CLA Charitable Trust Scholarship

14 February 2014

Harper Adams University student Edward Wilkinson, 18, has been formally presented with the CLA Charitable Trust Scholarship by CLA Midlands Director Caroline Bedell.

Edward received the competitive scholarship, open to students studying the BSc Rural Enterprise and Land Management course at Harper Adams and worth £4,000 per academic year.

Edward, who was raised on a Comberbach dairy farm, said: “Receiving the Scholarship is an honour and a privilege and it gives me great belief and confidence that I can make a positive impact on the Land Management industry. I would like to thank Mr Peter Geldart and the CLA Charitable Trust Scholarship panel for selecting me and I intend to fully justify their decision.

“Upon completion of my studies at Harper Adams University, I intend to qualify as a chartered surveyor by completing my APC through the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), and want to help farmers and landowners get the most out of their enterprises, as well as adapt to future challenges and opportunities.”

The former Sir John Deane's College and Weaverham High School pupil is in the first year of his degree course and has settled well into university life. “I currently play football for Harper Adams University men's team and I am a student ambassador, which involves helping and representing the University at various internal and external events. But I also enjoy returning home to work with the 120-strong herd on the family farm.”


About the CLA Charitable Trust: The charity was originally founded to encourage landowners to provide opportunities for the disabled and disadvantaged on their property and it is supported by CLA members. Since its foundation in 1980, the Trust has given more than £1.8m in grants to a wide variety of organisations and projects. For instance, the Trust continues its support for Farms for City Children, an organisation which provides residential weeks on one of  three working farms for children from urban environments and special needs schools. The youngsters take full part in the working life of the farms, all of which have livestock, and for many of them it is their first experience of seeing agricultural animals. The Trust funds three week-long visits, one of which should be for a school catering for those with special needs. Chief executive of Farms for City Children, Helen Chaloner, says "Such support is invaluable to us in being able to give children an experience which might otherwise not be available to them and we are delighted to have made this agreement with the CLA's own charity." The Trust also maintains 2 scholarships at Harper Adams University College for students reading Rural Enterprise and Land Management, each worth £4,000 p.a  During 2013, more than20 other charities and projects received grants from the Charitable Trust.  

Making an application

Because we receive many more applications than we can meet, each is judged tightly against our objectives, which are:

to promote education about, and facilities for access to the countryside for those who are disabled, who have learning difficulties or who are in some way disadvantaged, and to provide education in agriculture, horticulture and conservation for the disabled and disadvantaged. The fund is available in England and Wales and grants cannot be made to individuals.

Recently, the Trustees have found it necessary to apply even more strict criteria and we now do not consider applications for sensory gardens or community allotments. Projects which are based on horticultural activities must be able to demonstrate that they provide training to a recognised qualification for the participants.

At the moment, we do not have an application form to apply for funding; please apply in writing, preferably by email,to Peter Geldart with details of your organisation, the project for which funding is required, costings, timing, sources of other funding and any other information which you think will help the Trustees in their decision. The Trustees meet in February, May, August and November. If you have any doubt about your project's eligibility, please telephone to discuss it before submitting your appeal.

How you can help the Trust

By direct donations, or by Gift Aid through CAF Donate online or by making provision for the Trust in your will. CLA members can also contribute to their charity by 

by attending CLA regional events which are held for the benefit of the Trust

Contact :

Peter Geldart
Hopbine Farmhouse
Nottinghamshire NG23 6LJ.
Telephone : 01636 823835.  email  :