Vacant site set to be blooming marvellous

Project manager Reeni Kennedy-Boyle (right) talking to Climate Challenge Fund representative Kazia Koziel at the site last week. Also pictured are lead horticulturalist Ronnie Armstrong (left) and Fiona Zavaroni, finance.
Project manager Reeni Kennedy-Boyle (right) talking to Climate Challenge Fund representative Kazia Koziel at the site last week. Also pictured are lead horticulturalist Ronnie Armstrong (left) and Fiona Zavaroni, finance.

One of Bute’s prominent derelict sites is due to be transformed in the coming months – thanks to funding from the Climate Challenge Fund.

The ground was broken last week at the space once occupied by the West Church in Rothesay, as part of a year-long project ‘Bute Carbon Free Food’, delivered by Fyne Futures. The site will be transformed into an accessible garden with a number of raised beds and vegetable trugs.

Work begins on the Rothesay site.

Work begins on the Rothesay site.

Sandy Ogilvie, sales and marketing leader for Fyne Futures, revealed more about plans for the site.

He said: “The site plan will mean anyone will be able to take part in tending the garden and joining the group of volunteers.

“The beds will be used to grow fruit, vegetables and herbs that will be freely available for anyone to use.

“In addition the project hopes to highlight the importance of buying food locally and in season. For example, the carbon footprint of our island is reduced when we source food grown or reared locally.

“Making fruit and vegetables available for anyone to pick for free means this is reduced to zero.”

Fyne Futures are working with a number of partners to deliver this project, and it is quickly becoming a community effort. With support from Argyll and Bute Council, Mount Stuart and a variety of local businesses and individuals, the West Church site is expected to reach completion by mid-June.

Sandy added: “It is hoped that June 24 will see sunny weather for the opening of the West Church accessible edible community garden.”

Meanwhile, the Bute Carbon Free Food’ project is offering funded places at all Bute Produce courses this year. These include their popular ‘Grow Your Own’, ‘Seed Saving’ and ‘Master Composter’ courses, plus new ‘Bee Talk’ and ‘Hazel Tree Trim’ demos.

The full programme of training is available on their website, www.fynefutures.org.uk/bute-carbon-free-food/, their social media pages and from the Bute Produce garden. Call 01700 503181 for more information.