Muck and Magic
Charlotte Hollins manages the Fordhall Community Land Initiative (charitable community benefit society) based at Fordhall Organic Farm, North Shropshire, England. Immediately after leaving University she led the high profile campaign that saved Fordhall Organic Farm from industrial development in 2006: raising an amazing £800,000 in less than 6 months through the sale of £50 non-profit making shares to over 8000 community shareholders across the world. Now England’s first community owned farm, Fordhall is a national asset and a pioneering example of what can be achieved when people care about the countryside and join together to act upon it.
The farm has been organic since the end of the Second World War, and runs a unique Foggage farming system, where the livestock are outdoors year round on a system based on plant diversity and seasonal livestock rotations. The vision is to show that small-scale farming connected to the community can offer a viable way of life for generations to come, by reconnecting people to the landscape around them and the farmers and food producers who manage that landscape.
Now in community ownership, the farm also provides free open access to the general public, runs educational visits, offers volunteer opportunities, supports a care farm and operates a youth project working with young people struggling at school.
This talk will cover Fordhall’s journey, its reasons for going organic and the benefits community ownership has for the farm today.
The Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience drives innovative, transdisciplinary research on socially just resilient food and water systems internationally.