River Cottage – ‘Landshare’Designed by KEO Digital


Best Green Use of Mobile Apps and Technology


Background & Objective

The Landshare iPhone app is a free app that builds on the success of the web platform www.landshare.net – an initiative that connects people who want to grow fruit and vegetables, to people who have space to share.
Its objectives are to lower barriers people face, i.e. space, in growing their own food. This initiative thereby address issues of health, food access and equality, environment, food security, and community cohesion.

The app specifically addresses:

  • access to land
  • council allotment waiting lists
  • access to a network of instant help and advice for all growing queries


In a climate where there are 100,000 people on allotment waiting lists in England alone, and 2 growers for every 1 plot currently on the Landshare website, the app empowers the public to take action. New functionality includes enabling people to hold their councils to legal responsibility to provide allotments and identify the 100,000s of acres of “wasted” space around UK that is suitable for growing use. For people keen to grow their own fruit & vegetables, it provides access to a live network of helpers all across the country – with the ability to upload photos of any problems in the garden and receive instant advice.


Concept & Implementation

The new features of LetsGrow, LandSpot and the photo upload feature in Questions all use app functionality at its best:

  • using the camera with geocoding technology
  • giving users live access to a UK wide network of help that can “see” their problems virtually, in order to maximize value of advice
  • extending accessibility and engagement of tools with social application – the Landshare app is free to download


In launching a variety of new features that integrate with an external hub, the organisation’s aim was to still keep things simple. The beauty of Landshare is that it can deliver against a large number of social benefits but does not rely on any one particular user incentive. Users can have individual motives that have the capacity of a “knock-on” social community effect. Landshare was intended to remain clear in its aims and usability and avoid feeling worthy or difficult to engage in. The app needed to be fun!



Landshare’s audience is broad – it is a UK wide initiative that seeks to engage anyone and everyone. The app did tie in with longer term plans of wanting to involve councils and also the land registry in terms of tracing suitable growing spaces



The app was ranked in the top 10 free lifestyle apps. It saw 13,000 downloads and 50,000 sessions after just 1 month of being live. The core website has seen nearly 5,000 new registrations since the app’s launch.



Total 97 K


Judges’ thoughts

The judges thought that this was an application that provided a platform enabling people to push their councils for land allotments. The lack of  ‘space’ is a huge barrier that can dampen any willingness to grow food. This application provides connectivity between  ‘willing growers’ and existing growers, and the all important ‘council’ loop. This app definitely cuts through the plethora of apps that are largely energy and carbon centric.



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