Cheshire Farms

Introduction to Cheshire Farms Service

Julie and Robert AndrewsCheshire Farms Service was created to manage the agricultural estates of both Cheshire West and Chester Borough Council (CW and CBC) and Cheshire East Borough Council (CEBC) on their formation in 2009.

From its origins in 1909 following the introduction of legislation to encourage the creation of opportunities for people to farm on their own account, land was acquired progressively between 1909 and 1935.

This was then developed as Statutory Smallholdings by the provision of purpose built houses and buildings, or the conversion of existing properties. Substantial adaptation works have been carried out by the former Council and its tenants to provide modern facilities to meet the changing needs of the farming industry.

Farms are located throughout Cheshire and extend to approximately 8176 acres (3301 acres in Cheshire West and 4875 acres in Cheshire East), including 82 let farms ranging from market gardens to fully equipped dairy farms the largest of which is 213 acres.

The Service links in to a national network of Council Farms across England and Wales extending in total to approximately 220,000 acres, enabling not only 2,150 farming tenants to gain their livelihood but connecting those authorities with a rural communities providing a range of opportunities e.g. the identification of affordable housing sites, improving public access, the generation of renewable energy.

Both Authorities carried out reviews between 2010 and 2011 with Cheshire West Borough Council deciding to implement a managed cessation of service provision over the lifetime of the current tenancies whilst Cheshire East reaffirmed its commitment to providing a service. Further information about each is provided in the Core Purpose and Management Policy.