The Buchanan Trust is a charitable trust established on 24 September 1918. Initially the objectives of the Trust were to provide farming opportunities to soldiers and sailors returning from the Great War. In 1918 the Trustees were given discretion to select suitable men who had served overseas during the war. On 31 May 1932 the class of beneficiaries was widened by a scheme approved by the Charity Commission.


The County of Herefordshire District Council is the Trustee and the panel of Trustees is made up of four representatives from each political group which are as follows: Cllrs Bramer, James, Hope and Williams.

Governing Document

Indentures dated 24 September 1918 and 1 July 1919 and Schemes of 31 May 1932 and 8 February 1972.

Objectives and activities

To provide farms for ex servicemen who served overseas in the 1914-1918 war, and after 1932 to provide farms for preferentially ex servicemen and secondly to individuals deserving of the charity who qualify to farm. The farms are advertised for ex service personnel for only 3 weeks and the qualifications for ex service personnel to obtain a tenancy are less than non service personnel, for example non service personnel require 5 years experience in farming, of which 3 may be in agricultural education. Where as the ex service personnel only have to have had at least 2 years practical experience.

There have been no new ex service applicants since 1998, when Herefordshire Council took over the Trust. There are currently two ex service men appointed as tenants and one from a qualifying body. The Trust has sold two houses that were in need of renovating, which would have been a serious drain on reserves due to the extensive modernisation required. The land was amalgamated with other farms to make them more viable.

At the commencement of the year (March 2008), the estate comprised of the following properties: -

LocationAcres TypeStatus
Green Farm 118.96 Stock / arableLet
Orchard Farm130.52Stock / arableLet
North Farm69.00StockLet
Beaconhill Farm103.46DairyLet-tenant under termination notice
Birchwood Farm136.32DairyLet
Lower House Farm113.62DairyLet
Woodlands26.21WoodlandsIn hand
Aurals Cottage   0.17CottageLet
Aurals Farm   1.68StockLet
Land at Fromes Hill63.84Stock / arable Let-tenant under termination notice
Cotmeadow   0.34CottageLet
Caravan Site   0.30
Total Agricultural Land & Forestry 764.42

Plans for Future Periods (after March 2009)

A. North Farm will have a rent review in 2010, which will allow activities, which will allow for the non-farming activities, which are now firmly established to be taken into account.
B. Rent reviews and re-lettings. lt is proposed to re-let Lower House Farm and Green Farm on 6 year farming business tenancies, subject to the necessary information required and being satisfactory. Aurals Farm is due for a review, which was postponed from last year.
C. Beaconhill possession proceedings are continuing. The High Court hearing resulting in a definite time for possession being given and mesne profits being detailed. The Charity Commissioners decide to review their position and are due to report back before the end of May with their position concerning the High Court ruling.
D. No major works are anticipated in 2009/2010 however schemes for compliance with new legislation Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (NVZs) will be planned so that the works can be completed before January 2012.
E. Land at Frome’s Hill was sold by auction in November 2009, completion in January 2010. The sale ensures that adequate funds are available for improving the Estate to ensure compliance with new legislation. It provides the possibility of purchasing additional land very locally, as well as identifying opportunities to expand the role of the Trust in accordance with the aims and objectives of the original bequest.

Source:   Annual Report lodged with the Charities Commission (Charity registration number 235867, 22 July 1964) on 12th October 2010.

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