Recently, our COP Events and Venues Officer Tami took the time to chat to Lucy from South Seeds (a community organisation in Glasgow, working on sustainability and community development) to learn what South Seeds is all about! Read on below.
Can you tell us a bit about South Seeds; how it started, and how it grew from a sapling to the big plant that it is now?
South Seeds was started by some young, concerned residents in 2011, who were concerned [with] how the area could be more sustainable. Looking back now, we would describe our activities as working on the net zero agenda for the last ten years, but at the time, people didn’t really use the word ‘net zero’. We’re ten years old, and we have been running projects for ten years.
Could you tell us more about the community that you’re part of?
The community is really, really diverse. It’s a South Central area. It’s people [who] predominantly live in tenement flats that are pre-1919 (the blonde and red sandstone flats). These are quite hard to treat, in terms of making them energy efficient, and the tenure of those flats can be owner occupied, privately rented, or [be] a registered social landlord like a Community Housing Association, for example, Govanhill, Southside. Tenure is really important when you’re coming to look at how you can make your home more sustainable.
We’re working in a mixed tenure area; we’re working with everyone in the area. There’s every kind of person in this area: millionaires, vulnerable people, highly educated people, active people, inactive people. Really [there] is every type of person here.
Can you tell us about your plans for the community centre you’re setting up?
For about five years, we have rented some space with Locavore (social enterprise which works on creating a more sustainable food system). We created a community garden that we call the ‘Croft’. Next to the Croft was a disused changing room that had fallen into disrepair (it belongs to Glasgow City Council), and we are improving it and creating a community garden there. We’re looking into how stable the building is, and what can be done with [it]. There [are] a lot of options for the space, but we want it to reflect what the community would like, so access to outdoor space and the opportunity to meet other people will be some of the main things that will come out.
What are South Seeds’ plans and hopes for COP26 coming to Glasgow?
I think South Seeds would like a greater focus on sustainability and the issues in Glasgow, and for the COP to leave a real legacy for Glasgow. Our main concern is how to heat these pre-1919 tenement flats in a sustainable way going forwards.