MAPLE FIELD MILK – Local Milk for Local People

0 Hours to go
£1,830 raised of
£5,000 target

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About this Project

There is an alternative to industrial-scale milk production. Maple Field Milk is bringing milk production back into the community by developing micro-dairies for grass-fed cows. A herd of just 15-20 cows are grazed on grass all the time. They are milked using a mobile milking parlour which is brought to where the cows are.

The milk is processed on site and then sold in bottles to the local community. This means that everyone knows exactly where their milk comes from and can see the cows down the road that produced it. This brilliant idea has potential to transform the dairy industry by creating a model which can be spread to any field anywhere and provide local milk for local people.

Help us buy a refrigerated van so that we can transport our milk slightly further afield, and to buy more cows so that we can increase our production.

In return we'll give you milk and cheese, and even milking and cheese-making lessons. The result will be healthy cows, healthy milk and a healthy planet. And we promise that you'll have lots of fun with your money! Please help us.


UK: South East

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.
A 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.

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Geographical coverage
Within local community (including local council)
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.

About Us

Project Contact Details
Nick Snelgar
Organisation Details
Maple Field Farm Martin
Fordingbridge, Hampshire


Community Interest Company #07740774

Share Your Comments

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
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
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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Back This Venture
Tweet our campaign and help support the campaign for local milk
3 Backers Purchased 3 Units
Come to our open day, see the project and sample our milk and cheese
3 Backers Purchased 3 Units
Come to the open day and get one litre of milk to take home with you.
6 Backers Purchased 6 Units
Go Getter
Maple Field postcard and a personalised cheese delivered to you.
4 Backers Purchased 4 Units
Ground Breaker
Come to one of our short half-day training sessions: how to milk a cow; make your own butter and cheese.
2 Backers Purchased 2 Units
Heavy Hitter
Come to our full-day training day covering all aspects of the business with practical action, class work and demos. Also get 1 litre of milk 4 times a year (local collection only) or 2 cheeses (delivery to UK) in our first year of business.
1 Backer Purchased 1 Units
Name Our Van
Have our delivery van named after you and decorated. Also includes access to training days and open days.
0 Backers
Local Milk Loan
A loan of £1000 to be repaid after 5 years. Annual interest of 8% in milk or cheese starting from year 2. Also access to open days, training and name on a plaque on the farm.
1 Backer Purchased 1 Units
Adopt A Cow
Adopt a cow (not own it). Follow its life closely and name its calf. Have a photo of it on your fridge door. Give us the date of your birthday -- or that of a friend, and we’ll send you a very different birthday call. Also access to open days, training and name on a plaque on the farm.
0 Backers

1st Milestone
£5,000 will enable us to buy five new cows
Final Target
Help us reach our final target to buy a refrigerated van!
The buzz on the project
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Project Supporters
Sue Cole
Mike Roberts
Sara Gregson