LCR Community Food Plan
Earth Moves initiates a community-led grassroots project to return food growing to the Wallasey-Leasowe market gardens after an absence of 20 years
This project is made possible with funding from the Liverpool City region and Wirral Council.
Founders Paula Staunton and Peter Rix lead Earth Moves Cooperative, a grassroots community-based in Wallasey. They have been evolving well-being, environmental education, and community food growing projects on the Wallasey market gardens since 2017.
For this project, Earth Moves works with local young gardeners.
The project aims to rescue 4 acres of historic market gardens, re-engage local communities with their food-growing heritage and explore future production and distribution networks which serve local communities and help rebuild the social economy. This is a historical food-abundant area and the current insecurities around climate change, food access and democratic control mean that this is an urgent moment in time to explore ecologically beneficial and socially responsible strategies to help our communities survive and thrive.
Earth Moves Cooperative grew from the grassroots - by attracting local people who believe in community and self-empowered activities, enjoy growing our own food, creating our own collaborative artworks and designing learning experiences that help prepare us for the emerging uncertain future we face.
We are excited and grateful to the Wirral Council for granting us a lease to 4 acres of overgrown market garden land in Wallasey. We have been funded to create a community food growing and distribution plan by the LCR and Wirral Council. This funding will also enable local people to engage the opportunity to come and grow food learning many old and new ecological techniques, some of them used by the early growers of the Leasowe market gardens. One of our main challenges is how to return increasingly seasonally flooded land to productive usage.
This is a long-term project, we are working with the Wirral Council parks team on ensuring the project can run for a number of years to ensure there is enough time to develop planting seasons, secure the soil, introduce irrigation and ensure the site is accessible to the public.
How is it going to be beneficial?
We will Re-engage or newly engage people across north Wirral and the wider LCR with local land-based, permaculture and food growing skills and increase awareness of the benefits to people’s wellbeing and the local ecology and economy. Help local communities by demonstrating and sharing our knowledge, experience and findings and guide them in how to set up their own ecologically minded co-operative grow zones where they live.
Also, help other holders of market garden land on the flood plain to adapt to the impacts of flooding and climate change.
Our plans include an access path that will enable people with mobility
Issues, wheelchair users and people with prams and pushchairs to enjoy the site, particularly avoiding rough and uneven ground.
This project through the creation of seasonal ponds will also play a part in increasing the market gardens' bio-diversity.
Who can get involved
Hundreds of participants have already benefited from attending Earth Moves events or volunteer days. We do weekly events either cultural art activities or food growing. Anyone can get involved! We have a programme of engaging events throughout the project and beyond.
Paula Staunton, Earth Moves founder said: “At Earth Moves, we use horticulture, positive psychology, nature immersion and creativity to tackle social issues such as social isolation, lack of access to fresh food, ecological sustainability and wellness.”
Peter Rix, Earth Moves founder said: “At Earth Moves we want to support local residents to live healthier, joyful and more fulling lives, which in turn can help improve life outcomes on the Wirral such as life expectancy, employment and community cohesion.
Food security is an issue community food growing addresses by empowering people to look at food and land issues.
Earth Moves supports vulnerable groups through workshops based on their specific needs, helping people learn new skills and feel empowered. These targeted groups include; Black, Minority and Ethnic communities, people who are HIV+, working class, disabled people, those with Mental illness, LGBTQI+ people, Autistic people, those suffering from social isolation, survivors of domestic violence, asylum seekers, un-employed, those recovering from addiction, and the elderly.
Communities know best what is needed for communities, Earth Moves seeks to empower people through methods of cooperation and giving people a voice and input on all activities. Earth Moves is resident-led and all work is co-designed by those involved in the project. It’s open to all, no experience necessary, all you need to bring is yourself and we can help you get involved in growing a community here in Leasowe.”
At Earth Moves we believe there is no such thing as a ‘hard to reach group’ but only groups who are not being communicated in a way suitable to their beliefs and culture, we strive to connect and share with all people and improve our practice continues to enable us to do this.