Over 4 acres of community growing are planned for the grounds of the historical 17th century mansion, which was the subject of the UK’s largest ever community buyout in 2017.
Since then more than 200 local volunteers have been working tirelessly with the Trust to transform the house and gardens into a leading visitor attraction and community asset.
As well as repairing and renovating the house, plans for the outbuildings and grounds include a community café, event hire space, an ornamental garden, a community orchard and a market garden.
Project Support Manager, Sheila Taylor said: “Thanks to our funders and dedicated volunteers, we’ve been able to install three polytunnels and create growing areas within the walled garden. We’ll also be planting our own orchard later in 2020.
“Through all our food growing, we have used the Charles Dowding No Dig method to maximise the time we can spend in the garden and avoid the use of pesticides.
“In the future we hope that our market garden will be able to supply our on-site community café and people will be able to sample some of our freshly grown produce.”
During the Covid-19 lockdown, the Trust gave out over 60 grow your own veg kits to volunteers and members of the community allowing them to grow their own crop of potatoes and tomatoes. Families were also supplied with free bread, pizza and bannock making kits, when flour was in short supply.
Sheila added: “We’ve been working closely with the community to encourage them to grow, prepare and eat local produce and to promote the health benefits and the positive effects on climate change through doing so. We’ve also started a partnership with Ladies of the Rock in Stirling to provide them with fresh produce from our garden for their weekly community larder. Looking to the future we would like to be able to market and sell our fresh produce to individuals or businesses within Forth Valley and collaborate with others.”
Find out more about Bannockburn House at www.bannockburnhouse.scot or watch here.
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