The development of the Biodynamic Farm Land Trust involves a number of steps and creating the path as we travel. In the first three years, the aim was to secure 2-3 farms into trust and lay the foundations of the BDLT on a viable basis. By working with a variety of farms and communities, we have developed, refined and are disseminating effective ways of putting farmland into trust depending on the particular context of each farm, market garden or smallholding.
We have made a start with buying Brambletye Fields in Forest Row, Sussex for leasing to Tablehurst Community Farm, supported Rush Farm and Stockwood Business Park to become a Community Benefit Society with the Biodynamic Land Trust as a guardian trustee thus securing the future of this 160 acre biodynamic farm in the Heart of England. The Biodynamic Land Trust has also secured a 999 year lease on 34 acres on the Dartington Hall Estate in Devon and 41 acres have been bought near Stroud.
For further information on these community-owned pieces of land and their ongoing development please see further pages of our website.
Our tasks include:
- Research learning from farm land trust case studies and good practice
- Establish collaboration, learning and action between farmers, community connected farm initiatives and other relevant, supportive organisations
- Work with 2-3 farm and market garden projects as pilots
- Research biodynamic farm succession and inheritance questions
- Research appropriate legal structures for holding land in trust, ground leases and tenures
- Develop a viable, robust BDLT with a modest income stream from assets and investments
- Develop a group of people with the skills and knowledge to provide technical assistance and facilitation for biodynamic land acquisition and appropriate farm business development
- Disseminate learning through this website, articles, an action pack, blog, talks and workshops
- Respond to farmers questions e.g. how can we get planning permission for more farmer accommodation that biodynamic food growing requires
- Work with European land trust partners.
So what will be achieved?
- Mechanisms for enabling young entrant biodynamic farmers to access permanently affordable biodynamic farms, smallholdings and market gardens
- Pilots for appropriate organisational and legal structures
- Farm tenancy agreements, ground leases and land use agreements
- New ways of raising land purchase capital and working capital
- Viable biodynamic business models
- Ways of connecting with the land
- More access to farms for education, work, care, leisure, training
- Building of farmer, grower and community capacity, trust and networks
- A resilient, competent Biodynamic Land Trust with good governance, a competent Board of directors, and with relevant expertise