Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Family Summer Activities at Fordhall Farm

Here at Fordhall we have some great family aactivities this summer. Families are encouraged to come along, enjoy some fresh air and get involved in arts and crafts, bush craft, pond dipping and much, much more!
The sessions are as follows:

* Bush craft activities - Wednesday 4th August

* Fordhall's secret past, be a Norman for the day! - Wednesday 11th August

* Mini beasts and junk, come on a bug hunt and create giant mini beasts - Wednesday 18th August

* Pond Dipping - Monday 23rd August (FREE EVENT)

* Arts and crafts, Wild and Woolley - Wednesday 1st September

Each activity is £5 per child (apart from the pond dipping which is free). All activities are suitable for children aged 4-12 (adults must accompany children aged up to 9 years) Booking is essential and all activities run from 10am - 12.30pm.  For more information or to book a place, please contact the Fordhall Community Land Initiative office on 01630 638696 on any of this or email

Friday, July 23, 2010

WE DID IT! The £100,000 was raised!

We have done it! The £100,000 we needed as match funding for the renovation of the Old Dairy at Fordhall Farm has been reached, enabling us to create a visitor centre, in memory of our father, Arthur Hollins - thank you so much.

Our heartfelt thanks go to all of you who contributed. Your generosity has once again achieved what many thought was un-achievable. The lovely messages and emails of support remind us of the final campaign weeks in 2006 when Fordhall was saved. This is our next major challenge and although raising the £100,000 has been an incredible milestone, the next six months will pose many more challenges. One of the most important will be to continue the fundraising as we work hard to reduce the loans which form the rest of the match funding. We do hope you will follow us on this journey: enabling Fordhall to shine as a fantastic example of what can be achieved when people work together, how food is produced in harmony with nature and how wonderful good local food can be.

Have a great weekend!


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Fordhall Farm Barn dance and Hog a REAL BARN!

Yes it's true, a barn dance in a real barn!
For the first time ever we are holding a barn dance at the farm next Saturday (31st July) 7pm - until late!
As you most probably know we have been trying to raise funds in order to renovate our Old Diary, (see last post) so this event will hopefully help these funds - so please tell everyone you know and make sure that they come along too for a great night out!
Tickets are just £10 each which includes a tasty hog roast (£5 for kids) So if you want any tickets just call 01630 638696 or email  .......see you there!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Our deadline is getting closer

Wow, the total is getting closer each day. You have all been amazingly generous; once again demonstrating that even the largest of tasks are possible when enough people come together. This makes the second stage of our fundraising at Fordhall Farm even more possible. If we raise the £100,000 match funding required for the grant by the end of the week, then all additional funds will help increase the amount of renewable energy we can install and the natural materials we can use. We were conservative in our initial plans, but hopefully we can expand upon this with your help.

For example, we have a lot of south facing roof space enabling us to install much more renewable energy. We could install a more sustainable system to deal with our waste, such as a reedbed. We could make better use of the heat that Ben loses from his fridges through a heat recovery system and we could recycle our grey water e.g. water from washing could be reused to flush our toilets. There is a huge array of systems, which we could incorporate into our renovation project - any additional funds we raise will help us to do this.

Gavin, our quantity surveyor from WCP, and Ian, our architect from Seven Architecture are working on the options as we speak: trying to find the most cost effective way so making our building as sustainable as possible.
We are also re-launching the share scheme in the Fordhall Community Land Initiative to contribute to this project and to help reduce the loans that we currently have agreed (£200,000 from Triodos Bank plus further loans from individuals) – why not buy a share in the Fordhall tearoom for friends and family?

Watch this space – our campaign has only just begun… Please do pass the word around and keep supporting us with your donations – however large or small, they all make a big difference to us.

Thank you,

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Clay oven build at Fordhall Farm

Interested in learning how to build your clay oven?

We are in the process of building a green roof structure and base for our new clay oven and will be running a clay oven making course on the 7th and 8th August to not only build our oven but show people how to make one for their own garden. Nothing could be nicer than the taste of freshly baked pizza, hot from the oven! Once the oven is built it can be used to cook bread, roast meat and vegetables and is a great focal point in the garden. At Fordhall Farm we will be able to use the oven when we have open days and fund raisers, as well as being able to offer it to groups wanting to have a celebration at the farm.
If you would like to book on the course, please hurry as we are limited to only 8 places. We have been fortunate in getting a grant towards the cost of materials for this whole project from the Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund and can offer places at the reduced cost of £60.00 for the weekend. This also includes a light lunch and refreshments. If you are on a low income and live locally we are able to offer you a place at an even more reduced rate - please ring Hannah on 01630 638696 and have a chat with her. Bests wishes Bex

Friday, July 16, 2010

The campaign is going - can you help?

Yes, that's right we need to raise £100,000 before next friday to help secure our grant funding for the renovation of the Old Dairy. At end of play yesterday we have so far raised an amazing £41,528.25!

This project has been worked on by the Fordhall team for over 2 years and earlier this year planning permission was granted. Since then all of the team have been working hard to refine the plans (with our architects at Seven Architecture), create the detailed specification and search for grant funding. Most recently, we applied for funding from the Regional Development Agency. However, since the election everything has been in a state of flux. We hope to hear the result of our funding application by the end of next week and when we do we need to confirm that we have the match funding in place to take the project forward.

Then we can begin to instruct contractors and prepare the grounds. This is a major project for Fordhall and one which will ensure we remain a flagship social enterprise for the West Midlands; enabling us to create our own revenue and reinvest the surplus for community and environmental benefit.

If for any reason, our grant is not successful, we will look elsewhere (we are gathering a list of potential funders all the time). Either way this project will definately go ahead.

A big thank you must go to all the wonderful supporters who have already donated. You are giving us the confidence and enthusiasm to ensure that this campaign and project succeeds.

Thank you for sharing the journey with us.

Charlotte and all the team at the Fordhall Community Land Initiative 

Monday, July 12, 2010

Help us renovate the Old Dairy

If you are a supporter of Fordhall then you may have received a letter this morning asking if you can help us raise the £100,000 towards our match funding that we need before the 23rd July. This is a steep challenge but we are working hard to make it.

We will also be organising a Barn Dance and Hog Roast on the 31st July to help raise funds towards the project.

This funding will allow us to renovate our crumbling old dairy building to allow us to better accomodate school visits and disabled visitors. It will also create a small tearoom, a shower facility for volunteers, and new office space for the Fordhall Community Land Initiative Staff. We desperately want to keep hold of our dairy building and are hoping that our fundraising will be matched by a grant from the regional development agency. But, we must raise the match funding first.

If you would like to buy a share in Fordhall (and our new tearoom!) or donate to our appeal (all names will be put on a plaque outside the building) then please follow the link to our web pages for more information. Every penny and pound counts and we appreciate every bit.

Raising these funds will help put the Fordhall Community Land Initiative in a financially sustainable position for the future with our proposed new local food tearoom. As I look at the account today, we have already raised over £2000.

What do you think? Fancy owning part of Fordhall and part of our new tearoom?

Any questions please do give us a call 01630 638696