News Sale of Or­ganic Gar­dens a

Nuneaton Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE -

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

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