Apply for a smallholding at Arlington

We're delighted to announce that the process to apply for a smallholding at our Arlington site is now open. The deadline for applications is midnight on Wednesday 7th November.

Arlington Open Days

Our open days for applicants for smallholdings at our Arlington site are coming up on Saturday 13th and Wednesday 24th October. These open days are an opportunity for applicants to walk the land, examine the soil, get a sense of the layout of the site, a feel for the local area and of course ask questions about stuff not covered in the application pack.

Find out more »

We welcome your application and look forward to reading about your business ideas and your vision for your ecolgocial farm business. However, before you apply for an Ecological Land Cooperative smallholding it is important that you understand exactly what it is that we are offering as it is quite unusual. You should find everything you need in the application pack including an example of the lease and management plan which we ask all our smallholders to adhere to throughout the term of the lease. Simply email requesting a pack and you will receive a download link to all the documents.

The application process for the smallholdings is lengthy and involves a number of stages. We are looking for potential smallholders who can demonstrate that they will be able to establish and manage a sustainable ecological farm business appropriate to the site, its natural resources and location. We want to create a thriving collection of smallholding businesses that complement the land, the local community and each other and we will be assessing this throughout the application process.

We will be looking carefully at your business plan to understand how your business will be financially viable. We will be reflecting on your training and experience in ecological farming and your commitment to low impact living. We will also be looking for applicants that share the mission and values of the ELC, particularly our commitment to cooperative working.

The application pack

The application pack contains a number of documents which will help you decide if an Ecological Land Cooperative smallholding is the right thing for you:

  • For a Living, Working Countryside – our mission, vision and values
  • A summary of what is being offered at Arlington
  • A site location map and the site plan
  • An example ELC Lease and Management Plan, and Valuation Policy
  • Guidance for applicants and FAQs
  • Business Plan template for applicants
  • ELC Business Plan and the ELC Cooperative Rules
  • Online application form
  • Other information includes Dr Colin Tingle’s Ecological Assessment, ELC’s Market Research and the example Business Plans for organic farm businesses at Arlington, written by Mark Measures and Iain Tolhurst


Our Information Booklet (below), Business Plan and the Cooperative Rules will help you to understand our organisation, our model and what is being offered at our smallholding sites. We ask that applicants read all of these documents before applying.

It is also important that you demonstrate in your application an understanding of the challenges of creating an ecological farm business. This should show financial viability, and a functional need to live on the smallholding, within the five years of the temporary planning permission granted for our Arlington site.

Because of the amount of reading and planning which is required in the first stage of the application process, we encourage you to start working on your application as soon as possible. Once again, we really look forward to receiving your application and finding out more about you and your business ideas. Good luck!

Send an email to to receive a link to download the application pack.