Forest Holidays

Rural Start up Fund with The Royal Countryside Fund

Forest News


We’re proud to work with The Royal Countryside Fund to help new rural businesses across the UK address the unique challenges they face. Since 2019 the Rural Start-Up Fund has provided funding for rural businesses, as well as tailored mentoring support from our Forest Holidays team. And this year we’re excited to be supporting two food and drink enterprises who share our values of sustainability and community involvement. They’ll each receive a total of £5,000 towards growing their businesses.

Supporting the UK’s start-ups

Beeches Meats, based in Holywell, North Wales, was founded by Hollie Blockley and George Sturla. Offering meat from native cattle and sheep breeds to local communities directly from their farm, they provide personal deliveries to customers across North Wales. Their personal deliveries help them to connect and engage with rural communities, and educate them on rural life and farming practices. In turn, customers have access to quality produce with minimal food miles, and help to support their sustainable farming methods – from reseeding with red clover to produce quality feed, to prioritising native breeds like Longhorns and Angus for better ecological balance.


"We are absolutely thrilled to be recipients of this year's Rural Start-Up Fund. This support will help us to grow our business. The funding will allow us to offer a wider range of meat products and reach more customers in our local community, strengthening the bond between farm and table."
Hollie, Beeches Meats


Did you know? We donate 10p from every hot drink that we sell to support the Rural Start-up Fund.

In 2024 we’ll also be supporting Helme Edge Vineyard, a boutique vineyard on the green belt of Meltham, West Yorkshire, close to the Pennines. Beginning in 2017 as a hobby, Tom Smith now grows and harvests robust and hardy vines like Solaris and Cabernet Cortis, which allow for more sustainable growing in the Yorkshire weather. 
This year he and his team have used their grape harvest of nearly one tonne to produce still and sparkling white wines, a red and rose wine in a West Midlands winery. They’ll launch in summer 2024 with tastings and tours of their unique Yorkshire wines – enhancing their guests’ experience and involving the community by creating local, seasonal jobs and further tourism to the area. We’re excited to help these businesses grow and can’t wait to see what they do next!