News Sale of Organic Gardens a
THE future of Coventry’s Organic Gardens could finally be clear after months of uncertainty.
In February, charity Garden Organic listed the 22-acre Ryton Organic Gardens for sale, but stressed that a final decision regarding the sale had yet to be made.
Today, it has been confirmed that a sale seems likely, with the charity in advanced discussions with Coventry University regarding the sale.
Previously, Garden Organic had revealed that there were a number of parties interested in purchasing the site, which is located on the outskirts of Ryton on Dunsmore , near Rugby. But now it appears as though the preferred option was the university - who already have a relationship with Garden Organic.
Coventry University and the charity have had a 40-year partnership, working on a number of research projects.
The university even have facilities based at the Ryton site at present.
Their Centre of Agroecology, Water and Resilience (CAWR) has been based at Ryton for the past few years, and offers a Masters degree in Agroecology and Food Security. Part of this course includes lectures from Garden Organic staff.
It is believed that research undertaken by Coventry University at the Ryton site includes EU-funded legume trials and an ongoing major EU-funded research project into alternatives to some of the most controversial products in organic farming.
Chief Executive of Garden Organic, James Campbell, said: “We are in advanced discussions with Coventry University to sell the Ryton site. The sale of the site will help secure the long- term future of the charity by releasing us from the financial pressures of owning and managing the land and buildings on this large site. We have a rich history with Coventry University that has seen us collaborate on important research on organic farming, sustainable agriculture and horticulture. We plan to strengthen our relationship in the future and find new ways of working together.
“The charity is committed to continuing its priceless conservation work of the Heritage seed library and will look to continue to demonstrate organic growing in some form. I would like to thank members and interested parties for their input into this process and ask them to continue to share their views with us as talks continue.”
It is unclear if the charity will continue to have a presence at Ryton should the sale go through.
A Coventry University spokesperson said: “We are pleased to be in advanced talks with Garden Organic with whom we have had a strong working relationship