In this Save the Green Belt special issue: Richard Spalding on ‘Save our soils – use our soils’ · Save the Greenbelt Alliance · Bristol’s Greenbelt – have your say · Guide to E-news subscriptions & newsletters · Updates from: Russell Town Community Allotment, GROFUN, Green Books for a Green City


When hundreds of us last year took the Eat the Change challenge and tried to spend a week eating only local, organic food free from plastic packaging, we discovered just how limited local sustainable food is. There are myriad reasons for this, but the reality remains that with fossil fuels likely to become extremely scarce within our lifetimes and food miles contributing so intensely to climate change, we will soon have little choice but to produce most of our food locally. In light of this, it is essential that we start preparing now by ring fencing land for sustainable food production now.

Transition Network is beginning to explore how Britain can best feed itself, analysing Britain’s land potential for food production in light of nutritional needs, climate change, flood predictions, soil quality, population densities etc. But what is already overwhelmingly obvious is that we will need every inch of land suitable for food production, in both the countryside and cities, if we are going to be able to feed ourselves in the future.

This edition of Bristol’s Local Food Update shines the spotlight on how Bristol’s Green Belt and agricultural hinterlands are increasingly being given over to development in the pursuit of further economic growth (largely in response to central government targets), despite the increasing imperative to save our soils for food production.

The Avon Green Belt, an area five times the size of Bristol and predominantly classified as farmland (but much of which currently lies fallow) is being increasingly earmarked by Local Authorities for developments such
as 117,000 new houses in the South West. We all need to act now to ensure that Bristol City Council ring fences all suitable land for food production: read on and stay in touch to find out how to make your voice heard.

May – June 2009