Friday, November 21, 2008

WINNERS - Morgan Foundation Awards

WOW - The Fordhall Community Land Initiative is the WINNER of the 'Against All Odds' Morgan Foundation Award, winning a staggering £25,000 towards the trusts work. The Morgan Foundation Entrepreneur Awards are designed to find a new generation of role models - whether they are new businesses, young entrepreneurs or social enterprises. They were also looking for a special person or business that has overcome obstacles and succeeded 'against the odds’ and the competition was tough.

Steve Morgan presented the award to Charlotte on behalf of the Fordhall Community Land Initiative last Thursday evening. He said the competition had been extremeley tough and the decision for this category was particularly difficult. Other finalists included Tom Dowling, All Together Now, Sara Murphy, Macey and Bond Marquee Company, Peter Cousins, Brighter Futures Workshop, Dan Cundall, NMC Design and Print and Clare Molyneux, Open the Doot Theatre in Education.

The award was given for the recognition of all the hard work and effort that went into saving Fordhall Farm from development and placing it into community ownership in 2006. Charlotte Hollins, Project Director for the Initiative said “This will make a substantial contribution towards the future development of the Initiative mainly through the renovation of the old farm buildings. Saving the farm from development was an amazing achievement by so many people - a gigantic thank you to all. I can not believe we won this award. I am completely amazed."

It demonstrates that people do care about our farmers, they do care about their food, and they do care about our beautiful English countryside. We hope the Fordhall Community Land Initiative will go on to teach many more children about their food and where it comes from.

The funds will help with the progression of the Intiative at Fordhall, continually utilising it for community benefit. One of the biggest forthcoming projects is to renovate the farm buildings. The hope is that this will house a new indoor classroom for school visits and a small local food tea rooms.

The recognition for all the hard work from volunteers and supporters can not go unnoticed. But of course, an enormous thank you must go to Steve Morgan and the judges on the awards panel for giving this award to the Fordhall Community Land Initiative. Social Enterprise can make a difference and great things can be achieved, even when the odds are against you.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Finalists in the Morgan Foundation Awards


The Fordhall Community Land Initiative is the finalist in two prestigious awards; Best Entrepreneurial Social Enterprise and Against All Odds. The Morgan Foundation Entrepreneur Awards are designed to find a new generation of role models - whether they are new businesses, young entrepreneurs or social enterprises. They were also looking for a special person or business that has overcome obstacles and succeeded 'against the odds’. Fordhall fitted perfectly into both brackets.

The Morgan Foundation was set up by businessman Steve Morgan OBE in 2001, founder and former Chairman of Redrow plc and now Chairman of the Bridgemere Group of Companies and Wolverhampton Wanderers FC.

With a grant programme of over £1.5 million per year, funds are targeted where they can make a real difference to the lives of the people across North Wales, Merseyside, West Cheshire and North Shropshire.

Charlotte nervously presented to the Judges last week and we will find out on Thursday the 20th if the Fordhall Community Land Initiative has been successful... Quite fitting, as the 20th is also national Social Enterprise Day. If we win, this will make a substantial contribution towards the future development of the Initiative as well as promoting the values of Social Enterprise. It will highlight what can be achieved when people come together for a common goal and how a community and local economy can be enhanced when people support their local producers, food and farming. All in all, we think the Initiative has done amazingly well to get this far in the competition and that is all thanks to the contributions made by the board members, shareholders and all the volunteers who get involved. Thank You.

Wish us luck!!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Bens new Venture!

Farmer Ben has started a new venture this summer at Fordhall Farm, with a new van and Hog Roast machine. He started off hiring a machine and with one of our Gloucester Old Spot pigs he would attend events, weddings or private parties. But, as the requests grew, he soon knew he needed machinery of his own. After reseaching it he found that the machines and a means of transport were going to be too expensive. Then Charlotte came across a grant North Shropshire Distric Council were offering to small businesses to help them purchase capital equipment - perfect!

Ben has now been able to purchase a new Hog Roast machine, a Fordhall Farm branded gazebo, and an ex-Iceland refrigerated delivery van (above). After a lot of cleaning and some new stickers the van, purchased from the local scrap yard, now looks like new. Ben is going up in the world :-)

Ben says "People really like the fact that all pigs are reared by me on the farm, so the pork has excellent flavour, as well as being completely traceable. And, I am enjoying every minute. A big thank you to North Shropshire District Council."

More information is available on our website

Monday, November 03, 2008

Barclays Make a Difference

Fordhall Farm recently played host to a team from the Barclays IT department at Knutsford as part of national Make A Difference Day. Make a Difference Day is the UK's biggest annual day of volunteering each October with hundreds of projects across the country. The aim is to highlight the amazing impact volunteers can make just by giving the simple gifts of time, skills or muscle power! It began back in 1995, and has since gone from strength to strength thanks to the army of people across the country who organise and take part in activities every year.

As you will know, there are always jobs to be done on the farm and so there is always plenty of opportunities to volunteer. As a result we certainly welcomed the enthusiastic team from Barclays who spent the day shoveling stone to build a disabled access and push chair friendly path at to our picnic area; allowing more visitors to see the free range pigs and visit the picnic site.

We were lucky enough to be awarded £50,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery fund earlier this year, and together with the thousands we raised through all our supporters, work on the Farm Trail can now commence. Work will be ongoing throughout the winter ready for when the trail reopens in the Spring. The second tranch of this work will be completed the following winter.

It is an exciting project and Barclays have made a fantastic first step. We could not have done it without their immense effort. They really did work like Trojans all day. Despite the aches, we have been assured that they all thoroughly enjoyed the day.


The next volunteer weekends are due to be held on November 22nd and 23rd and then February 21st and 22nd 2009. The majority of work on these weekends will be focussed around the farm trail and improving access around the farm for visitors. Places do need to be booked. If you are interested, please contact Hannah at the farm on 01630 638696 or