Fordhall Farm is a 58-hectare farm which had been farmed by the same family of tenant farmers for three generations. It is one of the pioneer organic farms in the UK.
In the 1990s, the tenant farmers were under high pressure due to the development plan of a neighbouring yoghourt manufacturer. In 2004, the family’s youngest children were given a new short-term lease (18 months), while the risk of losing tenancy remained high.
The young farmers then set up the Fordhall project to save their family farm: they set up the Fordhall Community Land Initiative (FCLI), an Industrial and Provident Society (IPS) for the benefit of the community aimed at acquiring the land.
They engaged in large community mobilisation, and started raising money, locally and from beyond. They managed to raise the full amount, £800,000 in little more than than 6 months, between September2005 and July 2006. The bulk (£600,000) consists in community shares (worth £50 each); in addition, they raised money in free loans and from Triodos Bank.
Thanks to this fantastic mobilisation, FCLI could buy the farm, and now rents it to the family farmers, on long and secure terms.
Read more on Fordhall Farm and other UK Community Farmland Trusts.