Stockwood Community Benefit Society is based around Rush Farm in Worcestershire; the home of the Archers (Radio 4) and the Parsons family. Stockwood was formed in 2012 to ensure the long-term survival of the farm and in June 2014, successfully completed its launch phase with the purchase of 150 acres of Rush Farm land and the development of Stockwood Business Park. The land and property were placed into a community trust, securing the base for the charitable mission of environmental and social transformation. Since 2014 Stockwood has ensured the business park and farm have been able to foster community for local people, develop a site for climate-conscious working and increase production of good quality, nature friendly food. We have been finalists in sustainability awards and were the proud winners of Natural England’s 2019 Conservation Award. We have over 400 members who have invested over £1.5 million.
- Eco-farming: 150 acres are let to the biodynamic organic Rush Farm. Biodynamic agriculture is pro-environment and is designed to be a self-sustaining farm system that is good for food, conservation, and carbon sequestration.
- Business Park: There are 27 units and around 100 people work on site.
- Renewable energy: Solar and ground source pump system heats the business park, providing warm air in winter (and cold in summer) through a district heating system that is better for the tenants as well as the environment.
- Community engagement: Regular events, activities, and education on the land.
Rush Farm is an award winning 190-acre certified biodynamic farm with top class organic credentials, which protects the land and wildlife for future generations, produces sustainable, nutritious food and offers jobs to the local community. Land use is largely pasture with part arable and 20 acres of woodland.
Biodynamic agriculture is pro-environment and is designed to be a self-sustaining farm system that builds soil that is good for food, conservation, and carbon sequestration. It was a pleasure to have this hard work acknowledged in 2019 when Rush Farm won Natural England’s Conservation Award. Rush farm has continued to operate successfully according to the Biodynamic principles, and animals, habitat and wildlife continue to thrive. The inspection by the Biodynamic Certification Service concluded: “Rush Farm can now justly be regarded as a flagship biodynamic farm organism. It is part of a community initiative dedicated to preserving its biodynamic status in perpetuity” and that it is “a pleasure to work with licensees who maintain such high standards of biodynamic farm practice and record keeping.” Worcestershire Wildlife Trust have also visited the farm to survey butterflies and birds and a local beekeeper and hedgehog rescue centre also work on the farm.
Stockwood Business Park is a 27 unit mix of offices and light industrial units, that boosts the local economy, provides job security, and offers financial and wellbeing benefits in an area of outstanding natural beauty. In its characterful converted farm buildings our tenants work in a real mix of industries from wedding stationers to accountants, mechanics to therapists. We are proud of our little community here, where coming to work isn't necessarily part of the daily grind. If you are interested in one of our units, please click here.
Recently I have been inspired to grow my own veg and herbs. I love fresh corriander and it's getting harder to find. What a marvellous place this is, they have provided me with my own space to make my dreams of having my own veg garden come true!
In 2017, we installed a £400,000 solar and ground source heating and cooling system for the business park; providing warm air in winter and cold in summer, and a system better for the tenants as well as the environment. We were very proud to be pioneering this technology at scale, as it was the biggest system in the UK at the time and was a finalist at a national sustainability award.
In addition to the existing heat pumps and solar, we are at the beginning stages of partnering with a local company developing a system which processes rubbish generated on site into usable energy, without the transport emissions produced by processing recycling and other waste off site. Having been a pioneer project for ground source heat at scale, we are hoping to also be pioneer with this new technology.
Our existing waste management policy supports renewable energy already, as our non-recyclable waste is turned into electricity rather than being taken to landfill.