THE national trust myfarm

Use digital platforms to connect an urban audience with farming and food production

Role UX & Visual Design, visual signature 

The National Trust is much more than a collection of stately homes and tea rooms. As the largest landowner in the UK, the trust has a key role to play in the debate around sustainable food production. The brief asked us to use digital platforms to give the audience a real insight into where their food comes from. Research shows that urban audiences are increasingly disconnected from the people and processes that put food on their plates.

We started by speaking to food campaigners, committed foodies, concerned supermarket shoppers, curious minds, teachers and farmers before deciding to ... 

do Farmville for real!

We took a real National Trust property – 2,750 prime agricultural acres on the Wimpole Estate in Cambridgeshire – and developed a platform to enable the crowd-sourced management of the farm to an online community.  Wannabe farmers paid an annual subscription to join the MyFarm community, which gave them the right to vote on every key decision involved in running the farm: the crops grown, the breeds of animal stocked, the new facilities invested in and the machinery used.

SHAUN THE SHEEP joined the flock TO ENCOURAGE CHILDREN AND FAMILIES to get involved 

MyFarm-image6.jpg

audience engaement 

We used live video streams to help bring the realities of rural life direct to the MyFarm farmers – from the springtime fun of LambCam to the death of a newborn shire foal.

Daily discussion forums on the website covered everything from animal husbandry to the weather forecast. A dedicated editorial team, led by farm manager Richard Morris, posted blogs and video content daily, answering questions and informing the debate among the online community and most importantly announcing the latest vote...

Awards

Winner Best Not- for-Profit Website BIMA Awards 2011

Winner Best Not- for-Profit Website W3 Awards 2011

Finalist Guardian Digital Innovation Awards 2012 

process