Community Food Skills Working Group

This group exists to celebrate and nurture the many different skills that we need in order to enjoy a healthy, fair and resilient food system in North Lancashire. It facilitates strategy and collaborative projects that build our communities’ food skills and commonly held resources. 

As a group, we take a holistic approach to the kinds of skills that we support. Think of food skills and you probably think of learning to cook, or learning to grow food. However, other skills are also needed for a healthy food system to thrive. For example, schools need support to engage pupils and teachers with getting pupils outside and integrating food into the curriculum, allotments and community gardens need places to network and share ideas and regenerative businesses need to be able to flourish and grow. 

This group meets every two months.

This group’s two year priorities:

1. Nurture and embed the Where the Wildings Are! schools project so that it can enjoy a secure income stream based around two staff members running food and nature play activities within the school day as well as during after school and holiday periods.

2. Grow the North Lancashire Food Champions network for individuals. Develop a stable income stream so this work can continue to promote, connect and nurture community action around good food. As part of this, we aim to identify good food mentors, trainers, influencers and champions, and develop a process for highlighting and connecting these people with local groups and projects.

3. Continue to develop North Lancashire’s community chef network through network building events, training, micro-commissions and through design and input into workshops, classes, events, market demos and other opportunities.

4. Continue to co-create recipes for a Tastes of North Lancashire Menu, supported by advice from nutritionists.

5. Continue to develop links and collaborate with other local projects which have related aims around community food, nature and sustainability activities. These include:

6. Continue to enable, promote or host training and skill share events around:

  • Community leadership
  • Citizen journalism
  • Setting up a community garden, project or food club
  • Permaculture design, seed saving and plant grafting
  • Growing your own and cultivating biodiversity – adapted for windowsill, backyard, alley, allotment and community growing
  • Cooking seasonally from scratch
  • Preserving & fermentation

7. Continue to enable, promote and host community events and celebrations, including:

    • Community food conversations
    • Forage/nature walks
    • Potato days and seed swaps
    • Harvest feasts
    • Community cooking and community meals
    • Apple pressing
    • Guerrilla gardening

Case Studies


How to get involved

If you are interested in supporting the work of the community food skills working group, contact Beccy Whittle for more information

You can find dates of upcoming meetings and read past minutes here.

Directly support one of the community food projects listed on our Local Food Directory as a volunteer or member.

Start your own community food skills project using resources from our free training here! We would love to hear about your ideas and support you where we can. We can also list new projects on the local food directory and promote your work in our weekly food column and via our networks.

There are LOADS of food-related skills events going on in the District all the time, so check out our calendar to see what’s on over the coming weeks.

Food Skills Resources

Join a community food project in Lancaster to learn practical skills

Join Lancaster’s FarmStart scheme

Check out Huw Richards YouTube channel for some great food growing tips

Charles Dowding - No Dig Organic Gardening

Join Lancaster’s Seed Library project

Lancaster’s Seasonal food calendar

Buy direct from local organic food producers using Lancaster’s Local Food Directory

Subscribe to Ethical Consumer magazine

Check out Sustain's guide to seasonal eating

Check out Sustain's guide to starting a buying club

Download this guide to setting up an organic buying group (PDF)

Learn how to set up a community food growing project with our free resources

Try these resources from Social Farms and Gardens

Check out these toolkits from Feedback's knowledge hub

Try these practical solutions from the permaculture community

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