The Ecological Land Cooperative has purchased its second site in East Sussex for small-scale ecological farming.


Building on the success of their innovative first project (a cluster of three affordable ecological small-holdings at Greenham Reach, Devon), the recent purchase of the 18.5 acre field in East Sussex, previously used for intensive maize production, marks a significant step in the ELC’s work of securing land for small-scale ecological farming.
Such farm businesses are a model of good practice: helping to build a vibrant, living countryside while benefiting both people and planet. The ELC will now seek planning permission to develop the new site into a new cluster of smallholdings; part of the ELC’s vision for creating 20 ecological smallholdings between now and 2020.
The ELC retains the freehold on each smallholding to protect it for agricultural use, and as affordable in perpetuity. On the purchase of the East Sussex site, Oli Rodker, Executive Director for the Ecological Land Co-operative says: “We are delighted with the purchase of our new site in East Sussex. We can now get on with our plans to use this land for ecological farming where good food, conservation and ecology sit side by side – now and into the future.”
Cate Chapman, Managing Director adds: “This land purchase represents the next step in our development of ecological smallholdings in England. Our vision is of a living, working countryside contributing to a biodiverse environment, strong rural communities and a safe, just food system.“
About the Ecological Land Co-operative
The Ecological Land Co-operative (ELC) is a democratic social enterprise working to make land accessible for new entrants to small-scale ecological farming in England. This is achieved by helping overcome two key barriers to those wishing to live with the land: high land prices and planning consent. Their core business is the creation of small clusters of affordable smallholdings.
The model allows the ELC to keep costs low, both through buying larger sites at a lower price per acre, and through distributing the cost of infrastructure, planning applications and ecological site monitoring across a number of smallholdings. This also allows the smallholders to work and learn together and to provide mutual support.

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