Biggleswade's Treewell Community Farm wins CPRE Bedfordshire Choice Award

Over 3,000 people made their voices heard in the Bedfordshire Choice Award, which was new this year.

Friday, 17th September 2021, 9:17 am
Updated Wednesday, 22nd September 2021, 11:14 am

Treewell Community Farm, Biggleswade, was proud to win the CPRE Bedfordshire Choice Award for its commitment to the countryside and helping others.

Owners Meghan and Richard Kempson were thrilled to be crowned champions, as voters recognised their project's success in supporting people who don't have access to a garden and those with mental health struggles.

The kindhearted couple bought the farm nearly two years ago and transformed it into a community space where over 30 volunteers grow their own vegetables for free.

Treewell Community Farm. Photo: Treewell Community Farm.

Meghan told the Chronicle: "It feels amazing. You don't realise on a day to day basis what the farm has achieved, then to sum it up and say it feels pretty mind-blowing.

"We opened the farm to the community; people come and grow their own veg for free and in return they have helped to improve its appearance, make it look pretty, and have contributed by sharing their own produce.

"It's had a really positive effect. A few people are from Bedford and Milton Keynes and don't have their own garden space. It's really important to them."

The accolade was part of the 2021 CPRE Bedfordshire Living Countryside Awards and the farm was also commended under the 'Connecting People and Countryside' title.

Treewell Community Farm. Photos: Treewell Community Farm.

As part of the process, the charity came to film a video at the community farm, with Meghan, Richard and some of the volunteers taking part.

Talking to the camera, Richard said: "My wife had spotted an opportunity on a local housing platform - it was previously a chicken farm. There were lots of areas that needed a lot of renovation to bring them back to their original wonder but Meg had an idea to invite the local community in to help us.

"We're basically the custodians for another period of this beautiful farm's life and that's very much the ethos that we have at Treewell Farm: to bring it back to its original wonder, bring the community in, and get everyone involved. And to make sure it's a beautiful place - not just for us to bring up our family - but a beautiful place to visit and for the community to enjoy as well."

Meghan told CPRE: "We have a really strong community at Treewell and we actually call them our Treewellers. We have families, we have individuals, we have a range of professions, backgrounds, and nationalities. It's great to see everyone getting on so well and reaping the rewards from their hard work."

Treewell Community Farm. Photos: Treewell Community Farm.

The farm first featured in the Chronicle back in February 2020 - just before the pandemic hit - but not even Covid-19 could stop the good work as families and individuals could book time slots to come along.

Moving forward, Treewell Farm has enjoyed a successful summer, hosting a wedding and also offering a range of workshops.

Its latest activity is an Inner Radiance Day Retreat on September 25, while it has previously hosted a range of craft days from floristry to dreamcatcher making.

Businesses can use the farm's Serenity Shed for workshops, while there are two spaces currently available at the community vegetable patch.

Meghan concluded: "It's lovely to connect with nature, sowing your own seeds in the ground, watching them grow, and then being able to cook your own food. It's really magical."

The couple would like to say a big thank you to Brian O'Donoghue for helping with the gravelling, to Terri Griffiths for creating the booking calendar during the pandemic, and Zannah Allen and Hannah Hurd for their help in transforming areas of the farm.

Meanwhile, since we last spoke, Meghan and Richard are now a proud family of four with son Sebastian, three, and new addition, daughter Pippa, aged 10 months!

To find out more about Treewell Community Farm, visit: https://www.facebook.com/treewellfarm or Instagram: @treewellfarm