A CAMPAIGN to save a county farm from auction and preserve it as a community farm for future generations living on the St Davids Peninsula is being launched this Friday, June 14.

Trecadwgan farm, on the outskirts of Solva, is listed for auction by John Francis at Parc Y Scarlets, Llanelli, on July 17.

It was declared surplus to Pembrokeshire County Council's requirements in May 2018, after a cabinet meeting heard that the cost of renovating it would use up nearly all the council's budget for the entire county farm estate.

A report for members stated that Trecadwgan would need some £25,000 spent on re-roofing and a further £25,000 spent to meet energy efficiency standards before it could be rented out.

The farm, which dates back to the 15th century, had been let under a whole-life tenancy until the tenant recently passed away and cabinet decided the investment needed to re-let the property was too high.

The farm's 70 acres have been let to a neighbouring farmer, while the farmhouse, 13 outbuildings and 11 acres will be auctioned off, at a guide price of £450,000.

However Rupert Dunn, founder of community supported peasant bakery Torth y Tir believes that there is a "once in a lifetime" opportunity for the local community to buy the farm and develop eco agri businesses and training that could support the whole of the St Davids peninsula and beyond.

"It has always been my vision to have a community farm," he said. "This could be the first of its kind in Wales.

"There is a unique opportunity for the community and supporters both near and far to become joint purchasers of this historically important farm.

"Given the sensitivity of the issue of the sell-off of county farms across the UK, this case has national significance and raises a spotlight to our local authority to act with vision and to work together with communities. "

"I have spoken to many food, craft, training and agricultural based projects and there is great enthusiasm and the local community council at Solva is in full support."

Campaigners, supported by Solva Community Council, are urging the council to call off next month's auction and a petition has been set up to support this, search for Trecadwgan on you.38degrees.org.uk.

They see the farm as becoming a hub for the area that can offer skills training as well as being a location for many land-based social enterprises

The group is now forming a constituted community benefit society registered with the FCA and will be looking to issue community shares in the development.

" The community and enterprise vision for Trecadwgan farm is fantastic and would see the opportunity for people to gain new skills and employment," said Cllr Cris Tomos who has championed several community share schemes.

"It will be crucial to now form the new society as soon as possible with an inaugural board of directors to set up the community business"

Anyone who is interested in supporting the campaign is invited to attend a public meeting in Solva

Memorial Hall at 6.30pm on Friday, June 14.

There will be an opportunity to hear from people with a connection to the farm, form the new board and also have people putting their names down for being part of subcommittees to focus on finance, marketing, legal and other issues.

On Friday, June 14 and Saturday June 15 June There will also be family-friendly activities held at the farm from 11am-5pm on including: elderflower cordial making, gardening, scything and green woodworking as well as food to share and a chance to shape the vision for a community farm.

More information is available on the group's Facebook page: Save Trecadwgan Farm.