Plaw Hatch Farm Trail

Project outline

To design and construct a safe self guided trail around Plaw Hatch Farm, 200 acres of lovely High Weald famland near Sharpthorne. The Trust has provided approximately 50% funding for this project.

Project dates

April –June 2008

Project objectives

Plaw Hatch Farm is a community owned, biodynamic farm. The aim of the farm is to provide good quality biodynamic food for the local community, to encourage public access and to enable learning opportunities on the farm. The project includes designating a route, constructing stiles and gates along the route and putting up waymarkers. A leaflet describing the route will be designed and printed professionally in colour and available free at the farm shop. The work includes ensuring visitor safety so the project will undertake a risk assessment and safety audit and carry out any remedial work required. The route will be available for public access at any time and also be used for monthly walks guided by the farm managers.

Benefits of the project include

  • public access to 200 acres of biodynamic farm land situated in the High Weald
  • monthly guided walks with the farm managers
  • self guided farm trail open throughout the year, with no entry charge
  • increased public understanding of role of agriculture in maintaining the countryside
  • increased awareness of animal welfare, food production and biodynamic principles
  • open, safe, public access for visitors to the various areas of the farm througout the year at no cost
  • accompanying leaflet will provide information on aspects of the farm including biodynamic principles, community supported farming, livestock, arable, and horticultural production
  • opportunity for school groups or other interested groups to visit and learn about the importance of farming in maintaining the countryside, specifically the character of the landscape of the High Weald
  • the design, implementation and construction of the farm trail will be assisted by members of the local community in conjunction with the farm team
  • a community owned farm, it is hoped that significant numbers of people will participate, both shareholders and the wider community
  • resources for public access and open air recreation (walking) as well as offering the opportunity for education
  • farm walk will encourage people to visit beyond the farm gate, to discover what makes Plaw Hatch Farm special and then to share this with others and return.

Grant applicant Rebecca Johns says: “The self guided route and leaflet will provide safe, free public access all year round so you can walk round this beautiful landscape and learn about the vibrant farm which you can help to support.“

Stile building work is under way!