Recent projects and events

1908 - 2008 Celebrating 100 years of Council Farms in Cheshire

Ridley Farm, a new beginning

Ridley farmAt the dawn of the then new millennium, coinciding with an anticipated change of tenancy, it was decided to replace a rather large and wonderful but impractical range of traditional buildings with new farm premises; the first new complete set of farm buildings on the estate since 1950.

2001 saw the arrival of Stuart Dennison who bravely took on the old, rather tired farm with inadequate facilities with only the hope that both the Council's ambitions and his dream of a modern and efficient farmstead would indeed come true. With Foot and Mouth, very poor trading conditions and practical challenges that would see most people run for cover, Stuart, his wife Julie and family have not only coped with great fortitude but created a highly acclaimed dairy herd and invested in the long term environmental value of the holding.

Six years on, planning consent was granted for the conversion of the old buildings to residential use, providing a potential funding stream for the completion of the new premises; indeed funding of £1.1 million was then approved and what started as an ambitious aim became a real prospect.

Ridley Farm fieldWork on site began in October 2007 and from a green field site the beginnings of a new farm emerged. How appropriate was it then that in the centenary year for Cheshire Farms Service, the dreams of an ambitious and capable young farmer become a reality, a reality that will serve many generations of young farmers to come. The images that follow provide flavour of how this scheme progressed.

From the existing farm that you can see above, the new premises emerged through to completion in 2008:

For more information download the Ridley Farm Fact Sheet (PDF, 195KB)

August 2008

Work has now finished on the farmhouse and farm buildings. Stuart, Julie, Robert and Andrew plus cows have finally moved ‘down the lane’ into ‘Centenary Farm’ as it’s been named, in celebration of County Farms Centenary this year.

Farm Viewing Gallery

Centenary Farm 2008 

The new buildings provide housing, feeding and milking facilities under one roof for the whole herd and storage for 1000 tonnes of silage

Centenary Farm Aerial Photograph

Cheshire ploughing match

The 85th Cheshire Ploughing Match was attended by one of the largest crowds in many years. All were treated to a competitive display of rural skills using a range of traditional and modern approaches and including horse drawn ploughing and hedgelaying. Click on the link below to see how Cheshire Farm Service celebrated its long history, the role that farming plays in Cheshire and thank the wider farming community:

Cheshire Ploughing Match (PDF, 212KB).