England

Fans given chance to buy Archers farm

Left to right: Edward Kelsey (Joe Grundy) and Alison Dowling (Elizabeth Pargetter) with artist Antony Gormley in the Mailbox studios
Image caption The Archers, which featured artist Antony Gormley as a summer fete guest in 2009, is set in the fictional village of Ambridge and is recorded at BBC Birmingham

Fans of long-running radio soap opera The Archers can buy a stake in the farm that inspired the BBC Radio 4 drama.

A £700,000 community share offer has been launched for Rush Farm, near Redditch, Worcestershire.

Episodes of the rural drama, set in the fictional English village of Ambridge, were recorded there in the 1950s.

It is the second chance to buy shares in the farm, after the former owners decided they wanted to preserve it for future generations.

'Open our doors'

Image copyright Rush Farm
Image caption Potential shareholders can invest between £100 and £100,000, the farm said
Image caption The public can see the recording studios in Birmingham

The minimum investment is £100 and maximum is £100,000, and shares are available until 30 November.

The farm said the funds were needed to add 35 acres of farmland - currently leased and still in private ownership - to 150 acres bought in the share offer last year.

Sebastian Parsons, who used to own the site with his sisters, said: "We transferred the farm we love into community ownership to preserve it as a showcase of biodynamic farming forever.

"Our investors are joint owners and we welcome the chance to show them the impact their money is making when we open our doors for lambing days, summer fetes and other events."

Image copyright Rush Farm
Image caption The farm has 200 sheep, 30 pure-bred Hereford cattle and produces 30 acres of cereals.

The farm has a breeding flock of 200 sheep, 30 pure-bred Hereford cattle and also produces 30 acres of cereals.

The Archers is the world's longest running soap opera and is recorded in studios at BBC Birmingham.

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