A COMMUNITY growing scheme which is being pioneered in Todmorden has proven to be ‘big in Japan’, it has emerged.

And the initiative between Incredible Edible Todmorden and Calderdale Council, to use patches of disused land for horticulture, has also attracted interest from New Zealand.

Residents from Cornholme to Walsden can use the project to suggest spare corners where they can grow their own fruit and vegetables.

An email requesting further information has been received from Auckland Council, just a few weeks after the pilot was launched.

And a delegation from the Japan Centre for Regional Development will be in the borough on June 16 to share insights into how ‘growing your own’ schemes can succeed.

Robin Tuddenham, the council’s communities director, said: “Our community growing pilot has really taken off in Todmorden and it’s brilliant that more and more residents are getting in touch with us about growing their own food. We’re delighted that people as far away as New Zealand and Japan are interested in the scheme and using our advice to benefit their areas.”

Pam Warhurst, of Incredible Edible Todmorden, said: “When we started seven years ago this is exactly what we dreamed of.

“Calderdale Council is leading the way in helping every one of its residents find an easy way to grow local food and get all the benefits that we all know about.

“There are real heroes among the council staff who have made this happen.

“They have shown councils wherever they are that every community can just get on with making a better life for themselves through eating good, locally grown food.”

In an email Auckland Council community development officer Steve Luckie described the map of suitable locations, drawn up as part of the scheme, as ‘a fantastic tool’.