Community buy-out of Hammonds farmland abutting Hawkwood College land for Stroud Community Agriculture
Hammonds Farm is a 180 acre arable and beef farm within close walking distance of Stroud. It surrounds Hawkwood College land on the North, West and South. The Biodynamic Land Trust has been working with Stroud Community Agriculture, Hawkwood College, the biodynamic and Stroud communities to see if the BDLT could secure at least Lot 3 of the land as a community asset. Sufficient pledges were made by 18th June and we now go forward with this venture.
This is a rare opportunity to secure a beautiful area of land on the doorstep of Stroud town for environmental, economic and community benefits and we still need your help to make it happen.
What are we trying to do?
We need to raise at least £380,000 (for land plus legal and admin costs of acquisition) to buy Lot 3 of Hammonds Farm, and work with others interested to see how the whole farm can be secured. We are almost there: read our latest newsletter. We hope to secure Lot 2 also if there is enough support (an estimated £300 – 320,000)
The whole farm is approximately 180 acres, with a farmhouse and farm buildings, to be sold together or in three lots. We are interested in Lot 3, around 40 acres, which is west of Hawkwood, as we think this is achievable through a community buy out. However, there may be enough support from donors, community share investors and larger investors who want to secure the whole farm for sustainable, community connected farming.
Why this matters
- Land for Stroud Community Agriculture to increase its farm area and food production
- A starter farm for young entrant farmers
- Seed Co-operative work, biodynamic herb garden, micro dairy
- A cluster of farm enterprises producing a range of good food from farm animals, arable and horticulture, addressing local needs for vegetables, dairy, meat and soft fruit
The potential benefits for the local community are huge:
- Sustainable organic, biodynamic farming that improves soil fertility, reduces the carbon footprint and increases food quality
- Community connected activities through permissive access, festivals, events, volunteering, arts activities and therapy/care farming
- Enhanced landscape, biodiversity, wildlife and environmental value that will make the farm into a special place, a ‘green oasis’
- Education and training in sustainable agriculture, horticulture and ecology
- A catalytic food hub of an associative network of producers, land/food organisations, distributors, food processors to help build our local food economy
How we can secure Hammonds Farm
The Stroud based Biodynamic Land Trust, a charitable community benefit society, has developed this work securing farms through community buy-outs, such as for Tablehurst Community Farm, Sussex, Rush Farm near Redditch and Huxham’s Cross Farm, Dartington, Totnes.
It’s not too late to help secure this farmland. Stroud Community Agriculture and Hawkwood College support this. Our offer has been accepted and the legal work is proceeding. We still need approximately £10,000 to meet our target. You can help by e.g.
- Investing £250 or more in community shares (instalments possible)
- Making a long or short term interest free loan and/or a bequest
- Making a gift to help with admin costs, feasibility and business planning costs or specific for buying the land – Gift Aid adds 25%
- Participating in publicising the community buy out
- Sharing this page with friends and family
Watch out for farm viewings, events about this land and a film. Further planning events will be organised and regular announcements made here on www.biodynamiclandtrust.org.uk.
We are contacting those who have made pledges to make good on their offers (shares, gifts, loans) . It is not too late if you have not made a pledge – please join in now!
Please join us to secure this community farm.
Martin Large, firstname.lastname@example.org