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Working with the Community

Copas Farms Estate recognises that farmers at times do not always get the best press and therefore we consider it an extremely important part of our business to interact with communities in the areas in which we farm.


We acknowledge the attractiveness of the countryside and accept the importance of footpaths and bridleways to open up access for everybody to enjoy the landscape.

Wherever possible we expand the network of Public Footpaths by creating ‘Permitted Paths’ and on a number of farms these Permitted Paths provide attractive circular walks.

Public Open Space

In addition to expanding the footpath network, we also make two Thameside river meadows of around 45 acres each available as Areas of Public Open Space. One is Marsh Meadow at Cookham and the other is Westfield River Meadow at Medmenham. These areas of land are hugely popular with both local residents and visitors to the areas. 

We also have Public Viewing Areas – one appreciates the view across Chesham Vale and the other gives a view across a pond to the Chiltern Hills at Watlington. 

Marsh Meadow

Marsh Meadow in Cookham is one of the two river meadows the Estate makes available as Public Open Space.   The meadow covers around 45 acres and provides a space for local people to walk, ride and cycle in a beautiful setting alongside the River Thames just above Cookham Bridge.

In order that the local community can feel more involved in the day-to-day running and decision making of the meadow, Copas Farms Estate suggested that a committee be formed.  The Marsh Meadow Management Committee is made up of twenty local people who either represent a local village organisation or whose property neighbours the meadow.  The Committee meets twice a year in March and October.

In addition to recreational use by local residents and visitors to the area, the Marsh Meadow Management Committee also review and sanction use of the meadow for a small number of charitable fund raising events.  Over the course of the past ten years, Let’s Rock the Moor and the Cookham Regatta have used the meadow to run their charity events and  over £250,000 has been raised for charity.

Schools’ Conservation Area

In conjunction with WildCookham, an area of land in Marsh Meadow is designated as a School’s Conservation Area and this is made available for children to visit.  In this area wild flowers and native trees are allowed to mature to create a natural habitat.  A large pond forms a major part and this has two dipping platforms.  A log pile attracts a number of insects and small creatures and roofing sheets have been laid to encourage slow worms, snakes and mice to take up residence.  These prove very popular with children as when the sheets are lifted up they reveal the wildlife beneath.

Metal Detecting

In order that we can responsibly control the use of metal detectors on our land, searches are restricted to just those organised in collaboration with The Maidenhead Search Society. Anybody wishing to search on the Copas Farms Estate is encouraged to join this club. 

Bird Watching

National and local ornithological groups are encouraged to undertake studies of the birdlife and wildfowl on our land. In Cookham, local wildlife champion, Brian Clews, has been conducting studies on our farm in for many years with the statistics passed to the The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. 

Other ways in which Copas Farms Estate helps communities in the areas we farm

  • Pick Your Own fruit is donated (when crops are available) for fund raising functions held by local organisations and schools or vouchers are provided as prizes
  • Free or reduced rate storage space facilities are made available for local youth groups and charitable organisations
  • In addition to the facility offered at the Schools Conservation Area in Cookham, we also host visits for local schools and youth organisations to the Pick Your Own farm during the season
  • Land and facilities are made available for the staging of charitable or fund raising events.