Category Archives: General Information

Community Composting Consultation

Here in the Scottish Borders the council do not collect food waste as a separate collection. Instead, it goes into landfill. Abundant Borders want to take food residues out of the waste stream destined for landfill and instead, working with the local community and community groups, turn this waste into useful compost.

Karen Birch, Chief Officer at Abundant Borders says,
“We need to reduce the amount of waste going into landfill and manage waste locally rather than transporting it over long distances to large treatment works. We want to encourage a more circular economy, with local food growing projects, local food waste collection and local composting”.

Community composting benefits the environment as it:

  • removes biodegradable and decaying materials from general waste, keeping the rest of the rubbish cleaner and fresher
  • diverts resources away from landfill
  • produces a useful bi-product – compost
  • helps Scotland to meet the EU landfill directive and the UK waste and recycling targets

Community composting benefits communities:

  • it is an opportunity for neighbours to come together and work together
  • the compost produced can be used to directly benefit the local community; quality compost has resale value and can be used on local growing projects – like Abundant Borders Community Food Gardens

The Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund (CCF) provides grants and support for community-led organisations to tackle climate change by running projects that reduce local carbon emissions and is funding Abundant Borders to undertake a community consultation in Eyemouth into food waste recycling.

Over the coming weeks and months we will arranging meetings and information exchanges widely in Eyemouth, in partnership with Sea the Change, so watch this space!

If you are interested in getting involved, or just want to find out more, contact

The first chance to have your say will be at the Sea the Change Open Events on 22nd August 2018

Come and join us!

Role: Volunteer Co-Ordinator

Organisation: Abundant Borders

Location: Hawick

Salary: £18,000 pro rata for 28 hours per week

Closing: Friday 22nd June 2018


Abundant Borders (SC046962) is a small charity working to create a network of food production site across the Scottish Borders, whose aim is to alleviate household food insecurity by teaching people to grow food in a sustainable way and how to cook healthy, inexpensive meals.

Having gained grant funding from the People’s Postcode Trust, we are looking to recruit an enthusiastic, self-motivated individual to support the volunteers who are working to create a food garden in Hawick.

This is an exciting opportunity to work with enthusiastic volunteers and a new, dynamic charity.

Gardening skills would be an advantage but are not essential. The garden is being developed using permaculture principles. Knowledge of permaculture methods of growing would be an advantage, but not essential as full support will be given.

The successful applicant should have experience of recruiting, working with and supporting volunteers and be able to maintain accurate records and undertake evaluation tasks, with supervision and support from Chief Officer. Good communication skills are essential, as is an ability to form positive partnerships with other local groups, agencies and organisations.

This is six-month post which will end December 2018. Funding to retain the post, at reduced hours, will be sought.

For further information about the project: please visit our website at

For more information about the post: please contact

To apply: please apply in writing, with cv to




Volunteer Co-ordinator, Hawick Project


Responsible to:                 Chief Officer

Responsible for:               Volunteers


Job Purpose

The Volunteer Co-ordinator is responsible for recruiting, training, supporting and managing volunteers at the Community Food Garden, Hawick.


Key Responsibilities

  • Engage with local communities to promote and encourage the recruitment of volunteers to work in the Community Food Garden
  • Organise profile-raising events to attract new volunteers
  • Interview and recruit volunteers
  • Generate appropriate volunteering opportunities based on the needs of the organisation
  • Provide induction and training for new volunteers, using induction template
  • Arrange and supervise all volunteer sessions at the Community Food Garden
  • Ensure there is appropriate support and training for existing volunteers
  • Monitor, support and motivate volunteers
  • Manage the reimbursement of volunteer expenses
  • Keep up to date with legislation and policy related to volunteering and inform Chief Officer of any necessary modifications to accommodate changes
  • Work with multiple agencies across different sectors to establish good working relationships to influence decisions about volunteering in Hawick and environs
  • Monitor and evaluate activities on-site and write reports for Chief Officer and trustees
  • Maintain database of volunteers and undertake any other administrative duties
  • Monitor and update volunteer policies and procedures, including risk assessments with respect to the Community Food Garden



  • The performance of the job requires a flexible approach to the work and some evening and weekend work
  • Holiday entitlement – 25 annual days pro rata (five of which must be taken during the Christmas/New Year holiday) plus ten public holidays
  • Salary: £18,000 pro rata for 28 hours per week
  • This is six-month post, funded by Postcode Lottery Trust, and will end December 2018. Funding to retain the post, at reduced hours, will be sought.

June 2018

Street Food Galore

We spent two fantastic days in Eyemouth as part of the Street Food event organised by Eyemouth Good Food Partnership, a fantastic group (of which we are members), which promotes healthy eating and community food events in the town.

Day one was a lovely sunny day  with cooking demonstrations galore.

Shane and Annie were on hand to introduce youngsters to the delights of perennial salads. Lovage and Sweet Cicely were particular favourites!

Day two was a bit chillier but the enthusiasm of the young participants was just as warm as on day one!

Wildflower seed planting

Karen has been planting Wildflower seeds this morning.

These are a selection of shade loving seeds – Kew call the selection Woodland Wonders so into the woods we went!

So far, we have shared seeds from Kew with Eyemouth Early Learning Centre, Ayton Community Garden and Hawick Community Garden.

