A CAMPAIGN to save a Solva farm for future generations is gathering momentum, with backing received from assembly members and a petition standing at more than 1,200 signatures so far.

Trecadwgan farm, a county council owned farm on the outskirts of Solva, is listed for auction by John Francis at Parc Y Scarlets, Llanelli, on July 17.

It was declared surplus to Pembrokeshire County Council's requirements in May 2018. The farm's 70 acres have been let to a neighbouring farmer, while the farmhouse, 13 outbuildings and 11 acres will be auctioned off, at a guide price of £450,000.

Campaigners are urging the council to withdraw the farm from auction and give them time to raise a £50,000 deposit.

A packed public meeting last Friday, June 14, launched the community farm initiative with Cllr Bob Kilmister, cabinet member for finance, presenting the case for PCC and Rupert Dunn, founder of community-supported peasant bakery Torth y Tir, speaking for the campaigners.

"A particular bone of contention was the separation of the land from the farm in order to justify the sale," said Rupert. "As well as the lack of ambition and vision from PCC to even consult the community before making a decision to sell the farm."

A petition on the 38 Degrees website has so far garnered 1,200 signatures.

A crowdfunder.co.uk campaign to raise the £50,000 needed has also been set up, alongside a community share option.

Eluned Morgan AM has written to Pembrokeshire County Council's chief executive, Ian Westley, asking the council to reconsider the sale of the farm before it is listed for auction and prioritise working with the community campaigners.

AM Joyce Watson has also called on the authority to postpone the auction, and work with the community.

However, the day before the public meeting, Cllr Kilmister, said that he was not in a position to withdraw surplus buildings from auctions despite "11th hour" requests.

He added that other suitable options, understood to be the 1960s built Clover Hill Farm near Solva, have been identified for the interested community group.

Group spokesman, Rupert Dunn, says that the historical importance of Trecadwgan, as well as footpath access from the coast and the village, make it the perfect place for a community farm venture, with the possibility of renting some or all of Clover Hill as well.

The group is now asking for an urgent meeting with Ian Westley to discuss a delay in the auction to give the community group more time.