Project information

Birches Farm Appeal

Birches Farm is an historic farmstead in Northwest Herefordshire. The 60 acre farm features species-rich grasslands and traditionally managed hedgerows. For over 100 years traditional low-intensity farming methods has made it an area of outstanding wildlife value and a Special Wildlife Site.

November 2012 - November 2015

Charity information: Herefordshire Wildlife Trust

Herefordshire Wildlife Trust logo
  • Need

    Need

    The good news is that we have secured the short-term future of the farm with the help of the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation. We're now faced with the enormous challenge of raising almost £850,000 and a a further £500,000 to restore the land, refurbish the 3 barns and £100,000 match funding to support our HLF bid. We've only got the next eighteen months to save Birches Farm and secure its long term future or it will go back onto the open market and this unique wildlife treasure may be lost forever.

    Solution

    We are selling two of the houses which will realise around £500, 000 to help towards the repayment costs. We will be applying to the Heritage Lottery Fund for a grant of £870k to cover the managent and development costs of the project.. 10% project costs £87k will cover improvements, restoration and development. We anticipate designation realising £20k from the Higher Level Stewardship scheme. However, we urgently need your help raise £23k to cover our contribution towards saving Birches Farm

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To ensure our first round application to Heritage Lottery Fund is successful

    Activities

    » It will mean we will have secured the amount we need to purchase the land, ensuring we can repay EFF and complete the purchase of Birches Farm.

    We have a strong team - officers, mangers, members, volunteers and Trustees as well as having a number of experienced professionals we can call upon when required for support.


  • Impact

    Impact

    Once we have purchased Birches Farm, we will manage the whole farm for wildlife conservation and allow public access. We'll restore, renovate and refurbish the 3 old barns; they'll provide interpretation, and a base for Trust staff who'll be working with the local community. We'll provide multi-use activities for private and community groups, training for schools and volunteers. Our aim is to achieve introducing a diverse range of new visitors and users to wildlife and nature at Birches Farm.

    Risk

    The risk which could affect our project is that our first round bid is not supported by HLF by the submission date in September 2013. If this should be the case, we will have a second opportunity to re-submit our application within 3 months. If there were any areas HLF felt we hadn't answered strongly enough or we did not answer satisfactorily, we will address them. We will address each area or question and ensure they are fully answered to meet HLF's criteria.

    Reporting

    Reporting to HLF will be done by sending an evaluation report before they will pay the last 10% of your grant. To our donors we can send monthly or quarterly email reports on how the project is progressing, on any forthcoming planned activities or events; notwithstanding any changes to the project.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £20,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £20,000 Loan repayment Towards land purchase of Birches Farm

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Pledges £5,000 Conditional
  • Background

    Location

    Birches Farm is an historic farmstead lying between Kington and Eardisley, in Northwest Herefordshire. The 60 acre farm features species-rich grasslands, traditionally managed hedgerows and several old farm ponds, set in rolling countryside, with stunning views in all directions. The farm has been owned by the same family for over 100 years and managed using traditional low-intensity farming methods producing an area of outstanding wildlife value; the entire farm is designated as a SWS.

    Beneficiaries

    Kington is a market town and civil parish in Herefordshire and according to 2001 Census, has a population of over 2500. Despite being situated in the north of the county, its on the western side of Offa's Dyke, has been English for over a thousand years. The Kington economy has suffered along with the fortunes of the farming industry. Its rural location, lack of good transport connections means local unemployment has been high, low pay and many part-time jobs; however it has 2 very good schools

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Herefordshire Wildlife Trust is the only conservation organisation in Herefordshire that offers a refuge to wild birds and mammals by actively acquiring endangered natural habitats. We have a lot of experience and expertise and manage over 700 acres of land across 54 nature reserves and give advice on issues affecting wildlife to decision makers ranging from farmers to staff in local authorities. We also provide an expanding variety of activities for local children to connect them with nature

    Read more about the Charity running this project.

    People

    There Are A Number Of Contributors That Will Have Helped With This Project

    The Birches Farm Project Team, Trustees, Volunteers, Members local conservation groups and partner organisations. Our WildPlay Team & local schools