Woodoaks Farm has been awarded a grant of £201, 392 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The money will be utilised for the development phase of its planned conversion of an old concrete building into a new space dedicated to educational and community events.
Located in Maple Cross, Rickmansworth, Woodoaks Farm extends across over 300 acres.
The farm had long been owned by the Findlay family since the 1920s but was donated by Sally Findlay to the Soil Association Land Trust in November 2020 to ensure its sustainability for generations to come.
Since then, Programme Manager Rose Lewis has put her heart into creating a vibrant community hub at Woodoaks, which is already now home to a number of local groups like the Creative Juices Brewing Company and Rickey’s Alkaline Market Garden farm shop that is open every Sunday 10-4pm.
Lewis stated: “This is an incredibly significant boost – both financially and emotionally.
“We can now build our momentum, knowing we have the right support to create an invaluable, inclusive community space that will inspire people to reconnect with food, farming and nature.”
Ex-owner Sally Findlay added: “Living in this corner of Hertfordshire for 80 years, I’ve seen many changes, including the motorway cutting the farm into four and I worry that we are increasingly separating from nature. We need to recover a healthy balance.
“I’m delighted that this project will give us a great space for our meetings and studies and will be a hub for the community for many years to come.”
Credit: Woodoaks Farm