On returning from their travels in 2011, Monica and David settled in the beautiful Upper Calder Valley, between Halifax and Rochdale, where they’ve discovered a lively arts and crafts scene and loads of like-minded friends.
Becoming the custodians of an ancient, twenty-acre Pennine farm, they are determined to ensure that the history of the Warland Farm is appreciated and preserved, and that its social value is restored by building a self-sufficient, co-operative community around the land’s shared wealth.
Warland Farm has continually adapted to provide employment for the local community and valuable products and services for the wider world. The creation of an arts and crafts centre will continue this adaptation into the future. It is hoped that the proposed changes will create employment, occupation, sustenance and joy for a community of twenty souls.
The principles which guide us in this enterprise are to:
- Restore and protect the area’s natural productivity through Permaculture;
- Practice and teach sustainable craft;
- Perform and encourage local arts and culture;
- Enjoy real food together; and, while following these four,
- Maximise the mutual respect and happiness in our community.
To date, the application of these principles has led to the planting of 20,000 native trees, restoration of the farm’s blacksmith shop, an upgrade of the woodworking shop and the development of an apiary with six national hives. A forest garden, sally gardens and a coppice orchard are growing. A fifty acre ancient oak woodland was recently added to greatly increase the community’s natural resources.
David and Monica are now embarking upon a programme to create the built environment to best support the community, working within the site’s constraints and favouring traditional methods and materials while minimising any ecological or heritage impacts.
About a dozen folk are considering their invitation to become a founder member of the Warland Farm Commons community.