The Hurst Farm Regeneration Project at its heart is about supporting the Hurst Farm residents in creating a thriving and vibrant community. By creating a multi-faceted regeneration vision, successfully applying for funding and developing community projects Friends of Hurst Farm (FoHF). Derbyshire Dales CVS and Derbyshire Dales District Council want to create more opportunities for local residents, families, especially their children and young people.
For many years FoHF have been actively working on behalf of the Hurst Farm community by running events and activities. Since the start of the regeneration project in 2017 more community projects have been added and to date FoHF run successfully:
- Youth Club,
- Golden Club (for the elderly),
- Baby and Toddler Group,
- ‘Knit and Knatter’ Craft Group,
- Bacon Butty drop in mornings,
- Communal Living Room,
- Community Pantry,
- Children’s Holiday activities.FoHF even successfully trained up residents to become Forest School leaders to run Forest school sessions for all of Matlock in the woodland surrounding Hurst Farm.
The latest development is the creation of a social enterprise and local regeneration organisation called ‘Hurst Farm Green Estate’.
This organisation will work together with FoHF to create financial sustainability through running viable social enterprises on Hurst Farm. The surplus generated by the enterprises will be fed back into running the community assets, activities and services on Hurst Farm for the community. One arm of the social enterprise being created is the setting up of a Community Land Trust, which will own property in and around Hurst Farm becoming a social landlord.
The Hurst Farm Green Estate is working with the Sheffield Green Estate, who are using their 25year experience of building successful national social enterprises on the Manor Estate in Sheffield to mentor Hurst Farm.
Hurst Farm Food Projects
The communities aim is to build a sustainable food ladder on Hurst Farm, providing local residents and wider Matlock with access to a good choice of affordable and healthy food, including a good selection of fresh fruit and vegetables.
The vision includes not only setting up and running a community run social ‘farm shop’ ‘The Farmer’s Larder’ at the Farmer’s View, but also setting up local food growing opportunities enabling volunteers to grow food for their community.
At the same time we are also developing our social eating ambitions further by opening a community café ‘The Milkchurn’. Creating a welcoming, affordable and attractive space for Matlock residents to meet and eat together. This means that we would see the fresh vegetables grown by volunteers on Hurst Farm being given to the local foodbank, the community shop and used to make delicious soups at the community café.
We are even considering how we can deal with the left over food in a more sustainable way by setting up a composting site and possibly keeping some pigs.
In this way we would provide access to good food and create a more resilient, fairer and healthier community fit for the future.
Over the past few years we have made some progress on this vision already. Starting with a community food box scheme during Covid in 2020, to the opening of a Community Pantry shop in 2021.
We re-planted a community orchard using old local heritage varieties at the old orchard at Spider Park in 2022.Plans are being developed for the creation of a food growing community garden at Spider Park and at the Farmer’s View.
If you are interested in being part of this movement and want to volunteer then please make contact by emailing
Hurst Farm Food Project History Timeline
Social Eating starts at the Hurst Farm Community Centre
From 2018 to the end of 2019 the Hurst Farm residents through Friends of Hurst Farm (FoHF) set up and run a Community Café social eating project. Supported through funding from Derbyshire County Council and Feeding Derbyshire the community run monthly social eating events at the Hurst Farm Community Centre.
The funding enabled FoHF to purchase a Fareshare food subscription opening access to surplus supermarket food. This enabled a local chef to produce a menu of warm dishes for local residents to enjoy. Payment was optional and based on each person’s ability and judgement.
The Community café sessions were well received and continued until it had to stop because of COVID restrictions. FoHF hope to continue with the Community café at the Farmer’s View.
"Food For Friends" the Hurst Farm Community launch a Food Initiative
Between May and October 2020 Friends of Hurst Farm (FoHF) set up a weekly food box scheme "Food for Friends" to support local families affected by the Covid 19 pandemic.
The project was conceived in partnership with local residents ‘Friends of Hurst Farm’ and their partners, including Derbyshire Dales District Council, Derbyshire Dales Community Voluntary Services (DDCVS), Castle View Primary School and Highfields Secondary School.
Funding for the food boxes was secured through an ‘Awards for All’ grant, which helped pay for a Fareshare subscription.
Each week FoHF supplemented the Fareshare delivery with fresh fruit, vegetables and basic food staples to make up substantial yet affordable food boxes for local resident.
The weekly collection point was run from Castle View School and then later the Hurst Farm Social Club. Clever planning from FoHF volunteers ensured collections run smoothly and that strict social distancing guidance were followed.
With an uptake of 60-120 boxes a week the scheme was well received and ended in October 2020 when funding run out.Following on from this success FoHF have now set up a weekly fresh fruit and vegetable bag scheme that is open to all local residents to purchase.
The success of the scheme let the Hurst Farm community to plan bigger. Utilising the experiences gained they decided to open a ‘Community Pantry’, a community shop, called the Farmer’s Larder.
Farmer's Larder - Community Pantry opens on Hurst Farm
In October 2021 Friends of Hurst Farm (FoHF) opened the Community Pantry at the Hurst Farm Farmer’s View to serve the Matlock community.
The shop is called the 'Farmer's Larder' and is a food club that offers access to surplus supermarket food to its members. This scheme is working with Fareshare to helps reduce food waste. Hurst Farm and Matlock residents are able to become members enabling them to do a weekly shop. In the future the pantry hopes to expand its offer further becoming a 'social' Farm Shop for the local area.
The shop is run by volunteers and is supported by the Community Business Manager from DDCVS working with FoHF.
To set up the project £30k of funding was raised, including DCC Public Health Fund, Platform Housing Community Chest, Arnold Clark Foundation and Feeding Derbyshire.The shop currently opens three times per week on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
The scheme has proven successful with 350 members signed up to date. To feed demand we are looking for more local suppliers to scale up.
We would be looking for any surplus food from butchers, shops, cafes, restaurants, green grocers and wholesalers in the area. We would also be interested in local allotment surplus. If you are interested in supporting the scheme by offering surplus food, or by becoming a volunteer then please contact
Hurst Farm Warm Communal Livingroom project at the Milkchurn Café
As part of the refurbishments of the Farmer’s View building in May 2022 we created the Milkchurn Café space.
This includes a fully fitted commercial kitchen, an external serving hutch and a beautiful internal serving counter and seating area. The café area connects to the bigger Community room and has several French windows leading onto a large outdoor patio.
We plan to set up a fully functioning Community Café offering fresh and healthy food and drinks at affordable prices open to local residents and wider Matlock.
In December 2022, as a first step towards opening the community café, we have set up a Communal Living room project. This is a warm room open to local residents and wider Matlock offering a place to come and spend some time, have a hot drink and a warm soup and use the free Wi-Fi.The warm room is open Monday, Wednesday and Fridays from 10am to 14pm. This is a safe and free space were everyone is welcome and you can sit by yourself, or connect to others and be sociable.
If you want to find out more, or want to volunteer then please contact