Castle Douglas Environmental Action Group ‘Eco CD’ Launches Lettuce Project

Castle Douglas Development Forum’s (CDDF) environmental action group, Eco CD, has just launched its first project.

Eco CD, the environmental action group, run by Castle Douglas Development Forum (CDDF) and led by Piper Booth, has just delivered lettuce seeds and compost to all Primary 4&5 pupils at Castle Douglas, Crossmichael, Springholm, Hardgate and Gelston Primary Schools.

Eco CD, which was started in March 2021, engages the community to work towards a more environmentally aware future for Castle Douglas. It has also created a safe digital space for those interested in getting involved in local climate action, one where people can learn from each other and raise questions.

Piper Booth, who is the current Manager at the Heart of Galloway Visitor Centre, launched the Lettuce project because she noted that fresh produce is hard to donate to the Castle Douglas food bank. This started a conversation amongst CDDF and ECO CD members about how CDDF could provide regular fresh food to food bank users as well as encourage healthy eating in general.

The overall objectives of the Lettuce project are to: teach children about the positive environmental impact of growing your own food; provide a fun activity for local children to take part in, and encourage growing fruit and vegetables at home as an avenue to tackle food poverty. Funding for this project came from both the Castle Douglas Coop Community fund and the Castle Douglas Rotary Club.

It’s meant that all local P4/5 pupils in the area will receive compost and lettuce seeds, to be grown at home, plus a pack of weekly activities to encourage conversations about the environment. The project has also been able to provide a wider variety of seeds, pots, and compost for food bank clients to grow a selection of vegetables at home.

Piper says: “As Eco CD’s first project, I wanted to explore the environmental impact of local and sustainably grown food and teach children about the impact food has on the environment. This project provided a great starting point for Eco CD, with an immediate impact within the community and to start the discussion into what Castle Douglas can do locally to make a contribution towards climate change action.”

On the future of Eco CD, she says: “EcoCD has come such a long way in such a short amount of time. We are looking forward to our first online Climate café and the response from the community is really encouraging. Hopefully, we will see Eco CD start to take on local environmental issues to support the community to take action”.

If anyone is interested in joining Eco CD, please contact Piper Booth at:

[email protected]

About The Castle Douglas Development Forum

The Castle Douglas Development Forum (CDDF) exists to promote the health and well-being of the people of Castle Douglas and the surrounding rural areas. Started in 2012 as a

registered charity and community development trust (SC043639), it aims to promote togetherness, support and inclusivity within the community. CDDF is the community anchor organisation and designated resilience team for the town. CDDF is committed to efforts that: promote regeneration; advance education; advance the arts, heritage, culture, and science of the area; promote environmental protection and improvement, and offer relief services for those in need.

Its diverse range of projects are run by and for the community. To raise funds for the busy calendar of civic events that encourage civic pride and community spirit, CDDF volunteers help to run the Heart of Galloway Visitor Centre and the Castle Douglas Town.

Castle Douglas Development Forum’s Steppingstones project provides an emergency food

bank and signposting out of poverty. CDDF is also involved in running the local Men’s Shed, and an environmental action group: EcoCD. These projects help CDDF to build confidence

and skills amongst the citizens of Castle Douglas so that the town can thrive, grow, and innovate. In the next three years, CDDF will pursue a community asset transfer to acquire a lochside building to provide a family activity centre and the town’s caravan park, as well as build an Inclusive Playpark with Changing Places facilities.

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