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Dear Members and Friends
 
Huxham’s Cross Farm Secured! Thank you to all those who supported and made it possible.
We are delighted to have completed the 999 Year Leasehold purchase for the Huxham’s Cross Farm land at Week, Dartington for £220,000.  This is a reduction from the original £300,000 price. We have now concluded a long term renewable Farm Business Tenancy with the Apricot Centre. Farmer Marina O'Connell is also delighted, and pleased that her planting green manures in spring 2015 are already restoring the land. Some members of her team have moved down and are starting the work there.
The Huxhams Cross Farm Launch will take place on Saturday 10th October. You are welcome to join us for a farm walk meeting at 1.30pm at Meadowbrook Car Park, Dartington. The farm design plan will be displayed and presented at Dartington Village Hall, Cott Road, TQ9 6HY from 4pm, for feedback. Marina O'Connell will introduce this farm plan and the developments to come.  Gabriel Kaye and Martin Large will launch a new Share Offer for funding the farm infrastructure so that we can help make bare land into a fully functioning farm..

You are warmly invited to join us afterwards for a celebratory drink at 6pm in the Cott Inn, Cott Lane, TQ9 6HE where we will be able to purchase drinks and food if required.

The pictures above are of the green manure in the Huxhams Cross fields and those below are of the Farm Design workshop process May.

Hammonds Farm near Hawkwood secured for Stroud Community Agriculture and other great initiatives.
We aim to complete of the £370,000 purchase of 41 acres of Hammonds farm land by mid Ocotber.  Many thanks to all our members and new members for making this possible. However, we still need to raise £25,000 more in gifts and community shares by the end of September 2015 or as soon as possible -so please spread the word and encourage more people to join in this great project!
 
You are invited to a ‘Meet the land’ workshop with Isis Brook on Sunday October 4th, 9.30-4.30pm - please book in advance.  Starting at 9.30am at Star Anise Café, Stroud, we will walk to the farm, and spend a day experiencing, sketching and understanding the land using Goethean observation.  Check our website and blog for updates and registration. Bring picnic, thermos, sketching material but first register on line or with comms@biodynamiclandtrust.org.uk

There will be a Presentation of the Hammonds Farm Story and project update as well as a bring and share supper and celebration at 6pm to 8.30pm at Lansdown Hall, Stroud, with short talks, the new Tablehurst Farm  film, plus the Mooh Man short film. Do join us for an interesting evening and help us search for a new name for this land.

We have formed a group of those who wish to work the land there to develop a plan and see what will work. If you would like to work this land and have a potentially viable project that could be based there and form part of this development please do contact us with your outline plan/idea. There is still room for such initiatives now before the full planning process starts.

Noltlands Farm, Westray, Orkney
We will buy 50 acres of Noltlands farm for £129,000 and then lease the land back to biodynamic dairy farmers Jason and Nina Wilson. With their 24 Ayrshire cows, they make delicious cheese at their creamery and will produce yoghurt and bottled milk.  Included in the sale is a croft house on a headland overlooking the wide sweep of  a turquoise sea and a sandy bay, which takes in a Neolithic site where a famous earth goddess figure, the ‘Orkney Venus’ (known locally as The Westray Wife) was found.
 
We will soon be launching the Noltlands Farm Share Offer. This will include the costs of converting the croft house into simple holiday accommodation. BDLT members will get a rental discount as we are keen to develop a range of member benefits in return for your support. Chair Timothy Brink says, ‘Noltlands is a flagship farm…. with a courageous young couple buying a farm and setting up a dairy and creamery.  I don’t know of any other young people in the BD movement in this country who have bought a farm and tried to make it work in this way.’ This will be a great project to support in the Scottish islands, do tell your friends and family and encourage them to take an interest in this far-flung farm.

Annual General Meeting on 3rd October at Hawkwood College, Stroud
Please come to our interesting third AGM on Saturday 3rd October, walk the Hammond’s Farm land at 10 am, meet the BDLT team, vision together, and then hear all about our current and future farm projects. This will include helping to secure land for the Seeds Co-op, which is our alternative to Monsanto.  Lunch is available but must be booked by 26th Sept.
 
We will hold a Farm Gift and Leaseback Workshop from 2-5pm on the 3rd for farmers considering their succession and the future of their farms. This will be led by David Riddle, former director of National Trust Estates, land agent with 3D Rural and a director of the Soil Association Land Trust.  As per our last newsletter and website and on the website - booking required!
Announcement of new Executive Director
Martin Large, the founding executive director, will retire from the beginning of October; though he will continue as a non-executive director on the Board.  The Biodynamic Land Trust is now successfully founded, with over 400 members (when the Hammonds farm project completes in a couple of weeks), an investment dowry, developing expertise, a clutch of pioneering farms being secured into trust, a national reputation, a strong Board and a good staff team.
 
At the AGM, we will welcome Sebastian Parsons as our new Executive Director. He comes with a useful range of business, financial, marketing, IT, farming, biodynamic skills, connections and knowledge. He leads by example, having managed the successful setting up of Stockwood Community Benefit Society to save Rush Farm, with Biodynamic Land Trust support. We look forward to developing the BDLT further with his help and enthusiasm.
Thank you so much for all your support and enthusiam, without you members, shareholders, donors and friends, the BDLT would not be able to achieve any of these great projects. (And there are more to come!!!)

We are becoming and force for the good with your help, do continue to encourage others to join this exciting journey.

Many thanks
Martin, Gabriel, the Directors and all the team
Copyright © 2015 Biodynamic Land Trust Ltd, All rights reserved.


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