Welcome to the Caenhill Countryside Centre.
The Caen Hill Countryside Centre is a project which brings countryside learning to children, young people and communities .Located just to the west of Devizes near the Caen Hill locks and covers 70 acres of land.
This land is owned by Wiltshire Council who have granted a 5 year lease to the centre - subject to planning.
During this time we aim to prove a sustainable future for the project.
Over the last 2 years, the project manager Helie Franklin has been liaising with schools, communities, interested groups and the wider community. The project has begun by clearing up overgrown areas and making them once more, a productive working feature.
The farm has plenty of history and links. In particular with Chris Franklin, whose father was a tenant farmer here for over 40 years. Chris left the farm in 1987 to work with Wiltshire Police in the scenes of crime unit then moved on to Kennet District Council, and Wiltshire Council. He is pleased to be given this opportunity to return the farm to the way it once was.
His father Ken Franklin, retired in 2002 and the land was used for part of the year only which led to some areas becoming untidy and overgrown with the buildings not fully used.
Plans are to return the farm back to how it was 150 years ago putting back the hedges and ponds. Fields will be named after previous farmers located here - field names include Banks, Butler, Merritt , Hawkins Giddings, Brown and of course, Franklin.
The team is actively looking to fund the project working towards a learning centre, a workshop area and toilet & wash down facilities.
The project is set up as community not for profit organisation which will bring farming, agriculture, horticulture and rural crafts to children and young people. The day to day, season by season work will be shared with those visiting and learning on the farm.
It has also been good to use the links and support provided through the “Social Enterprise Wiltshire” network and TLI - transforming local infrastructure headed up by Glenys Armstrong. A project for new small business and social enterprise.
The Countryside Centre will be a place where people will learn together through natural learning and will be naturally inspiring.
Support has come from the Devizes Area Board. Wiltshire Council, parish councils ,Devizes Town council, schools, Plain Action program, voluntary sector and community groups.
A great deal of thanks also goes to
Councillor Laura Mayes - Wiltshire Council & Devizes Area Board
Richard Rogers - Area Board manager
Paul Oakley - Managing Director of Oakley Planning & Conservation Ltd.has helped with planning support.
Trustees to help us begin and who will help to expand as their group expands to help with becoming a self sustaining project shared in the community
The project requires enthusiastic volunteers, support and donations,
The project is looking for volunteers with particular skills - good with animals, builders, painters, gardeners,nature lovers or support with courses. Rural crafts will be taught at the centre, tutors will be able to bring their craft to others through courses.
We have 2.1 miles of hedges that need layering.. so will be good if you have a pair of gloves and secateurs you can donate *smile*
We are working with communities to bring agriculture and horticulture to children by providing courses set on a farm.
Our courses cover agriculture, horticulture and rural skills delivered at the farm, schools and other educational establishments.
We are based to the west of Devizes in Wiltshire, very near to the flight of locks at Caen Hill on the Kennet and Avon canal.
Be part of the project and share
Touching hearts lifting souls