The community mobilised in 2014 when the 'sledging fields‘ at Whatcombe in Frome, Somerset came up for sale as 'land with development potential.’ A share offer was launched and 282 shareholders pitched in to buy them and protect them as green space for everyone to enjoy.
These beautiful fields provide wonderful walks and a haven for wildlife. Hand-drawn map of the fields here: map
How will it be managed?
The fields will be preserved as a green accessible space. We will continue to work with local farmers to enable grazing and will link with Somerset Wildlife Trust to enhance biodiversity, flora and fauna. Income will be generated initially through grazing and rural payments.
Somerset Wildlife Trust surveyed the site in May 2015 and wrote some recommendations. You can read that report here: SWT report
We asked shareholders what they'd like to see on the fields when we gave our share certificates. Here is a link to the results of that event shareholders suggestions. We'll continue to ask for further input as time goes on.
I missed out on buying a share. Is it too late to join in?
No, we want to be able to offer existing shareholders the chance to withdraw their share if they need to so if you would like to join the group, this is still possible. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to buy a share
Each share costs £1. The minimum investment is £250. The maximum is £100,000
On investing you become a shareholder and hence legally a mutual ‘owner’
Buying shares gives you membership in Save Open Spaces Frome
Each member has one vote, no matter what the level of shareholding
Although shares are in theory withdrawable - it is better to view this investment more like a donation that gives you a voice in the future of the land and the society.
Shares can be inherited, so ownership can be passed down through the generations