Young farmers Sylvie Planel and Clare Whitney want to develop a Starter Farm … But they need land. So Martin Large, the director of the Biodynamic Land Trust, launched a community buy out of 41 acres of farmland on Friday 26th June at a packed meeting at Stroud Brewery.
As the average age of farmers is around 60, getting farmland for young farmers is vital. We face two burning questions about food security.
- How will we ever get young farmers to grow the food we need? And,
- How can we get land for the young farmers who do want to farm?
So imagine having the chance to co-own part of a beautiful, productive farm bordering Stroud? This is a rare chance to secure land on Stroud’s doorstep for a Starter Farm for young farmers Sylvie Planel and Clare Whitney. This land will also help Stroud Community Agriculture further develop its successful community supported farm at Hawkwood College. As a beacon for local food security, enabling more local families to buy fresh, healthy, organic food …
The Biodynamic Land Trust, needs public support to make this farm community buy out happen so as to:
- Develop a Starter Farm for young farmers and growers
- Regenerate soil, wildlife and biodiversity
- Protect the AONB and agricultural land from housing development
- Educate and train in farming, horticulture, rural skills
- Grow good, healthy food
This community buy out is important because this farmland will enable SCA to provide land for a Starter Farm and market garden, and increase food production for local needs. For more details see www.biodynamiclandtrust.org.uk.
Says Martin Large of the Biodynamic Land Trust,
‘What are we trying to do? We need to raise £380,000 in gifts, community shares and loans to buy 41 acres, Lot 3, of Hammonds Farm by 24 July. We have already raised £220,000 so far in just three weeks. People are warmly invited to invest and or donate NOW to secure this farmland.’
Linda Scotson, Box, Stroud:
‘The British have a particular affection for our countryside. Very few of us have the means to buy land or a slice of whichever bit of countryside we love most. Donating or investing in the Biodynamic Land Trust getting this farmland is a way of buying us that slice. We will know that it will be not only be nourished and cared for sustainably in the most nature friendly ways long after we’ve gone, but that it also nurtures and support the farmers whom our lives depend on for healthy and nutritious food. Through these schemes, land and people flourish – I can’t think of a better deal, or a better force for good.’
Patrick Holden, director, Sustainable Food Trust:
‘The Biodynamic Land Trust meets the urgent need for enabling young farmers gain access to land without the crippling burden of debt, and help build sustainable food systems’
‘We need land to belong to, and this is a golden opportunity to help young farmers get started, protect farmland and grow good food for local people.’
Notes for Editors
- Invitation to invest in the Hammonds Farm Share Offer: Invest a minimum of £250 in community, non-profit shares. Up to £100,000 shares maximum or make a gift (gift aidable) Launched 26 June, closes 24 July.
- People who invest will become members of the co-operative charity, with one member, one vote, so members are able to have their say. The Biodynamic Land Trust Ltd is registered with the FCA as a community benefit society, (31448R) and is an exempt charity registered with the FCA (XT33649) The Painswick Inn, Gloucester St, Stroud GL5 1QG UK
- For more information about the Hammonds Farm Share Offer go to www.biodynamiclandtrust.org.uk or contact Sarah Hale on firstname.lastname@example.org
- Press Contacts: Gabriel Kaye, BDLT, 01453 766296; 07870 535912 email@example.com
- Starter Farmers: Sylvie Planel can be contacted on 07732 487837
- Sam Hardiman Stroud Community Agriculture Farmer 07531 270206, 01453 814440; Mark Harrison 07891 615103
- Photos above of Sylvie Planel and Sam Hardiman at the 26th June Launch, and Hammonds Farmland, view to Hawkwood.