No food without flowers

Grow Wild is the national outreach initiative of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. They are working with individuals, groups and charities to get us all growing wildflowers. As it says on their website,

“In the UK we’re lucky to have some amazing wildflowers, but they’re in danger: we have lost 97% of wildflower meadows since the 1930s. This not only means less colour in our lives but it’s impacting on populations of butterflies, bees, pollinating bugs and birds. We believe that the simple act of sowing UK native wildflowers can make a difference – and that it can bring neighbourhoods together, connect people to nature and boost our wellbeing.”

We couldn’t agree more. And as a charity committed to reducing household food insecurity we know that there is no food without flowers. We need wildflowers for bees and other polliniators and we need the pollinators for our crops. So we are delighted to be able to do our part in growing wild.

We’ll be planting at Ayton, Hawick and with the children at Eyemouth Early Learning Centre so expect some colour over the summer!

Growing Community Food Initiatives

There is a huge amount of interest in community food initiaves across The Borders right now, which is fantastic. Abundant Borders is working with partners across the region to see how we can all work together to ensure that the whole of our efforts is much more than the sum of our individual actions.

Really interesting event in Burnfoot talking about ALISS and Social Prescribing in the Scottish Borders.

Followed by the first meeting in Duns to see how we can work together to support and grow community food projects.

Community Action Plan

Penny, Annie, Shane, Karen were out this morning in Eyemouth promoting Localities Initiative and supporting the co-creation of a Good Food Hub for Berwickshire Thanks to everyone who came to see us and to support us. There are still a few days left to vote so look out for ballot boxes throughout Berwickshire!

A Good Food Hub for Berwickshire

From Thursday 1st February 2018 through to Wednesday 28th February 2018 voting is open for projects looking for support from Scottish Borders Council Localities Fund. Abundant Borders, local communities and partners want to co-create a Good Food Hub for Berwickshire; to help connect and support communities and local food businesses to grow, source, cook and eat local food.
To help create a Berwickshire Good Food Hub, VOTE NOW

So, what is a GOOD FOOD HUB?
The Berwickshire Good Food Hub will:

  • Tackle Household Food Insecurity
    Feeding hungry people with donated or re-directed food waste is not culturally appropriate and does not address the root cause of hunger. No comprehensive action has been taken, locally or nationally, to reduce the need for food banks. There are no statistics for Scotland (Citizens Advice Bureaux (CAB) are currently working to collect and collate date) but, according to UN polling, in the UK 10% of people experience moderate to severe food insecurity, placing the UK in the bottom half of EU nations. This figure may be higher in Scotland, where 27% of incomes fall below the Minimum Income Standard and CABs report an increase of 11% in issues relating to food banks and food parcels in 2016. The Good Food Hub will support people in growing and cooking affordable meals from fresh, locally sourced ingredients.

To help create a Berwickshire Good Food Hub, VOTE NOW

  • Promote Community Food Growing
    Community growing has many benefits ranging from increased health and wellbeing to reducing inequalities. Home-grown and community grown produce contributes to the local economy and communities learn about seasonal and local food. Community growing projects help to address issues of social isolation, particularly important to rural communities in Berwickshire, by creating open spaces where people get to know one another and start to take pride in, and shape, their community. Mental health problems can lead to isolation. A lack of fruit and vegetables in people’s diets is a risk factor in health conditions such as type-2 diabetes and obesity and less than 50% of people in Scotland meet physical activity guidelines. The lack of adequate transport and access to more affordable healthy options in rural settings such as Berwickshire, contributes to this problem. Growing food in a community setting can address these issues. The Good Food Hub will aim to ensure that everyone who wishes to, can have access to growing space within their community.

To help create a Berwickshire Good Food Hub, VOTE NOW

  • Address issues of Food and Health
    All of Scotland’s dietary goals have been missed every year since monitoring began in 2001. The Scottish diet is characterised as being high in fat, sugar and salt and low in fresh fruit and vegetables. The situation is made worse as 75% of Scottish adults don’t believe that their diets are unhealthy (Food Standards Scotland). Obesity rates in Scotland are amongst the highest in the world, with one in four adults and one in six children categorised as obese and two in every three adults overweight (Scottish Government 2016). The Good Food Hub will make it easier for people in Berwickshire to access good quality, affordable food. It will encourage people to grow their own food and provide training in how to cook healthy, inexpensive meals, in line with the action plan developed by the community.

To help create a Berwickshire Good Food Hub, VOTE NOW

Within the project are several brand new initiatives

  • To scope new community growing projects in Duns
  • To run four day-long food workshop events, using seasonal produce grown in the community, to show how produce can be used, cooked and preserved
  • Hold monthly social food sessions for community volunteers
  • Hold an annual Big Lunch, to bring together community volunteers
  • To create a tool and book library to support people who want to grow food/cook healthy meals
  • To pilot Healthy Meal Bags

The hub will build community capacity by providing extra resource to support and expand some existing projects.

  • Planting and growing on three community garden sites in Ayton and Eyemouth
  • Support community meals, including Eyemouth Tea Dance, Pots and Pans cooking sessions supported by Healthy Living Network and soup clubs in Greenlaw.

To help create a Berwickshire Good Food Hub, VOTE NOW