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Following community consultation back in 2008, NCDC identified a strong desire in the community for home-grown produce.
This led to the development of the Northmavine Community Polytunnel project as part of a Powerdown project to save carbon and money. The Powerdown officer identified the most suitable structure for the Shetland climate.
After a successful funding application to the Climate Challenge Fund, 12 community polytunnels were built in Northmavine. 'Hosts' share the spare with 4 - 5 neighbours and almost 60 people are now growing food locally, many for the first time.
The polytunnel has proved so popular that the NCDC has rebranded it as the 'polycrub' and has patent pending on the design. They have set up a trading subsidiary of the NCDC which sells the polycrub as part of its' core business.
Colin Dickie, Emily Robertson, Maree Hay and Peter Sinclair accept the Shetland Environmental Award on behalf of the NCDC and the Northmavine Community Polytunnel project. Photo by Austin Taylor
The project and the 'polycrub' design has recently won a Shetland Environmental Award. The judging panel comments were:
'A good practical project with some creative solutions to Shetland's food issues and recycling of redundant salmon cages. The community focus resulted in a project which far surpassed what was anticipated and is now entering a new phase which will make it a long term sustainable social enterprise'