Social Investment in Action: Fordhall Farm

How two young farmers found 8,000 investors to save Fordhall Farm

When a commercial manufacturer moved nextdoor to Fordhall Farm in north Shropshire, it promptly went up for sale and the local tenants, brother and sister Ben and Charlotte Hollins, faced eviction.

Reluctant to give up generations of hard work, they launched a community-share scheme. 8,000 investors from the across the country flooded through the farm gates and Fordhall Farm is now the largest community owned farm in the UK.

Building on the 65 years of organic farming that were nearly lost, Ben and Charlotte now run a dynamic business, rearing grass fed beef, lamb and Gloucester Old Spot pork, as well as managing a farm shop, catering trailers, a butchery, a tea room, farm kitchen and a string of educational projects. 

This film is the first in a three part series produced by Matter&Co for Social Enterprise UK and the Big Lottery to guide anyone involved in a voluntary and community organisation or social enterprise through the UK social investment market. The series accompanies the written guide​ Social Investment Explained.