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Plawhatch Ln
United Kingdom

01342 810201

Plaw Hatch Farm Housing Appeal



Last November, the home of one of our farming families was badly damaged in a fire. It happened one night when they dashed out with a poorly baby to find medicine and a curtain caught fire against a lamp. Despite the swift action of the local fire brigade there was considerable damage, especially due to smoke, and it was left uninhabitable. Thankfully no one was hurt and all the cats got out alive.

The home in question was Chickenview, a modest dwelling that started life as a mobile home and had later been extended in an effort to make it more suitable for a family. The intention had always been to replace it with a more permanent building, however funds were consistently needed elsewhere on the farm. Despite its temporary nature, Anna and Johannes created a lovely cosy home. Improvements and maintenance have always been ongoing.

We now need to rebuild. Although the property was insured, the type of structure  meant a very low valuation (we were fortunate to get insurance at all) and the amount from the insurers will not cover the cost, no matter how modest the replacement.

The good news is we will be repurposing Emma and Stuart Goodwin’s house from The Crossing. It was constructed as a farmers house, and so they are very happy to see it reinstated for its original purpose. With planning restrictions on size, height and appearance it fits our criteria perfectly and has now been approved by the planners.

How can you help?

We need to rebuild. We have planning permission. We have £37,000 from the insurance company. We now need to raise £75,000 to finish the job.

This is our appeal. Do you believe in community farming, biodynamic farming, and training new farmers? Do you care about good, local seasonal food, food with provenance, food fit for future generations? Do you care about transparent, honest and committed farming practices?

If so you could help us make this rebuild a reality.

15 donations of £5000 each and we’re there!

30 donations of £2500 each and we’re there!

Every donation, £10, £50, £100; it all adds up. We can do it, with your help.

We also need help in the form of volunteers: building skills, carpenters, general labour — these all play a part in making this happen.

As the land and buildings are held in trust by a charity, St Anthony’s Trust, donations would be made to them on behalf of the farm and Gift Aid would apply, adding £25 to every £100 donated.

If you would like to know more, donate, or feel you can assist in raising funds please contact us.

Why is this so important?

Farming the way we do, biodynamically, relies on many hands. Whereas conventional farming relies on machinery and automation, biodynamics is a more hands on approach. Our people play a hugely significant role. High animal welfare (allowing the livestock space to exhibit natural behaviour) and really looking after the soil mean we do not cut corners or do things out of convenience. This is all made possible by having the people who want to work and be a part of a better way of farming, a more sustainable way of farming. We are proud that we are able to offer employment to more local people, not fewer.

Farming is as much a way of life as a means of earning a living, however it often requires an element of compromise from the individuals doing it. This compromise usually relates to income and housing. Incomes are typically low and living conditions substandard, making it difficult for people to have enough to support their families. We desperately want to enable young people to consider farming as a viable option. The current average age of a farmer in the UK is 59.

If we want to train more young enthusiastic farmers we need to properly house those who want to make the commitment to biodynamic farming. Give them a decent house where they can raise a family and give them a reason to stay. Give them the stability needed to enable them to train the next generation.

The demand for good, honest, local food is growing. Farms that welcome visitors to see how they do it, where there is nothing to hide, are the way forward. Food security is essential. If we can encourage more people into farming by creating homes and futures, there is hope that farming can change.