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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 June 2006, 08:18 GMT 09:18 UK
Public helps to save organic farm
Charlotte and Ben Hollins

A brother and sister who appealed to the public to help save their farm are close to raising the 800,000 needed.

Ben and Charlotte Hollins have been selling shares in a charity that will buy the land at Fordhall organic farm near Market Drayton in Shropshire.

The charity would then lease the land to the couple, whose family have worked there for nearly 100 years.

So far, 729,000 has been raised, which includes a 200,000 loan. They have until Saturday to reach their target.

Land prices

The iniative was set up to allow the pair to bypass what they described as the largest barrier to new and young people into farming - the price of land.

Mr Hollins, 21, manages the livestock on the farm and runs the farm shop while his sister does the bookkeeping and is involved in the project to raise the 800,000.

Miss Hollins, 23, said they had hoped that when they set up the charity in October 2005 that members of the public would get involved.

"It isn't about the financial rewards, it is about the issues the farm represents," she said.

"People have been buying into supporting these issues."

Some 3,385 people have so far become shareholders in the charity, Fordhall Community Land Iniative.


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