Care farming and green care governance

Governance is about the structures, processes and proceedures that you need to run a care farm or green care service. 

Legal structures are how the law will see your organisation, for example as a charity, a sole trader or Community Interest Company. Legal structures mean your organisation is more formal and has a robust legal structure. The majority of care farms are formed into a legal corporation. 

To choose the right type of legal structure for your care farm, you will need to think about: 

  • What you're going to be doing
  • Who is controlling the organisation
  • Finance, income and what you'll be doing with any profit
  • What you'll do with your assets if you need to close 

Organisational types are how your organisation is set up internally. For example, you could be organised as a social enterprise, a co-operative or a community or voluntary group.

Organisations usually include the following: 

  • A governing body at the top which makes decisions and runs the organisation - it's usually at least three people including a chair, a treasurer and a secretary
  • Governing documents - explain why your organisation exists, how you do things and how you make decisions (seen by people outside your organisation)
  • Members - all the people that belong to your organisation including team and service users, volunteers, supporters and general community

Good governance and being a recognised legal entity are important because: 

  • It's good practice for an organisation delivering comissioned services to people with a defined need to have robust, legal governance
  • Legal entities mean there is clear accountability for the operation
  • The type of governance that you choose can affect funding from different sources, commissioners and referral routes

If you'd like to find out more, our Green Care Quality Mark covers governance as part of running a responsible care farm. 

Land and planning for care farming and green care

Land acquisition can differ from region to region. Find out where you can go to get help with land aquisition and planning. 

Care farming income and finances

Income and finances are an important part of care farming but they are not the main motivation for becoming a care farmer. 

What makes a care farm

Whether you grow crops or rear livestock, are rural or city-based, helping people with a defined need is key to care farming. 

Funding for setting up a care farm

Although there is no specific funding or setting up a care farm, find out how to access funds from different sources. 

Care farming advice for non-farmers

Advice if you're getting started with care farming from a non-agricultral background like education, health or social care.

Care farming advice for farmers

Advice for farmers interested in starting care farming. Tips, questions to ask and links to resources and training.