First Dates & New Beginnings
Kevin and I met back in January 2015, after being purposefully introduced by a mutual friend. Three weeks later I found myself in the lambing shed, helping Kevin lamb his family’s flock of 700+ sheep!
Fast forward through a couple more lambing seasons to winter 2017, and we are having some frank discussions about our future together. Kevin was living at home with his parents and I was living on site at my job during this time; we knew we wanted to create a life together, but if that was to happen then something had to give…
We were faced with two choices; we could either relocate and find work which would provide us with a reliable stream of income, or we could move in together at the family farm to pursue a rural way of life. The former would mean Kevin leaving behind the farm, his family and the whole farming way of life, but the latter would require a whole lot of hard work and struggling financially for a long time (farming is tough!).
In order to support the family farm and continue the family legacy, we decided that I would move in with Kevin and his parents in spring 2018 and that we would give it our all at living the rural life.
After attending a course on small business start-ups with my sister, we did a lot of head-scratching and late-night conversations about what we could do on the farm to bring in a reliable income, without taking away any sheep grazing ground. We eventually came to the conclusion that glamping would be an incredibly fitting diversification venture as the farm offers splendid views across the rolling hills of mid Wales, Shropshire and Herefordshire!
We applied for planning permission for several pods in May 2018 and finally got the go ahead in February 2019. This was probably the most stressful 9 months of our lives, as we were both juggling multiple jobs to earn enough money to establish the glamping business - as well as our other venture, Fostings Alpacas. Whilst waiting for the planning permission, we completed a lot of research and placed an order for our hand-crafted glamping pods. Our dream finally became a reality in July 2019, when we opened the doors to Hare’s Form pod.
Throw a Global Pandemic into the Mix…
Having only opened in the summer of 2019, we had a quiet start, but things picked up in early 2020, when we were lucky enough to be featured in a couple of newspaper articles, and saw our bookings increase as a result.
But 2020 had other plans for us…
We were forced to close for nearly 5 months within our first year of opening due to covid-19. This has been really tough or us, as it has for so many other businesses trying to endure this global epidemic. On the bright side, the downtime gave us lots of opportunity to think and plan for the future, and we managed to secure a loan to purchase a second pod!
A New Year with New Adventures
After placing the order in May 2020, our brand-new pod finally arrived on 8th December! We have named the pod Huacaya’s Cush, which is pronounced Wah-kai-ya’s Koosh. Sleeping up to 4 adults, the pod takes its name from the type of alpacas we have here at the farm (Huacayas) and the position they sleep in (a ‘cush’).
Work will continue over the next couple of months to create a beautiful decking area with a glass roof (perfect for stargazing), replace the front door with panoramic French glass doors, landscape the surrounding area and furnish the interior.
Looking Forward to a Better 2021
We can’t wait to welcome small groups of adult friends to come and stay in our wonderful glamping pods here in the glorious mid Wales from spring 2021.