Page last updated at 12:39 GMT, Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Community farm plan meeting held

Killerton House
The National Trust owns and manages the Killerton estate in Devon

A public meeting is to be held later to consider proposals for a community farm in east Devon.

The National Trust is offering to lease 40 acres (16 ha) of farm land for the scheme on Exeter's Killerton estate.

Volunteers would be needed to grow crops, manage any livestock and help distribute produce.

A public meeting for anyone wishing to find out more about the project is due to take place at Clyst Vale Community College, Broadclyst, at 1900 GMT.

A project spokesperson said the National Trust farm land and buildings would be offered on a long-term rolling lease in response to local interest in increasing the amount of local food available to local people at a fair price.

Suggestions sought

As well as finding out more about what the initiative would involve, the meeting will also be an opportunity for people to suggest what could be grown or produced on such a farm.

Bees, pigs, soft fruits, and polytunnels for vegetables and herbs have been already suggested, as well as a local produce box scheme for Broadclyst and surrounding areas to provide a regular supply of locally-available food to local people and businesses.

It is intended that the farm would be self-financing within three to five years and that surplus money from sales would be ploughed back into the farm and possibly donated to local causes.

The National Trust has accessed £8,000 from Defra to support set-up costs and Broadclyst Parish Council and several local businesses have also sponsored the project to help get it off the ground.

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