31 Aug 2023

2023 SURF Annual Conference: Community Growing – entering un-chard-ed territory

Organised by: SURF

10.00 - 16.00

CentreStage, 15 Elmbank Drive, Kilmarnock KA1 3AE

How can community food growing contribute to Scotland’s health, wealth and environment?

How can community food growing contribute to Scotland’s health, wealth and environment? 


Our fundamental food requirements are under extreme pressure due to the ongoing energy crisis. But even before recent events, food that was good for our pockets, our health, and the natural environment was in crisis.

In July 2022 the Scottish Parliament passed the Good Food Nation (Scotland) Act which requires the Scottish Government, health boards and local authorities to produce good food plans to affect these outcomes:

(a) social and economic wellbeing,

(b) the environment,

(c) health and physical and mental wellbeing,

(d) economic development,

(e) animal welfare,

(f) education, and

(g) child poverty.

Through both the SURF Awards, our Alliance for Action Programme and our network we know that some communities are already deliver these outcomes. Food is frequently intrinsic to community led regeneration: growing and cooking, sharing fairly, as a source of employment or training, delivering community cohesion and improved health and wellbeing.


10:00    Registration and networking with music from Feis Phaislig

10:30    Welcome and Introduction: Euan Leitch, Chief Executive, SURF

10:40    Opening Address: Joe Fitzpatrick MSP, Minister Local Government Empowerment and Planning, Scottish Government

11.00    Presentation on Good Food Nation: Mary Brennan, University of Edinburgh

11:30    Presentation: Karen Davidson and Lou Evans, Get Growing Scotland

11:50    Panel Session and Q&A led by Get Growing Scotland

12:30    Lunch

13:30    Presentation on Glasgow Food Plan: Jill Muirie, Glasgow Centre for Population Health (GCPH)

13:50    Presentation: Greig Robertson, Edible Estates

14:10    Presentation: Nancy Barr, Larkhall Community Growers

14:25    Panel Session led by SURF Vice-Chair Diane Gray

14:55  Presentation on Campy Growers: Kate Treharne, Dundee City Council

15:15    Presentation on Girvan Tattie Fest: Zanne Domoney-Lyttle, SURF – Girvan Alliance for Action

15:30    Q&A

15:40    Storyteller Daniel Serridge

15:50    What’s Next: Emma Scott, SURF

15:55    Closing Remarks: Brian MacDonald, SURF Chair

16:00    Close

Even if you are not involved in community growing, this conference is still for you as it will reach into wider regeneration outcomes.

Join us for a day in Kilmarnock to celery-brate community growers and explore how we widen the opportunities for all to grow food that is good for us, our communities, and the planet.


Mary Brennan

Lou Evans and Karen Davidson

Jill Murie

Greig Robertson

Nancy Barr

Kate Treharne

Zanne Domoney-Lyttle