The future, a site for learning and play.
Stirley Farm was an upland dairy farm that went out of business ten years ago, and has since been partly vacant and partly marginally farmed.
Newsome Ward has an environmentally-focussed population - community aspiration, quantified by local surveys, revolved firmly around local food production and more general environmental interest.
Yorkshire Wildlife Trust successfully submitted a bid to the Big Lottery Local Food Programme to start the set up of a community farm based around beef production and growing food education.
Part of the Stirley Community Farm Living Landscape adjacent to housing (Newsome) with Huddersfield below. (View from Castle Hill)
A Living Landscape rich in wildlife and people
Reconnecting land and people, rebuilding biodiversity
Investment that allows the restoration of a derelict 103 ha urban-fringe pastoral farm by 2014, as a community supported social enterprise.
The development of a half acre training allotment and community gardening tool store during the first year of the project. Hold weekly workshops - 500 people per year – to learn about food growing and agriculture and share skills to give people the inspiration and confidence to grow their own food.
The provision of two permanent jobs – Farm Enterprise Manager and Food Training and Education Officer.
2 apprenticeships (volunteer trainees) a year.
1 temporary supervisor and 13 temporary site workers (under the Future Jobs Fund Scheme)
30 regular volunteer opportunities which are maintained after the project finishes.
An annual festival to celebrate local food attracting over 200 local people and at least three other smaller food-related events each year (30-50 people) to build people’s understanding of food production and healthy eating.
Specific Site Enhancements
The project will provide an exemplar of sustainable farming showing how an upland fringe livestock farm can be managed to enhance wildlife and encourage access into formerly private urban fringe countryside.
• New woodland, hedgerow and orchard planting. With increased woodland cover and by including linking neighbouring sites into the Living Landscape the intention is to redevelop a coppice type of management in these woodlands to provide wood fuel to help fire wood-fuel boilers that go some way towards a carbon-neutral enterprise.
• Manage the farm organically, managing all fields to increase wildlife diversity across the holding.
• Allow the steeper slopes towards the Castle to revert to acid grassland and heath.
• Develop ponds and wetland areas.
• Initiate a long-term programme of wall and fencing renovation.
Other Work – Site Facilities
The arrival of the office and loos
Current work: Future Jobs Fund
Before and after
Recording the changes
Non project trainees are already helping to establish baseline ecological information including species survey and phase 1. We will carry out annual surveys to gather data on the impact we are having.
Combining resources and providing facilities for local organisations including Growing Newsome and Castle Hill.
Training venue, already have BUILD carrying out dry stone wall training with unemployed staff.
Training site for horticultural, livestock and landscape management qualifications.
Building qualifications and training in renovating the farmhouse with BUILD.
Studying health implications of active community Green Infrastructure with Huddersfield University.
Current and future needs:
Funding to renovate/repair & expand the barn into a visitor/education centre
Funding to renovate the offices £800K for this and above.
Funding to renovate the farmhouse to be used as trainee accommodation £30k including officer to train and supervise trainees in getting building qualifications.
Funding for volunteer trainees.
Recruit 1000 members in Kirklees to help make the farm sustainable in the long term.
In Kind support using in house skills and awareness raising of the farm, The Trust and to us of partners, funding we may not have thought of etc.
Political support and help with council bureaucracy.
The future, a site for learning and play.
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