Yorkley Court Community Farm Land Trust

The Yorkley Court Community Farm Land Trust (YCCFLT) provides the principled stewardship of the estate for the benfit of community of Yorkley and the Forest of Dean. We believe that those who give land its value should also be respected as the beneficiaries of that land. Yorkley Court Farm only has value by virtue of its location and the social economic conditions of this location . Therefore, it is those who have the most immediate ecological relation and responsibility to land that should decide how the land is used.

We believe that the YCCFLT provides an excellent opportunity to create a new model for a system of commons and if we work together we can ensure that the land is sustained as a common resource for all members of the local community of Yorkley and the Forest of Dean.

Those that adhere to the principles of privatization and neolibraliasm will often site the notion of ‘the tragedy of the commons’ as an explanation for the deficiency in the practice of communal resource management. This is, however, a discredited hypothesis based on a malevolent conception of humanity. We believe that simple, fair structures put in place to regulate the use of the land can overcome the potential abuse of the resources. We can create a commonwealth through commonsense.

We believe that a Community Farm Land Trust (CFLT) offers the best model to ensure that the land is respected as a common resource to benefit the long term health and well being of the community of Yorkley and the Forest of Dean. A CFLT has certain principles enshrined in its constitution to ensure that the land is used to provide a benefit to the local community, that any profits or wealth created from the use of the land goes to benefit the local community and that all individuals who live or work in the specified locality have the opportunity to become members of the trust. We can all be trustees for the benefit of your neighbour.

As agricultural land we believe that the methods of Agroecology as a means of studying, designing, managing, and evaluating the uses of the land would ensure the most sustainable course of development for the land. Agroecology is a method of farming which uses science and technology appropriately and abides by the tenets of sustainability, to work with nature, rather than seeking to dominate it, and benefit individuals and communities, instead of focusing solely on financial gain. There are five principles central to the practice of agroecology these are;

  • recycling of nutrients,

  • building of soil organic matter;

  • minimising losses from a system;

  • maximising biodiversity and genetic diversity;

  • enhancing biological interactions.

We propose that these principles of agroecology are expanded upon and incorporated into the governance of the trust thus creating a foundation for a model of Agroecological Land Trust.

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