Critically evaluating the role of the Incredible Edible movement in the UK
Michael Hardman, Mags Adams, Melissa Barker and Luke Beesley
With the concept of Urban Agriculture (UA) growing in popularity, more cities and towns are exploring opportunities to enable the practice and transform neglected spaces into havens for produce. This chapter provides an insight into one such town, Todmorden, and its Incredible Edible movement, located in the heart of England. This chapter adopts a qualitative approach to critically exploring the IET movement and to understand its impact on Todmorden. We engaged with key actors and the public in order to ascertain views towards the schemes, analysing the positives and negatives of the model. Findings revealed that the scheme has an overwhelmingly positive impact on the town, with social, environmental and economic benefits. Furthermore, it was made clear that IET is helping to create a more just food movement in Todmorden, particularly through its free for all philosophy. However, some negatives were also highlighted during the course of the research, predominately around maintenance issues and a lack of perceived inclusivity in parts. Overall, the scheme was highly valued and seen as a powerful method for growing the wider UA movement; recommendations centred on further replicating the model and helping local food to prosper in similar locations globally.