Can you support our campaign? Please read on…
Chris Ower recently won a court case against his landlords, the College Farm Trust, after a 3-day trial at the County Court in Central London. The Judge ruled that Mr Ower occupied College Farm, Finchley, London as a protected Agricultural Tenant. College Farm, built in 1883 by the Express Dairy Company as a showpiece for the Dairy Industry, has been occupied and farmed by Mr Ower and his family, since 1976, welcoming the public onto the farm to see the animals until 2001 due to the foot and mouth outbreak.
The College Farm Trust was set up to preserve this Historic farm for public education and enjoyment, but the Trust has changed, and the present Trustees want to build houses on the farm. The way in which the College Farm Trust has been managed in recent years has raised several concerns and they have no wish to see the farm open to the public again with farm animals as the main attraction.
Mr Ower said on winning, “ I would dearly love to open the farm again, but all the building repairs would need investment and approval from the Landlords. The Trust needs Trustees with a genuine concern to preserve the farm and hopefully get back the charitable status. Then we can move forward with a future for College Farm.”
Mr Ower, together with his family, have worked tirelessly to preserve this Historic Farm for the community. The beautiful buildings on this 10-acre historic farm are in bad disrepair. The whole structure of the listed buildings is at risk, unless repaired. Despite Trustees Mr Neil McAuliffe and Trustee Miss Jacqueline Ross being made aware of dilapidations, they have not visited College Farm since 2014 and 2018, respectively. Sadly, the farm is not a safe place for the public to visit whilst the buildings are in this condition. The Trustees clearly are not fulfilling their aims to manage and conserve College Farm, in particular it’s environmental, historical and architectural heritage.
Chris and Jane Ower have won this recent battle, but not the war. The current Trustees do not have the best interests of the farm in mind for the future and we need to change this. Jane and Chris over the years, have managed to save College Farm from being sold for development through the enormous public support from local people. The Ower’s need your support again at this crucial time. We simply ask if you could register your support for the Ower family on our new Facebook page. We can then keep everyone informed of how we plan to progress from here. Our farm is counting on YOU.