Littlehempston gets together to purchase Community Land

After coming to the aid of our church and local pub, Littlehempston people are coming together to secure land that is going up for sale in the centre of our village.

In the biggest land sale for generations 122 acres (almost 50 hectares) is going to auction, following the death of farmer Lyndon Blackler, of Higher Court Farm. The land has been divided into 11 lots, some of which lie right in the centre of our picturesque village. The auction will be conducted by Rendells in 11 separate lots and is set to take place on March 15th. Click here for full details.

As well as protecting the land from possible development, we intend to place the land in a Trust for community use with a focus on nature conservation and biodiversity. Ideas include preserving an old Devon cider orchard, creating a village green and providing shared space for the use of all villagers and their children.

Littlehempston has a strong track record of community action. In 2012 we managed to protect the future of our church by adapting it to perform a dual function as a village hall, with the help of innovative pews on wheels. Then, in 2014, we formed a co-operative, bought, and then reopened our village pub, the Tally Ho. The centuries old pub is now the first community owned pub in South Devon.

Littlehempston is now applying its usual vigour to raise funds prior to the auction on 15th March, with a working group set up to investigate Community Interest Companies and Community Land Trusts.

In order to raise funds, the group is collecting money and pledges from within and beyond Littlehempston. With money rolling in, they’re feeling confident they will be able to raise the funds to bid for at least one of the lots.

Littlehempston Parish Council chair Jonathan Morris says: “This is a once in a generation opportunity to acquire land for the whole community of Littlehempston. We’ve got a great track record of pulling together as a village to protect the things we value most and this will provide a fantastic resource for the whole community to enjoy. There has been an astonishing amount of money pledged so far and each new pledge safeguards a little more of the village for future generations. Let’s hope people continue to give generously!”

If you are interested in contributing to the fund, make your cheque out to ‘Village Community Space’ and write ‘Land Littlehempston’ on the back of the cheque together with your contact details. Send your cheque to: Land Littlehempston, 2 Church Cottages, Littlehempston, Totnes, TQ9 6LY.

Alternatively you can do a bank transfer of your contribution to:
Account: Village Community Space
Sort Code: 30-98-69
Account No: 02271067

If you’d like to contribute to the fund but your money isn’t immediately available, you can make a pledge – please use this website’s contact form to get in touch and we’ll let you know how.

We’ve also set up a mailing list which you can join to be kept up to date with this campaign, ask questions, put forward ideas and contribute to the discussion. Again, use our contact form and let us know if you’d like to join the Littlehempston Land mailing list.