MAPLE FIELD MILK – Local Milk for Local People


About the project


Tipping Point £5,000
Final Target £10,500
tipping point
In-kind donations range from drinks to office supplies. We even accept homemade cakes. See what else we need!
tipping point
25 hrs
In-kind donations range from drinks to office supplies. We even accept homemade cakes. See what else we need!

More about the project

What is the social/environmental problem/issue that this project will address?
The dairy system in the UK is broken – farmers are going out of business and the solution being offered by many – large scale industrial farms – does more harm than good. Dairy farms need to rely less on expensive inputs and supermarket buyers and become more rooted in local communities. Maple Field Milk aims to make available to the local community (within a 10 mile radius ) fresh local milk plus arouse interest and provide information about how it is produced and by whom.
Can you give us some statistics on this problem?
Dairy farmers are going out of business across the UK with 1000 farmers ceasing production in the last 10 years. At the same time the size of herds is increasing and the environmental and social problems associated with large-scale, industrial milk production are becoming increasingly clear. While production costs, such as fuel, feed and fertiliser, are going up, the price supermarkets pay to farmers is being cut – the result is that only the very largest farms can make a profit, and even this is perilous.
What is your solution?
We aim to remind people where milk comes from and how it is produced. To build a strong customer base of devoted customers and to demonstrate to other communities the value and strength of this approach to business. The project will show that milk production can be local, environmentally responsible and profitable for farmers. The farm is a micro-dairy based around a small herd of 15-20 cows, milked using a mobile milking bail and then processing the milk on the farm and delivering it to the local community. This model has low capital requirements and low costs, relying mostly on grass and good husbandry, making it both environmentally and financially resilient. As well as promoting local food production, Maple Field Milk will employ, train and teach people the value of local products - in particular fresh dairy products.
How will you deliver this?
We will milk the cows, process the milk, bottle it and transport it to the customers whilst involving as many people in the production as possible. The entire enterprise will be transparent and we will encourage our customers and supporters to visit the farm, see the cows and even help out where they can. We also want to prove that the micro-dairy concept works and is financially viable – that a small herd on grass producing milk that then travels a short distance to the customer is a model which others can adopt too.

Get involved

Here are some great ways to get involved with the project and help out. If you have...
  • 2 minutes
    Tweet or share our campaign on Facebook and “like” our Facebook page
  • 5 minutes
    Tell your friends about Maple Field Milk and ask them to check out our Buzzbnk page
  • 15 minutes
    Tell your friends why Maple Field is important and why they should support it
  • 30 minutes
    Write a blog post about local milk and how we are trying something new.
  • A few hours
    Come and visit us to see what we are doing on the farm. Get a feel for how local milk is helping the local community.
  • Regular time commitment
    Help out with milk delivery and other tasks on the farm to get a real feel for how a micro-dairy functions and what it feels like to be involved.

Share your comments

Opinions and comments mentioned on the FundIt.Buzz website are the personal views of individual contributors. FundIt.Buzz takes no responsibility for these views. However if you find something that you think does not meet our guidelines you can report it to
giler 28 October 2013 - 21:25

This is such a sane idea. And it has national and global implications.
My mother in law had a Dexter herd with one or two milkers for 30 years and my wife and I lived for 3 years in a small island community in the Inner Hebrides, which provides its 10 residents and many guests with milk, cheese and cream from its own one or two milkers. We would love to get our dairy products from Maple Field.
I live in Nunton (half a mile from New Hall Hospital). The dairy herd at Nunton farm has increased from 120 cows to 300 and is now fixing to go to 600 with a rotary platform milking machine. One man stands in one place and puts and removes the cups from 600 cows in 90 minutes. Our residential rural lane had some 1,200 passes of 8 ton silage trailers during the silage harvest this year. Slurry movements are similar. This is industrial scale stuff, with all its environmental and social externalities – the L S Lowry industrial Salford of 1875 - 1914 transplanted to rural Wiltshire (see the Tate exhibition!). The logical extrapolation of the attitude behind this is already happening in Borneo with PT Bumi’s coal strip destroying the rainforest and the communities that have lived sustainably in it for 1,000 years.
I read recently that 94 of the 13,500 dairy herds in the UK that have over 600 cows, but that the average size is less than 100, so there is still hope! But the growth of dairy farm industrialisation is bidding fair to go logarithmic. Herds of 10,000 are not uncommon in the USA!
Can you deliver the small quantities we are likely to need and do we have to wait 2 years? If I understand your proposition correctly, a £1,000 investment might provide a dividend of about 50 litres a year after a grace period of 2 years?

Kathy Doyle 16 October 2013 - 10:32

I wish I were nearer as I would love to help out more practically with this great project (always wanted a jersey cow!). will try to get to the open day if there is one coming up? very well done and good luck! Kathy

Sue Cole 15 September 2013 - 11:37

I am delighted to be able to support what Nick is doing in Martin. They are very lucky to have him-sad I don't live nearer. What is happening at Maple Field really is important if we are going to re-localise our food production and give young people a real chance of making a living on the land again. I am enjoying my first delicious MF milk - well done and good luck- Sue

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About the organisation

Geographical coverage

Within local community (including local council)