Stirley Farm consultation results

In 2009 the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust asked local residents for our views about restoring the buildings at Stirley Farm and providing a range of community-based services at the farm. They worked with research company Information by Design (IbyD), who previously worked with Newsome residents on the ‘Grow your own food in Newsome‘ survey.

IbyD ran a door-to-door survey in Newsome, Hall Bower, Netherton, Honley and Almondbury, which are the areas around the Stirley farm site. In total, 519 questionnaires were completed.  Of these, 401 were completed via face-to-face interviews and 118 were completed online.

The survey results show that local residents are very supportive of the proposals for Stirley Farm, and a third of the respondents (33%) said that they would be ‘very likely’ to attend activities about food growing at the farm.

Summary of the survey results

• Overall, just under half (48%) of residents in the consultation reported that they had heard of Stirley Farm before completing the questionnaire, and of these, almost all (93%) claimed to know where Stirley Farm was geographically.

• Overall, almost a half of residents (48%) used the land belonging to Stirley Farm a lot or a little.  Those living close to Stirley Farm (for example in Hall Bower) were more likely to say they used the land a lot or a little.

• 62% of respondents from the least affluent areas said they used the land belonging to Stirley Farm ‘a lot’ or ‘a little’.

• Respondents indicated that they commonly make use of the Castle Hill area: roughly three-quarters (76%) of them said that they visit Castle Hill at least once a year.

• Almost all (98%) of the residents said that they would either ‘support the restoration a lot’ (76%) or ‘support the restoration a little’ (22%).  There was only a small difference in the level of support for the restoration of Stirley Farm between those living in areas of high and low deprivation – 80% of respondents from areas of low deprivation said they ‘would support the restoration a lot’ in comparison to 76% of respondents from the least affluent areas.

• A large proportion of all residents (89%) stated that they thought that Stirley Farm was either in a ‘very good’ (57%) or a ‘fairly good’ (32%) location in regards to access from the surrounding communities.

• There was a strong indication that several of the services proposed in the consultation were in high demand amongst residents.  For example, roughly half of the residents consulted said they ‘definitely would use’ self-guided or guided trails, wildlife conservation, walks in the countryside, and a farm shop.

• Residents included in the consultation were generally positive about attending various ‘educational’ activities if they were provided at Stirley Farm.  For example, a third (33%) indicated that they would be ‘very likely’ to attend activities about growing food at the farm.

• 92% of residents said they ‘strongly agree’ that Stirley Farm should be entirely self-sustainable.

• There was some consensus amongst residents completing the survey that ‘Area C’ on the map shown to residents (see Appendix 3 in the full report) was a preferable location for an allotment area to be established.

• Less than a third (30%) of all residents said that they would be either ‘very likely’ (11%) or ‘fairly likely’ (19%) to use gardening equipment provided by Stirley Farm if an allotment area was made available.

• 72% of all residents said they would ‘definitely’ (23%) or ‘probably’ (49%) like to buy more organic food.  Of these, over two-thirds (71%) said they would be ‘very likely’ (37%) or ‘fairly likely’ (34%) to buy organic beef produced at Stirley Farm.

• Almost three quarters of those residents who said they would like to buy more organic food pointed out that they would be willing to pay ‘a little more’ for organic beef from Stirley Farm than they usually pay for normal beef, while 10% said they would be happy to pay ‘a lot more’.

• Almost a third (31%) of all residents stated that they would be either ‘very likely’ (9%) or ‘fairly likely’ (22%) to volunteer at Stirley Farm.  The most popular aspects which these residents said they would like to volunteer to help in were ‘nature conservation’, ‘wildlife recording’ and ‘education’.

• Roughly a quarter of all residents consulted said that the provision of ‘training schemes’ would make people most likely to volunteer.

Full report

You can also read or download the full survey report here:

Stirley Farm Consultation – Final Report, March 2010 (pdf)

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