Nature as therapy

Mental Health Awareness Week starts today and whilst I am not currently practising as a counsellor/psychotherapist, I have not forgotten the world of therapy of which I was a part for over 10 years till we moved to our smallholding. On the contrary, living up here in the tranquility and peacefulness of our piece of the Welsh countryside, I am reminded on a daily basis how being surrounded by nature is good for mental health and well-being: hills, trees, green fields, wildlife and birdsong all help to achieving a sense of inner calm and relieve stress.

Professionally, I am ...

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New life on the smallholding

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When we first got our ewes, 18 months ago, everybody was asking us what our plans were for them ie will we put them to the ram and have lambs from them. They were our lawn mowers so thinking about lambs was just not within our radar then. As novice sheep owners, there were plenty of new skills to acquire to look after them before we could even contemplate lambing! Besides, they were lambs themselves so we had another year to think about having lambs from them.

As time passed, we settled into looking after our ewes and Spring came ...

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Open for bookings

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That's it! We are ready to take bookings for short breaks in our shepherd's hut from 1 June onwards. It is very exciting!

In May, we have three couples who have been selected to be our "guinea pigs" and we eagerly await their arrival, comments and feedback, which will be important to us as we embark on this glamping adventure.

Situated in its own private field with stunning views across the rolling hills of Mid-Wales and Shropshire, our shepherd’s hut is the perfect hideaway for an off-grid glamping experience with low impact on the environment. It is ...

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Welcome Spring!

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Spring has sprung! Everywhere I look, there is new life… in the fields, the grass has started to grow; in the garden, there are daffodils, crocus, primroses and even some early tulips; the hawthorn is growing new shoots; birds are becoming more active preparing for the breeding season; next door’s first lambs are bleating and bouncing about. I am getting ready to welcome our own lambs next month, gathering all the kit that I may need for their safe arrival. Our sunroom is currently being turned into a nursery with trays of seedlings in the propagators. We have had ...

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WANTED: Guinea pigs!!!

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We have been busy with getting the shepherd's ready for guests and as we prepare to take bookings for our shepherd's hut, we are looking for keen glampers to come and trial it FOR FREE in return for their constructive feedback about their experience with us.

The terms are: one night between 1 and 31 May 2017, bed and breakfast, one person or one couple, sorry no dogs. This offer is valid until 19 March 2017.

To participate, leave us a comment on here. We will select 3 names and announce the lucky winners on 20 March.

Looking ...

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First signs of Spring

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Imbolc, the half-way point in the Wheel of the Year between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox, is nearly here and Nature is stirring... Waking up from its Winter sleep, it is preparing for Spring and the start of the growing season.

Here on our smallholding, the broad beans sown in November have germinated and are sprouting up from the soil. The garlic too. The rhubarb is growing again. There are dainty snowdrops emerging victoriously after Winter. