§ Mr. Martyn Jones
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make it his policy to encourage local authorities to promote local food production in inner cities and urban areas by the planting of fruit trees in parks and cities; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Clappison
There are already a number of Government initiatives which promote local food production and the planting of fruit trees in urban areas. This year we gave a £26,100 grant from the environmental action fund to the charity Common Ground, which successfully encourages volunteer involvement in a number of campaigns including the development in urban areas of community orchards containing indigenous fruit trees, and which promote the annual apple day.
This year my Department is again funding the National Society of Allotment and Leisure Gardeners with a grant of £30,450, part of which is designed to help it to promote allotment gardening and increase the take-up of vacant allotments, including those in inner cities. The NSALG has a number of information leaflets on how to acquire an allotment and how to cultivate it.
Furthermore, last October I announced the launch of the greening the city initiative which will culminate this autumn in the publication of a good practice guide on urban greening. It will be up to individual authorities and bodies how they implement these guidelines, but the planting of trees is an integral component of the urban greening process. It will be for individual authorities to determine which species are appropriate for specific projects.