What benefits can horticulture have for people in Scotland and our environment?
We know that horticulture can offer both wide-ranging and long-lasting benefits, and a recent report published at the end of March has collated these and their relevance to Scotland.
The Scottish horticulture sector includes many diverse interests including plant production, retailing, voluntary and community projects, education and tourism interests. The Scottish Horticulture Panel, brought together these various interests, and together have developed the Scottish Horticulture Action Plan setting out how horticulture can further contribute to the benefit of Scotland and its people.
The plan was published at the end of March, and Merryhatton’s owner Helen MacDonald was at the Scottish Parliament to see it being presented to MSPs. Helen said, “At Merryhatton we welcome this plan, and the clarity with which it sets out the many important and relatively inexpensive benefits that horticulture offers”.
The underlying principle of the Action Plan is that “…we learn better, work better and get better faster in a green environment and yet, despite fantastic work going on across Scotland, many people miss out on these vital benefits”
In summary, the key aims of the plan are that:
- – All school children will have the opportunity to grow plants, learn about the environment and understand the importance of a healthy lifestyle
- – We will promote the benefits of land-based career options to nurture and extend our skills base
- – We will increase our economic contribution and create 300 new jobs
- – We will develop low-cost horticulture-based solutions to treating mental health and other health challenges
- – We will increase the amount of plants and trees produced and used in Scotland
- – We will encourage the setting up of community gardens
- – We will support and promote garden tourism in Scotland