ORC has always sought to contribute the life of the local community, in particular in the village of Hamstead Marshall, but also more widely in West Berkshire and surrounding counties.
Our conference centre, farm trail, gardens and other facilities are available not only to local schools, colleges and businesses, but also to local community groups and charities at free or reduced rates. Additional information, activities and talks by ORC staff can be provided on request. The garden has been used to support school and horticultural therapy projects and is available for the development of new projects.
Local groups and projects can also use Elm Farm as a resource with free, open access to our Countryside Stewardship Scheme-funded farm trail. Elm Farm is an ideal site for demonstrating conservation of flora and fauna through its organic management and its conservation plan. Different habitats are encouraged across the farm.
In 2010 and 2011, ORC has held a summer Organic and Local Food Festival to provide an opportunity for the local community to engage with the work we are doing and to meet organic and other local producers. We’re taking a break in 2012, but watch this space….
ORC is working with the North Wessex Downs AONB, where Jo Smith is a member of the advisory committee, and with the West Berkshire LSP Greener Sub-Partnership (represented by Nic Lampkin) to support sustainability initiatives in local communities.
If you are a local community organisation or charity, and would like to know more about what we can offer, please contact Roger Hitchings.