Rochdale Community Project – centre-stage in new BBC programme

A community ‘linear larder’ garden along the banks of the Rochdale Canal comes under the spotlight in a new BBC One daytime TV series, ‘Let’s Get a Good Thing Going’.

Incredible Edible Todmorden is one of half a dozen community groups bidding for funds in an episode based around Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, which will be broadcast on Friday 22 December at 9.15am.

Jon Stopp, a Canal and River Trust volunteer waterway partner leads the quest for more funds to install public benches, bird boxes and fruit trees along the canal towpath.

The waterside gardens grew out of their wider community canal connections project in the Calder Valley, launched in 2012. Dozens of small patches of public land have now been cultivated as plots for growing herbs, fruit and vegetables, which people can then harvest for free.

Now a much-loved feature of Todmorden town centre, Incredible Edible’s garden plots are sited in a variety of locations and lovingly maintained by an enthusiastic band of volunteers, led by Mary Clear.

Jon said: “Incredible Edible is a fantastic community project which has now been replicated by other towns in the UK and abroad. We know people feel healthier and happier when they’re by waterways and enjoying nature, particularly in urban areas.

“We wanted to use the opportunity presented by the TV programme to raise money to install more fruit trees, benches and bird boxes. The idea is to encourage residents and visitors to come down to the canal, sit, watch and engage with other people and enjoy the lovely waterway environment.”

Viewers can find out whether Jon was successful in his quest by tuning into ‘Let’s Get a Good Thing Going’ programme on Friday.

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