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Time running out to help popular community farm access grant for off-road buggy

By Rob Smith | Market Drayton | North Shropshire entertainment | Published:

A farm near Market Drayton is in the running for a £5,000 grant to help more people enjoy its fields, trails and animals, but it needs public votes to access the money and the deadline is approaching.

Charlotte and Ben Hollins

The community-owned Fordhall Organic Farm is competing with several other good causes up for a grant from gas company Calor.

The farmers are going for one of the 10 available £5,000 grants, and want to spend it on an off-road buggy to make the whole farm accessible for those with mobility issues, including wheelchair users.

A statement from Charlotte and Ben Hollins at the farm said: "We would like to invest in equipment to ensure our community-owned farmland and countryside is accessible to everyone in our local community, specifically the disabled and the elderly.

"Fordhall Organic Farm is free for the community to access, we have three beautiful trails around the farm, but with uneven ground and livestock in the fields, it can be impossible for those in a wheelchair or unsteady on their feet to access.

"We would like to purchase an off-road buggy which will be accessible for members of our community to hire. This will enable more members of our local community the ability to enjoy nature, our farm and the wonderful English countryside with the rest of their family.

"They should not feel isolated or restricted to only our café and farm shop, all wheelchair accessible. The technology is there. Please help us to purchase it."

The project currently has more than 2,300 votes, and the deadline is next Monday, June 17.

After that, the projects with the most votes in each category will go through to the judging stage.

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This year there will be 42 finalists at the judging stage – 10 finalists competing for £1,000, 12 finalists for £2,500 and 20 in the £5,000 category.

The siblings said the farm gets more than 20,000 visitors a year, and that more than 100 people would benefit from an off-road buggy.

To vote for the Fordhall Organic Farm project, visit calor.co.uk/shop/communityfund/access-to-the-countryside-for-all

Rob Smith

By Rob Smith
Reporter

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star based at Ketley in Telford.

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