After years of discussion between Transition Buxton and High Peak Borough Council a dream to develop a new food education centre began to be realised in 2015. A licence to restore and use the derelict Council plant nursery in Serpentine Walks encouraged volunteers to clear the site in preparation for further development. Great works have been completed: a restored glass house; two news polytunnels; five raised beds and dozens of planters in intensive use; a terrace of composting bins and a composting toilet.
The promised lease has not yet been granted. Instead, the Borough Council is considering sale of the site should it be successful in securing planning permission for residential development. A well-supported campaign to Save the Farm is in progress.
Serpentine Community Farm formed a separate Community Interest Company in 2015 but remains closely allied with Transition Buxton. It is a community garden and growing space for the people of Buxton and surrounding areas, administered and run by a group of unpaid volunteers.
The site is open every Wednesday and Sunday from 11.00 am to 3.00 pm. Visitors are always welcome to the site to look around when open. Advice is freely given. Produce, seeds or plants (when available) may be taken away. Donations are always welcome.
Serpentine Community Farm CIC aims to:
- teach and learn about sustainable growing practices in the Buxton climate
e.g. experimenting with what grows and crops well in our specific climatic conditions;
- share knowledge with our volunteers and visitors (‘grow the people’);
- introduce initiatives and practices that support the aim of long term food security. For example, growing heritage varieties of hardy vegetables and flowers and sharing produce and seeds with the local community;
- build and maintain an environment where all people are welcome, enjoying what they are doing and having social interaction with others.
Farm volunteers come from a broad range of backgrounds. Some come along for the day, others stop for just an hour or two. Volunteers are welcome, particularly on Sundays. (Wednesdays can get very busy.) There’s always plenty to do and a great working atmosphere.