AN Ellesmere Port community farm has received £25,000 from a charitable fund set up in the name of Prince Charles.

The money has been donated to Bridge Community Farms in Mill Lane by The Earl of Chester’s Fund and is being used to develop the sites’s hydroponics unit, which is the first of its kind in Cheshire.

The unit enables plants to be grown without soil by using mineral nutrient solutions in a water solvent.

Exotic micro greens can be grown with only their roots exposed to the solution.

During the Easter holidays, Bridge Community Farms will be running their popular 'Wellies to Bellies' club for families on free school meals, and as part of the initiative will introduce children to the unit for the first time so they can learn how to grow their own micro-greens.

The unit – entitled The Earl of Chester’s Hydroponics Unit – was officially opened by HRH The Earl of Wessex during a Royal visit back in 2018.

Clair Johnson, general manager of Bridge Community Farm, said: “We’re extraordinarily grateful to The Earl of Chester Fund’s for their financial support to help establish our innovative hydroponics unit.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming our first group of children over Easter. They will be shown how to sow seeds in their own hydroponics trays and how to harvest the resulting micro greens as an ingredient in the salad that they will prepare for their lunch. It’s very exciting.”

A spokesperson for The Earl of Chester’s Fund, which is named after Prince Charles’ title in Chester and was established in 2007, said: “The Earl of Chester’s Fund was established to benefit people in Cheshire in the name of the heir to the throne.

“We were so impressed with the work that the team at Bridge Community Farms does with disadvantaged young children and adults and people with mental health conditions that we wanted to support them.

“The hydroponics unit is a great way for children to learn all about how to grow and eat micro-greens.”

Bridge Community Farms, established in Ellesmere Port in 2015, is a 10-acre farm which grows vegetables, salads and fruit using organic methods and delivers them weekly to their customers.

The farm provides support and a therapeutic environment for those with mental health and life-long learning difficulties as well as work experience for young people and the long-term unemployed.

The charity launched a dedicated service to help vulnerable and elderly people during the pandemic so they could continue to receive vital provisions.

They also launched the 'Bridge Buddy Club' to help vulnerable customers who were feeling isolated, lonely or anxious at home. A Bridge Buddy calls them for a chat as often as they like.

  • If you would like to find out more about Bridge Community Farms or sign up to their popular veg box scheme email, call 0744 6699995 or visit