A major project is underway to safeguard one of north Pembrokeshire’s most innovative and pioneering farm estates.

Clynfyw Farm near Abercych has been farmed by the Lewis-Bowen family since the 1750s and over the last three decades it has become an award-winning pioneer of community-focussed farm diversification with its focus on supported accommodation and independent living skills.

Now, to ensure the Farm’s continued growth, a community share offer has been launched enabling people to have a say in how the farm can continue to evolve.

The aim is to raise £550,000 to purchase four cottages, some converted stone farm buildings and an adjoining nine acres of land, and over time, it is hoped that the whole farm will become community owned.

“We don’t want it to be sold to one owner,” commented Jim Lewis-Bowen who has been instrumental in setting up the Clynfyw Care Farm since returning to Wales from Kenya in the late 1990s.

“My grandmother set the idea in motion by doing holidays here in the 1960s and then my mother began doing wheelchair accommodation holidays in the ‘80s. When I moved home I carried on with her idea and then began working with the local authority to provide respite for local families and this was when we began to realise that there was a gap where people could carry out meaningful outside-based activities and services.  And so the Care Farm was evolved that little bit further.”

Today it provides supported tenancy for ten individuals with a further 25 vulnerable and marginalised people gaining ‘significant employment’ through its related activities.

In 2020 it won the Queens Award for Enterprise (sustainable development) and the previous year it was named the Best Rural Diversification Project (Wales/NI) in the Rural Business Awards.

It currently employs 41 people and last year paid out over £600,000 in wages.

“This is an exciting opportunity to be a part owner of a rural farm estate while also securing and safeguarding the future of Clynfyw,” commented chair of Clynfyw CBS, John Morgan.

“This really is a wonderful place, so we’re urging people to grab their chance, have a say in what happens next and help secure its future as a community hub.  All we want is to continue to provide care farm opportunities and develop and support the local resilience.”

The community share offer opened on September 18, 2023 and will run until October 30, 2023.

An open morning will now take place on October 14 where people can have a look round and find out more about the way in which the farm operates, or they can visit online on the evening of October 12.

More details, including an ivestment form, can be found on the website or by ringing the Clynfyw office on 01239 841236.