Posted by: Mike Grenville | 22 October 2008

Gardening in Totnes

Neil Chadborn writes with news from Totnes Health and Wellbeing Group.

While most people have been relaxing over summer, TTT Health and Wellbeing Group have been very busy. The newly created Community Food and Wellbeing Garden Project (CFWG) was setup on 2nd July, with the aims of involving the local community in a practical solution to integrating local food production, well-being, horticulture and re-skilling.

The CFWG has the following objectives to:

  • grow local food to sell to local people
  • support food security and sustainable communities, and to develop agroforestry
  • involve in communal activity all sectors of the community including children, young people, elderly, and those with special needs, supported by volunteers, and health / social care students
  • provide a therapeutic opportunity, with local medical care practices, to develop communal and personal resilience, and health (mental and physical) to respond appropriately and effectively to change

It almost seems like the energy and enthusiasm for this project has created opportunities; both for funding and possible sites within Totnes town centre. So we have been very busy putting together project outlines and proposals.

We are developing and implementing a way of assessing how new buildings and strategies impact on the health and wellbeing of the local community. Health Impact Assessment is a standard approach within Public Health to assess risk and uncertainty in areas that may be hazardous to health. Recently the assessment has been modified to promote regional sustainable development. This approach supports the Transition Town Totnes resilience and sustainability agenda, specifically as it relates to wider health and wellbeing issues.

Health Impact Assessment tools can be used at a number of stages in the planning process: before implementation – to evaluate early drafts of plans; during implementation – when it may still be possible to act on findings; after implementation – to suggest how future programmes might be improved. An Integrated Health Impact Assessment of the proposed development at Baltic Wharf, Totnes, has been undertaken and a report of the findings will be available in October 2008.

Neil Chadborn
Focaliser / Vocaliser Health and Wellbeing Group
Transition Town Totnes



  1. the links don’t seem to work.

  2. thanks – fixed now

  3. Growing walnut trees: anyone got info on feasibility of growing walnuts in a confined urban garden?
    Is it crucial to have a second tree and of a different variety to ensure fertilisation?
    Are there any less-than-full-sized varieties?
    Thanks for any info you have.

    Hugh Fraser in W10

  4. I have a walnut tree that over hangs my garden. One thing to be aware of about walnut trees is that when the nuts fall, the outer shell is jet black and used as a dye, so be careful when handling as it does not wash off!!

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