£11,526

raised in 40 days

+ est. £1528.50 Gift Aid

90

supporters

Help to create a new dairy farm for our little island. Join us in making a future that is more self-sufficient and sustainable.

by Adele in Guernsey, Channel Islands, United Kingdom

New stretch target

The extra money will help us continue to grow the dairy and make sure it is able to become self-sufficient.  


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Sark is the smallest – the jewel of the Channel Islands. Famous for its unspoilt beauty and for having no cars and for being the world’s first Dark Skies Island. But our island paradise of wildflowers and honey bees is lacking its own daily milk.

Our mission to secure dairy production in Sark is central to the island’s future. The provision of a sustainable modern facility is crucial to the island’s economic future and its proud spirit of independence.  The scale of the start-up is small – 16 milkers,  acres, two farmers, around 500 residents – but the scope for the future is huge: for every resident Sark has 100 visitors. 

How will the Dairy benefit Sark, its residents and its visitors?

- Daily milking means top-quality cream, butter and cheese for homes, hotels restaurants, tea gardens.

- Local produce avoids importing, reduces transport miles, cuts pollution and plastic waste, and lowers our carbon footprint.

- Traditional grazing helps keep historic pastures and field banks rich with grasses and wildflowers. 

- A new dairy business stimulates new jobs in agriculture, food processing and hospitality.

- Tenant farmers with skills that include veterinary and cheese-making, can  offer Sark’s young people opportunities and skills in animal husbandry and artisan food production.

- A modern farm that welcomes visitors will be a major attraction for Sark’s holiday makes and will form valuable learning centre.

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3 steps to realise our vision 

1. Secure land for pasture and to grow feed crops  -   DONE!

2. Engage expert dairy farmers with the best Guernsey cows – DONE!

3. Build for shelter and milking, and up-to-date processing facilities  - UNDERWAY!


The immediate challenge – crowdfunding to complete the project

With groundwork underway and the frame of the host building in place, we need to drive forward. The budget is just under £480,000;  we have raised £230,000 to date, with substantial pledges for the next months.  Planned fundraising events have been disrupted by the pandemic. So here we are appealing to your generosity.

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                     The story so far

Pastures new

We’ve been given a central ‘home site’ and four fields on a 50-year lease.   Four public-spirited landowners have pledged 40 acres of land on peppercorn rents. Some fields are already growing feed crops for the herd, with more in the pipeline.  

Our beautiful cows

We have land enough for a starter herd of sixteen - Guernseys of course, pride of the bailiwick. With rich grass pastures and dedicated welfare, the cows will enjoy unstressed and long lives. 

Calves not needed for the dairy will be reared in Sark’s grass-fed beef herd. By working together, we all benefit.  

                                                             

1613387936_katherine_and_jason_.png                       Our farmers

Of 80 applicants worldwide, Jason and Katharine Salisbury stood out. With 20 years’ experience of Channel Island dairy cows in Suffolk, they harboured the dream of a small artisanal farm in Sark. They had visited the island with their young family and knew many of Guernsey’s dairy farmers. Their enthusiasm for small-scale dairy farming will engage visitors and inspire young ones about the future.

                       What next?   

In spite of the difficulties thrown up by the pandemic, the project is on course. Our resident engineer and local crew of builders have  responded magnificently to delays in shipping, lockdowns on team work, and the wettest winter in memory. The Salisburys’ hand-picked Guernseys are due to calve in Sark from the end of May 2021, so there can be daily milk and cream for most of the visitor season.

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Please help us to complete this bold project and make a sustainable future for our little community.  Donate what you can to this crowdfunder, retell our story to your friends, share the joy of making it happen.

You will have two more good reasons to visit the ‘jewel of the Channel Islands’: a warm welcome at the new dairy farm – and the heartfelt gratitude of our small community.

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Thank you 

 

Learn more about our project by visiting                                                       www.sarkdairytrust.com

Let's make 'Sark Dairy' happen

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