Community farm opens with plans to run land using wartime techniques

Jo Henderson and Andrew Pratt are in the process of converting their land into a community farm. Th

Jo Henderson and Andrew Pratt are in the process of converting their land into a community farm. They intend to run the farm as it would have been in WWI and WWII using hand and horses. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

A farming duo have pledged to revisit techniques used during wartime to get people back in tune with nature. 

Jo Henderson, founder of Greenacres Smallholding, moved to Ipswich in 2008 and met farmer Andrew Pratt eight years later. 

Jo Henderson with Belle. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown

Jo Henderson with Belle. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Andy is a fourth-generation farmer, but his family sold off much of their land in 2009.  

He retained 12 acres and the machinery - but lacked the time to sustain the farm in the way he wanted to. 

But a partnership with Jo led to the idea for Greenacres Smallholding, a community interest company that has plans to make good the land - and do good for other people in the process. 

Ms Henderson said: "I was talking to my dad about what we were trying to achieve with regenerative farming practice and he mentioned reading about three farmers who were setting up a movement to re-wild 20% of their land and encourage others.  

"Very soon after they were on Countryfile and I was so excited that I got straight on to research and make our pledge." 

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The Greenacres Wild East Pledge is to reinstate the boundary hedgerows to the south of the site.  

In November, 420 saplings will arrive from the Woodland Trust as part of the Green Canopy Project to celebrate the Queen's Jubilee.

And the team wants to run the farm as it would have been run during the world wars - by hand and horse. 

Jo Henderson and Andrew Pratt are in the process of converting their land into a community farm. Th

Livestock on the farm includes pigs and horses - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Pigs are turning over the ground to rid it of dock and thistle, while the meadow is being grazed by horses to encourage wildflowers. 

All livestock on the farm will be bred for the area, as part of the aim to be a Suffolk Heritage breeds farm, and a Suffolk Heritage orchard will be planted. 

Ms Henderson added: "Greenacres aims to be an all-inclusive community where people can come together to share in the beauty and peace of the countryside, while improving the quality of the natural environment. 

Jo Henderson and Andrew Pratt are in the process of converting their land into a community farm. Th

Jo Henderson and Andrew Pratt are in the process of converting their land into a community farm. They intend to run the farm as it would have been in WWI and WWII using hand and horses. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

"Right now it's just me and Andy and some friends and it's a huge task, so we're actively seeking like-minded people to become members and volunteer as we turn the clock back to a time when we worked hand in hand with nature." 

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