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Westridge Farm – Historic Farmland
Historic use of the Land
Local historic documents record farming, and the estate that this farm was part of, at least as far back as the 13th Century and the Doomsday Book. The estate was at the time one third of the area now known as Ryde.
Back in the 1600’s the farm buildings at that time were located in exactly the same location as the current farm buildings, with the exception of the newest barn. The farmhouse that existed in the 1600’s was then called ‘The Old Cottage’ so was in existance long before then. Some of the ancient farm walls still exist today, and the field layout, ancient hedges and wooded areas remain unchanged. That is unless the developers get their way!
As the most recent farming family did for over 50 years, generations over the centuries have tended this land and have valued it for the resource it truly is; a provider for both island residents and wildlife.
The farmland has been used over the centuries as orchards, source of timber, dairy, for sheep, cattle and pigs, crops and winter feed.
Most Recent Farmers At Westridge Farm
The Holliday family until 2022 were tenant farmers for over 50 years at Westridge Farm. They were the most recent in a long line of farming families to care for and nurture this land and precious habitat.
In 1966 Archibald Holliday and his wife Ruby relocated to the island from Liss in Hampshire with their two children Bernard and Michael.
They took over the tenancy at Westridge Farm, bringing with them their herd of Holstein Freisian cows from Mill Farm in Liss, Hampshire.
Nigel, Bernard’s son, and his family, together with Bernard were left with litte choice but to vacate the land in 2022 following the actions of the Isle of Wight Council in the processing of a planning application by developers. The local community, and people across the UK, have crowdfunded to take the Council to Judicial Review.
15th September 2023 a request for Judicial of the Isle of Wight Council’s actions and decision making process was submitted to the High Court in London. Even though an Isle of Wight Council Planning Committee meeting in 2021 questionably passed the planning application, and by the narrowest of margins, the Council did not issue the 106 agreement (planning permission) until 4th August 2023, at which point the community and public were then legally able to take the issue to court.
The Hollidays had a tenancy agreement where Nigel’s son Archy had a legal right to continue tenancy of the farm after his dad. The local community and others are outraged that Archy’s future, and that of the Holliday family, was taken from them.
The Holliday family were hardworking stewards of this ancient farmland, and cared for the habitat and wildlife it supports. They maintained it for both current and future generations, as have local people over the centuries. This habitat and land resource has continuously provided food and resources for the island, providing for both its residents and precious wildlife.
It is essential this land resource and habitat is retained for both current and future generations, continuing to provide for island residents and wildlife. Developers must not be allowed to get their way to exploit and destroy this important natural resource for their own short-term financial gain to the cost of the island and its dwindling natural resources.
2012 – Developers Move In On Westridge Farmland…
This section is currently being updated.
It contains a timeline of events and actions by the landowners, developers and Isle of Wight Council with regards to the land known as Westridge Farm.