The Edible Landscape Project

December 14, 2018

In your own words, tell us about your project.
The Edible Landscape Project (ELP) is an education and training initiative based in Westport, Co. Mayo. We provide the tools and resources to strengthen community resilience to the effects of climate change by teaching local groups how to grow and consume food in an environmentally sustainable way, using sustainable land management practices. These practices include improving local food security. better biodiversity management, as well as sustainable soil and water management techniques.

ELP has 4 key approaches:

  1. Communication - Facebook, Twitter, Website

  2. Education & Training - (*)Workshops, Seminars, Talks, Walks

  3. Research - Validating ELP's work at University Level (under development)

  4. Partnerships - Under development.

Through these 4 approaches we encourage both large scale landowners - local authorities, schools, universities and farmers - to small scale domestic gardeners, to practice Edible Landscape sustainable land management techniques.
Why did you do this work?
To improve climate resilience at a community level by the following means:

Increased local levels of PLANTING for climate change resilience. Throughout ELP workshops the Agroforestry/ Sustainable Horticulture ethos is adhered to which means:

  • Increased planting of edible trees, shrubs and perennials locally helps organic matter build-up and soil sequestration promoting food soil bacteria/ fungi/ other soil micro-organisms

  • Sustainable use of natural resources – dramatically reduce volumes of pesticides, herbicides, fertilisers so less harm to birds/ bees/ all wildlife

  • The use of local and heritage plants. Teaching people to value local species of plants. These protect local biodiversity as they support much higher levels of native species of wildlife than non-native plants. This in turn helps in the fight against climate change.

Increased numbers of local PEOPLE understanding how to manage climate resilience locally by :

  • Equipping participants with the necessary skills and confidence to easily and simply grow their own long-term sources of food using plants which support local biodiversity, without the need for any form of chemical pesticide, herbicide, fungicide or chemical fertiliser.

Planting for climate change resilience and keeping PROFITS local:

  • Teaching participants the importance of buying locally - both food and plants - to alleviate air miles in the fight against climate change. Buying local also supports the local economy and local jobs.

What was the impact or outcome of your project?

  • Influencing behavioural change to more environmentally sustainable practices

  • Improved local biodiversity levels/ encouraging less food miles among the local community

  • Improved local food security- equipping participants with skills needed to grow long term sources of food

  • Mental and physical health improvements for participants as they team up designing and planting an edible garden

  • Embedding the idea of the sustainable use of local resources - demonstrating that chemicals are not necessary to grow food

  • Teaching planting techniques which can be replicated in participants gardens improving the soil locally

Do you have any tips or advice for similar projects?
There's no time to think or talk about climate change anymore.

It's time to ACT. Get a group together and start planting...
Which Sustainable Development Goals does your work link to?
Goal 2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
Goal 3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
Goal 5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
Goal 9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
Goal 10. Reduce inequality within and among countries
Goal 11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
Goal 12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
Goal 13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts*
Goal 15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
Goal 17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development
Location of Project
Westport, Co. Mayo
Contact Person
Caithriona McCarthy
Email Address
Contact Number
086 600 8560