Only 100 votes shy of ‘Midlander of the Year Award’

The BBC announced the winner of their ‘Midlander of the Year’ award only moments ago. Charlotte and Ben came a close second to Otto Putland, a young swimmer raising money for a teenage cancer unit in Birmingham, who got only 100 votes more than Charlotte and Ben. From a total of 17,000 votes, Charlotte and Ben received over 5000, that’s 29.5% of the total votes, not bad going at all.

Charlotte says “both Ben and I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who voted for us. We were completely amazed by the result when the BBC told us. Only 100 votes behind the winner is an amazing achievement. It really motivates us to know that so many people are still supporting our activities at Fordhall. We won the Schumacher Award last September for our contribution to sustainable development and now coming second as Midlander of the Year, both are great achievements, but saving Fordhall with so much support behind us has to be the biggest success of 2006”

Fordhall Farm is now owned by almost 8000 people from across the country and even the globe, with the land leased to Charlotte and Ben, but there is still a long way to go at Fordhall; bunkhouses are being planned as well as a local/organic food tea rooms, and all built sustainably and with as much community input as possible.

There are always ways to get involved with the farm. You can still buy non-profit making shares in the Initiative, visit the farm shop or you can take part in their volunteer working weekends. The next is planned for this Sunday 14th Jan when there will be a one day hedge laying training course. Anyone wanting to take part in the training day, or would like to know more about Fordhall are encouraged to call Sophie on 01630 638656 or email You can keep updated with progress at Fordhall by following their online diary linked from their website