Northchurch Allotments Development Update

To coincide with our 30th Anniversary in 2020 we will be opening a facility at the first site Sunnyside Rural Trust started, in Northchurch allotments.  We have an exciting development plan for our Northchurch site to offer an innovative service to young people and adults with learning disabilities as well as a range of services to the community. We have been lucky to find excellent local architects at D-Lab and equally excellent builders in Datum Point to realise our plans.

Our priority will always be to offer a safe and creative service to vulnerable young people and adults to benefit from our training, confidence building and employment services.  The development will centre around a new stable block and courtyard to house a small number of rescued animals including donkeys, sheep, goats and small mammals. This means that our trainees can benefit from the therapeutic nature of working with animals; and allows us to sustainably manage the land in line with Sunnyside Rural Trust’s environmental principles. We foresee that the introduction of animals will encourage the public to our site and to visit the new farm shop.  This will offer and promote retail experience for young people and adults with learning disabilities. We have a successful farm shop at our Hemel Food Garden site which has proven that this can lead to employment opportunities for individuals and provide a much needed place to sell local goods.

There will also be new and accessible facilities for the trainees to enjoy. Everyone works hard at Sunnyside and having a space to sit and enjoy the land we work and the animals we share it with will be therapeutic in itself.

The project still needs funding but so far we have been very fortunate to receive a generous grant from Chiltern LEADER fund, Baily Thomas, Paradigm, Tesco and the Hertfordshire Community Foundation.

This project recognises how important it is that everyone has the opportunity to contribute to society and it celebrates what people can do rather than any disability.

We are seeking support from the local community in a number of ways:

Please get in touch if you can help. Gemma Vine 01442 863364 or email

PART FUNDED by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (Leader)