Agrarian Trust

Land Access Strategy: Tablehurst and Plaw Hatch Community Farm, UK

The Tablehurst and Plaw Hatch Community Farm initiative was born in 1994 when it appeared that biodynamic Tablehurst Farm might be lost after more than 25 years of careful husbandry by Emerson College. The college could no longer support the farm and, following a major community fund-raising drive, agreed to sell the farm assets to the community while retaining ownership of the land.

Thus was the Co-op founded early in 1995. At this stage, there was a clearly expressed intention that Plaw Hatch Farm – also biodynamic and only three miles away – should also be brought into the Co-op in due course. It was owned at the time by a local charitable trust to whom it had been donated some twenty years previously. For a variety of reasons, this transfer did not take place until 2001, again following major community fund-raising.

One final transaction took place in 2005, transferring the land ownership of Tablehurst Farm from Emerson College to St Anthony’s Trust. Today, individuals in the community – known as “farm partners” own the Co-op, the Co-op owns the two farm businesses, and St Anthony’s Trust owns the farm land and buildings.