Crimsworth Farm

Crimsworth Farm is a tiny 6.5 acre fragment of the planet’s surface. It largely consists of upland grassland habitats with a mix of scrub and broadleaf woodland mixed too. Home to a large number of mammal, bird, insect, amphibian, fungi, lichen and plant species – many of which are rapidly declining around the world due to loss of habitat, pesticide use and climate change, some on the amber and red list for extinction. We put the protection of this wildlife first through habitat enhancing management. Around this, we have some areas that produce food and materials, such as vegetables and fruit to eat, willow for weaving, and wood for making furniture. These productive areas are managed in such a way that they give more back to wildlife than they take away. This is an important ethos for the farm, that nature comes first and we work around that. We know it is possible and we believe this approach is essential for the future of all life on earth, including us.

What’s already happening

We manage most of the land to improve the existing wildlife habitat, including grassland, scrub and a young woodland. A local forest school charity helps children learn from outdoor activities, fostering a next generation in tune with the natural world. Our vegetables and fruit are grown organically on an allotment with wildlife in mind, a couple of local residents grow veg too. In a small area by the house we manage the traditional garden in a wildlife friendly way using the wild way method, studying and taking the lead from natural habitats and wildlife interactions. This is all used for educational material.

Volunteer on the reserve

Our main need for help is managing the grasslands for wildlife, specifically:

Dock and nettle pulling – we are 100% organic and don’t use weedkiller sprays, instead we manage vigorous wild plants by pulling or digging them out. This is relatively easy to do (with gloves to stop stings from nettles!) While we want both nettle and dock on the land for wildlife value to a degree, they both need some controlling each year so they don’t take over and erase precious and less vigorous plants in the grasslands. For example, the meadows contain many smaller plants used by large numbers off wildlife, if the plants went, so will the wildlife.

Wall repairs – we maintain our ancient dry stone walls ourselves, but if you are interested in practicing this skill, we often have small repairs you are welcome to try on. Usually the walls are knocked own by our resident family of roe deer who hop over and catch them with their hooves.

Opportunities for people to work with us

We are always interested in speaking to artists and craftspeople who share this ethos and vision for the future. If you do and you’re interested in supporting what we do here to protect wildlife while building your own ways of earning a living, please get in touch.

Business opportunity
Making green wood furniture
We have an opportunity for someone keen to work with us to develop a small local hand produced furniture or wood product business. For someone wanting to coppice and then make hand crafted furniture, hurdles or supports using wood from our land. This will involve coppicing the wood yourself and turning this into products to be sold locally and online.

Business opportunity
Making jams and preserves
If you like growing and making jams and other preserves from the most natural homegrown produce, we have an opportunity for someone to work with us to develop a small local preserve business. This will involve growing fruit and produce yourself on the land, turning that into preserves to be sold locally and online.

Business opportunity
Seasonal cut flowers
If you enjoy growing perennials and shrubs and arranging them, we have an opportunity for you to use an area for plants to cut through the year to be sold locally.

Business opportunity
Small sustainable plant nursery
If you enjoy propagating and growing plants, we have an opportunity for you to set up a small nursery to grow pesticide, peat free, low plastic, sustainable plants to be sold to garden owners we work with who commission us to create wildlife garden projects. We don’t have space currently to house this and would be looking for someone who has their own space to do this from home or elsewhere.

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