The Green Loop Project has just acquired an allotment close to Talbot Campus and will be looking for volunteers to help cultivate and grow all sorts of things on the plot soon.

There's lots of work to be done, weeding, turning soil, digging in compost etc. If you want to get outdoors, make new friends and learn to grow your own food, join the Facebook page where the latest information is posted.


What is the Green Loop?

The Green Loop project is a not-for-profit ethical food social enterprise, led by a collective of students concerned with environmental damage caused by food production and are actively experimenting with ecological design to build sustainable food systems on campus. We are fully supported by NUS Student Eats, SUBU, the BU Estates Department and the student community itself. We've been busy building the infrastructure over the past year.

What is the polytunnel?

We have a polytunnel on Talbot Campus opposite the biodome - between Dorset House and the Kimmeridge building - which is our hub where we propagate our plants to go out into multiple community gardens, on campus and in the local surroundings.
Our aim is to provide an ethical alternative for students by growing organic veg ourselves. We cook them into tasty vegetarian and vegan meals that are fresh and nutritious for students to sample. We advocate research and education at every step and are dedicated to increasing awareness of environmental sustainability. We believe food is the most powerful tool we have that connects everyone together and by invigorating a passion for home grown food in young people they may go on to make the change we need to make a better future.


How will this project benefit the Bournemouth community?

Many students cannot afford to buy the healthiest food and do not have access to a green space to grow their own, or may not have the knowledge and experience to grow anything at all. This project aims to educate students whilst bringing them out of food poverty.
Using ecological design to grow food not only provides healthier food for people with direct benefits to health and wellbeing, it also directly benefits biodiversity in our green spaces. We will use the polytunnel to produce plants that will be planted in the wider community. We are mainly linked to Slades Farm Community Garden and will be making big improvements there this year, but as the project grows, we want to expand our influence further afield.  
The Green Loop project also has social benefits by increasing intergenerational dialogue and knowledge transfer. This project can grow a greener community and provide a hub for likeminded students to collaborate and express their passions. Many students come to Bournemouth and choose to stay, so if we can influence them positively whilst at university, we will have a lasting impact on the community.


Why should you care about the Green loop? 

Whilst industrial society has improved the world for many of us it has come at a huge cost to others. The obsession for material goods and digital technology has led to catastrophic environmental damage, inequality and suffering. We are destroying the natural systems that have allowed this planet to flourish for millennia.
For example, industrial agriculture relies on growing thousands of acres of monoculture crops such as corn. Now you would have an abundance of corn but everything that used to live in that field must be destroyed.  Chemicals must be applied to kill any weeds and pests and the fertility of the soil drops every year until it turns to desert. It is a constant battle against nature that ends up with everyone loosing.
Instead we should look to the forests for nature's guidance. A forest doesn’t need chemicals and inputs to keep growing but cycles everything back into the system, creating fertility year after year. Each new organism that lives in a forest slows down and diffuses the sun's energy stabilizing the ecosystem.  There are no pests here, each organism is kept in check by another creating a balance. Trees build and stabilize the soil, holding onto water and yet it allows more organisms to thrive in its shade or on its bark in its canopy.
Each organism shares the space and increases the abundance of the forest as a whole. Forests are dynamic through both time and space with many species living in the myriad of niches and multiple layers of the forest. When one life dies there is another to take its place in the never-ending cycle of the seasons. And each year layer upon layer of life is laid down in the great loop of life and death.


Who else cares?

The BU Campus Collective (previously the Permaculture Society) care for and look after the polytunnel, and invite you to join them on this project.  If you want to get outdoors and learn about growing food in harmony with nature, in relaxing green surroundings, then this is the project for you.