Vision

On Hazelhurst Lane, in the beautiful Moss Valley on the edge of Sheffield, there is an opportunity to create a place where organic growers and craftspeople can work on the land, producing sustainable local food and building ecologically-based livelihoods.

Our vision is to create a diverse patchwork of market gardens, orchards, beehives and coppice woodland on the edge of the city. Organic growers and wood-workers will work on the site, using local materials to produce food, fuel and woodland products for Sheffield. There will be young apprentices in land-based skills and children from local schools doing hands-on learning. A camping area will offer space for shared learning, storytelling and connecting with the land. Wildlife will thrive in the field margins and adjoining woodland, which will also provide coppice wood and timber for fencing, fuel and buildings.

Our motivation is to respond to the challenges of climate change, resource depletion and social inequalities by supporting a sustainable food system and land-based livelihoods. In this way, we aim to help create a more ecologically, socially and economically resilient city, engaged in the transition towards 'one planet living'. 


Aims


Building a windbreak hedge for the orchard
The aim of the project is to develop 15 acres of agricultural land on the edge of the city as a site for a cluster of productive and ecologically sustainable land-based enterprises. The project will provide small-scale organic food growers and other land-based workers (such as woodworkers, beekeepers etc) with land, infrastructure and shared equipment at an affordable annual rent.


As well as sharing infrastructure and equipment, the project will enable small enterprises to co-operate through skill-sharing, exchange of products and materials, and co-operative marketing and distribution. The site also adjoins 29 acres of woodland, which is owned by Heather Hunt and will be managed in co-operation with the project. This will enable woodland products such as coppice wood and firewood to be conveniently sourced and integrated into productive enterprises.

The project will also enable a range of educational, training, research, social and cultural opportunities for residents of Sheffield and the surrounding area. These may include apprenticeship placements, school visits, volunteering opportunities, workshops, research projects, youth camps etc. These activities aim to promote the development of sustainable livelihood skills, and the education of young people for resilience and ecological responsibility.

The project aims to be self-financing once established, avoiding dependence on grant funding.


We see the project as part of the wider Transition and Food Sovereignty movements. We are interested in collaborating with movements and research organisations engaged with locally-controlled, low carbon, land-based initiatives preparing to adapt to our changing climate.