For groups and communities wanting to buy land for local food production, there’s now a comprehensive online toolkit at www.communityfarm.land. It has been created by the Ecological Land Co-operative and Co-op Culture, who have assisted dozens of projects to get started.
The website is well-organised, and includes sample document formats, lists of organisations and advisors, and plenty of shared experience. It brings together extensive resources to find and evaluate land for sale, raise money, gain planning permission and more.
It lists eight steps in the land purchase process: Looking for Land; Buying the Land; Making Planning Applications; Protecting the Community’s Land; Business Models for Agroecology; Financing; Governance & Structure; and Cultivating Good Relationships.
The ELC says, “It’s very hard to buy land in the UK, and we hope the toolkit will make it easier. We direct users to free legal advice, detail the business models behind successful land purchases, and share information on funders who are funding community land purchases. We also include sections on governance and cultivating good relationships, both of which are crucial to long-term success.”