Bishop’s Castle has become the first in Shropshire to adopt a bespoke local-level Community Food Resilience Strategy. This was adopted as a part of the town’s Climate Action Plan, created by the Bishop’s Castle Community Partnership.

The Community Food Resilience Strategy was developed as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic, supply chain instability from Brexit and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the cost of living crisis.

The aim of the strategy is not only to plan for and support the community through unforeseen shocks, but also to build up skills and community growing capacity for greater self-sufficiency, improved food access, affordability and health, as well as supporting local producers and food businesses.

Bishop’s Castle Town Council, along with community members at the grassroots and with the support of the Shropshire Good Food Partnership, have developed a special task group to deliver on the aims of the strategy.

The first of its kind in Shropshire, it is an example of a Food Policy Council seeking to be proactive and address a range of local food issues.

Deputy Mayor for Bishop’s Castle, Councillor Andy Stelman said: “I believe that councils in rural areas have a duty to support local producers and retail outlets and to do everything possible to encourage people to eat healthily and sufficiently.”

Referring to the ‘Right to Grow’ motion approved by Shropshire Council in September 2022, he added: “Growing food in areas that are otherwise unused is a good way of promoting healthy and cheap eating and would also be a way of giving the town a common cause to promote even greater community cohesion.”

The Shropshire Good Food Partnership is dedicated to promoting good food for people, place and the planet. It hopes that more communities and councils across the county will be inspired by this example to start their own discussions and strategy work on food resilience.

Daphne Du Cros, co-ordinator of the Shropshire Good Food Partnership, said: “Making Bishop’s Castle food secure and food resilient is an exercise in ‘radical optimism’ – imagining what is possible, rather than being marred by perceived obstacles.

“It is about Good Food for All which is a movement that everyone can get behind. In the words of Pam Warhurst, the founder of Incredible Edible, ‘if you eat, you’re in’.”

Further information on the Bishop’s Castle Community Food Resilience Strategy can be found at Details of the Shropshire Good Food Partnership are available at