Crabapple Community

Postal Address
Berrington Hall

Electronic Mail
01743 761418
Year started
Number of over 18s
Number of under 18s
Ideological focus
Legal structure
company limited by guarantee
Open in principle to new members
Charge visitors
Work in Lieu

Crabapple was founded in 1975 and moved here to Berrington Hall (a rambling, slightly eccentric, Georgian rectory) two years later. We are situated 5 miles south-east of Shrewsbury and surrounded on all sides by farmland. The house is set in approx 20 acres of woodland, meadows and growing areas. We have a 2 acre walled fruit and vegetable garden, a community-supported market garden, several polytunnels, an orchard, a willow plantation, herb and flower gardens plus 2 camping fields.  There’s also numerous nooks and crannies!  (NB: The photos are all at least 10 yrs out-of-date!)

We aim to live as sustainably as we can and to be self sufficient in produce for at least some of the year. We grow everything organically and within this broad framework, we have a diversity of approaches – some of us drawing inspiration from permaculture, others experimenting with a veganic approach etc.

Most of the woodland was planted by the community over the last couple of decades.  In 2010 we installed a 120kW gasifying log boiler and central heating system , which we use for heating and hot water for about 5 months a year (usually Nov – March).  We cook on a wood-burning Stanley range, and also with biogas from our own digester. Hot water comes from the log boiler, the kitchen range, and a solar thermal system on the roof. We also have a 4kW photovoltaic array.

At present, Crabapple is home to 9 adults and 1 teenager, 1 cat and 1 dog.  Day to day life at Berrington is varied and rarely uneventful. The general running of the community is organised through a flexible rota system and members contribute two days work each week e.g. gardening, preserving food, cleaning, house maintenance & renovation, wood processing, hedging, meadow mowing, organising events, household admin/finance, grant applications, etc…

We are either self-employed or have part time jobs outside the community – our work areas include gardening, tree seed collection, woodland education, adult education, odd-jobbing, refuge work…  We share a real love and enjoyment of the natural world and we try to reflect this in our various activities. Between us, we have experience in conservation work, wildlife gardening, woodland management, environmental education, forest schools and a multitude of arts and crafts. As a community we aspire to create a harmonious and supportive environment for those of us who live here, and those who come to visit.

We’re  constituted as a fully mutual housing co-op. You don’t need capital to join – we are tenants and each pay rent for our own private room and access to shared facilities in the house.  We also pay a weekly charge for housekeeping which covers food and other bills.  We share a vegetarian/vegan meal (almost) every evening. There’s a separate kitchen for those wanting occasional meat/fish meals or personal meals.

We aim to be part of the wider community through our community-supported market garden, by using the house and grounds as a venue for groups and courses (eg permaculture, community arts activities) and by hosting gatherings in our camping fields – including national environmental/peace campaign camps with up to 200 campers.  Also, some of us are involved with Zero Carbon Shropshire, Fossil free Shropshire, Extinction Rebellion and the Shropshire Feminist Network.

We welcome woofers on a regular basis – usually starting with an initial visit of 1 to 2 weeks.

We’re in the process of renovating some outbuildings to create extra residential space to accommodate more people.

community does not share income
community does not require capital from members
community has broadband internet access
community generates some of its own electricity
community uses solar energy
community buildings not insulated to a high standard
community members use bicycles
community does not have an organised system for car sharing
community is accessible by public transport
community shares utilities
community has tool sharing system
community has organised systems for recycling
community has some kind of ecosewage system
community is involved in land management
community grows a lot of vegetables
no communal animals
regular communal meals
community has policy which restricts smoking
community buildings not wheelchair accessible
community is not involved in campaigning

Crabapple Community is currently looking for new members

We are a thriving housing co-op with a core group of 6 adults aiming to live as sustainably as possible in our large Georgian house and 20 acres of land.  We have several vacancies and are seeking new members!  We would like the community to be diverse with a mix of ages, genders, ethnicities, cultures and skills.  Currently, 5 of us are in our 50’s or 60’s and so we’re committed to finding younger adults and/or families with children to join us.We’re looking for practical/resourceful people who are child-friendly and able to commit at least 2 days work per week in areas such as eco-renovating the house and outbuildings, managing woodland and meadows, growing and preserving fruit and vegetables, splitting and chopping wood, increasing our sustainability and supporting social/environmental movements through hosting events.You don’t need capital to join – we are tenants and pay rent.  We share communal evening meals which are vegan/vegetarian, and we share food & fuel bills.If you are interested in finding out more, then please get in touch and we will send you more details about the community and our membership process. Crabapple, Berrington Hall, Berrington, Shrewsbury SY5

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