hi-tech

PUBLISHED: 15:43 05 August 2010 | UPDATED: 08:36 28 March 2014

AUGUST 5, 2010: The Landshare campaign, to connect growers and landowners, has gone hi-tech to to connect to the iPhone app community.

Landshare is for people who:

* Want to grow veg but don’t have anywhere to do it;
* Have a spare bit of land they’re prepared to share;
* Can help in some way – from sharing knowledge and lending tools to helping out on the plot itself;
* Support the idea of freeing up more land for growing;
* Are already growing and want to join in the community.

Landshare came out of TV’s River Cottage. It began when Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall helped some Bristol families grow veg on derelict council land. The experience was so inspiring that River Cottage decided to see if it would work nationwide. Now Landshare is a national movement of more than 50,000 people. 

Currently there are two growers to every plot offered, and River Cottage says its new app will empower the public to take action.
• Councils will be held to legal task to provide allotments;
• 100,000s of acres of 'wasted' space around UK will be identified;
The new features use app functionality at its best:
• Using the camera with geocoding technology;
• Giving users live access to expert growers for instant advice;
• Extending accessibility and engagement of tools with social application – the Landshare App is free to download.

A River Cottage spokeswoman said: "The app also gives users direct 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 said: “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 for allotments 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 unacceptable 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 launches tomorrow (August 6) and can be downloaded free at www.landshare.net/iphoneapp

Users without iPhones can also engage in the new tools at www.landshare.net


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