The trust was founded on 17th March 1997 by a group concerned with the future of biodynamic agricultural work in Aberdeenshire.
The aims are:
1. To purchase land out of private ownership and to hold it in trust for biodynamic / organic food production, preferentially the former, in perpetuity.
2. To ensure that this land is worked to certified biodynamic / organic standards.
3. To facilitate the running of a business growing and trading in fresh biodynamic/organic produce in order to further its availability in the locality, for example by purchasing land, buildings, greenhouses, etc.
4. To support other biodynamic work in the area or expand its objectives.
The initial aim was to raise money to purchase three acres of land at Burnorrachie, Bridge of Muchalls, near Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire. This enabled the horticultural businesses "LEMBAS" and “BIODYNAMIC SUPPLIES”, run by Freya and Paul van Midden, to operate by leasing this land to them. Although this initial aim is local and well supported by customers of LEMBAS, the Trust sees itself as part of a much wider movement for social renewal through community land ownership. This concept has long been promoted within the U.K. and internationally. Commonly known as Community
Supported Agriculture, the movement embraces a wide variety of consumer producer-ownership structures which have been established world-wide in a variety of settings.
Experience has repeatedly shown that community ownership of land is necessary if it is to be secured for biodynamic or organic work and to enable dedicated young gardeners and farmers to start up business.
The Trust aims to assist in further situations where the future of agricultural land is threatened and where biodynamic agricultural work could be established or secured.
Such a change in ownership status is a crucial and far-reaching factor in freeing land from the disturbing influences of the market economy, which reduces it to a mere commodity. Our times demand a new approach to how land is used. Social land ownership aims to ensure that land is left to future generations in an improved condition and is leased to those whose wish is to grow food and care for the land in a way that respects the ecological balance of man and nature.
Your support is crucial to help us to realise these aims.
The Trust welcomes single or regular donations, no matter how small, to contribute to the much-needed capital required to further the aims of the trust (land purchase, supporting growers etc.)
Legacies would be a particularly welcome way of making a contribution to this new form of land ownership, secured for biodynamic or organic cultivation.
Cheques should be made payable to "The Aberdeen Biodynamic Land Trust" and sent to the Treasurer, who can provide a form for setting up a standing order for making regular payments from your bank/building society. The Secretary or Treasurer can provide assistance or further information on the Trust. (See below for addresses.)
Mission Statement of The Aberdeen Biodynamic Land Trust
The last century has seen tremendous changes in agriculture and not necessarily changes for the better. Agriculture has become more and more dominated by industrial and commercial-marketing principles and practices. This industrial thinking and application - making use of mechanisation, rationalisation and specialisation principles - has led to massive over-production and the need to subsidise farmers in order to take land out of production. The industrial development of agriculture and horticulture has been made possible by applying modern science to food production - most notably artificial, mineral fertilisers and synthetic chemicals to destroy diseases, pests and weed competition. While enhancing production and lowering food prices, modern science has done little to protect the inherent diversity and vitality of livestock and crops.
However, people have increasingly begun to question the wisdom of the scientific and industrial approach to agriculture. The organic movement in its diversity unites those people committed to protecting nature and our natural environment through farming and gardening in a manner that is sustainable and promotes the well being of the land, the producer and the consumer.
The principles of land ownership are facing a similar situation. In the last century land has become to be seen as predominately a source of food production and therefore wealth-production. It is thus bought and sold for purely commercial considerations. The land, however, is a part of a complex and delicate eco-system that shapes and supports our health and our life itself. It is shared with the generations from the past and the future.
Out of this understanding a new form of social land ownership has developed. Community Supported Agriculture projects have increasingly been formed whereby the customers of the farm or garden either own the land or support it through forming a Trust. In this way the organic status of the land is ensured and promoted. The basis of these initiatives is the recognition that the responsibility towards the land extends beyond those individuals that work the land. In this way a local community of involvement and responsibility is created.
The improvement of the natural fertility of the soil and the establishment of a rich, varied and sustainable landscape are slow processes that reach fulfilment over generations. Social land ownership is thus needed to ensure that the principles and activities of organic agriculture and horticulture are fostered over a long period of time and that as many interested people as possible are involved in the process.
The Aberdeen Biodynamic Land Trust is one of these social land ownership initiatives. It recognises that the Biodynamic method is the best guarantee for the improvement of the fertility of the soil and the quality of the food produced from that soil.
The Aberdeen Biodynamic Land Trust has as its aim to purchase land in order to hold it in permanent trust for Biodynamic and organic food production for future generations. The Trust does not seek to generate any income from the ownership of land but only to make it possible for land to be held in trust to support those working the land and to enable the social forms to be created so mat as many people as possible may benefit from that land and from the activities of the enterprise.
Freya and Paul van Midden (Grower)
Bridge of Muchalls
Aberdeen AB39 3RU
Tel: 01569 731746
Richard Phethean (Chairman)
Aberdeen AB12 5YL
Michael Bracewell (Treasurer)
80 Hilton Street
Aberdeen AB24 4QS
Tel: 01224 484957