A small group of “eco-farmers” who occupy The Strip, a few derelict hectares of land known as Yorkley Court Community Farm are committed to their belief that sustainable farming is for the benefit of the local community. The four people in the photograph are part of a larger group who have been farming the land in the Forest of Dean for more than two years but now are barricading themselves into the site after its millionaire owner obtained an eviction order.
The group say the farm has become a hub for people keen to learn about land-based skills and low-impact living.
One member said: “We hope to inspire people to work directly with the land and learn new and traditional skills around agriculture and forestry. The Forest of Dean is lacking opportunities for sustainable local-based employment which would enhance the area rather than destroy it.”
Yorkley Court Farm is an estate measuring approximately 180 acres. It is sited on the edge of the village of Yorkley in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire. The farm comprises of a Grade II listed 6 bedroom farmhouse, a derelict 3 bedroom cottage, several outbuildings and barns and a small milking parlour.
Since the news of the county court eviction hearing broke, the residents have been doing everything that they can to keep their homes, including launching an online petition. While the residents and supporters at Yorkley Community Farm have called for help in the face of their struggle against imminent eviction Gloucestershire Police have asked the National Police Air Service to carry out occasional overflights to observe the size of the community on site. In preparation of the threatened eviction, the farmers have built a watch tower near one of the entrances to the farm which, they say, is a defensive structure made from recycled materials.
Published in Amateur Gardening magazine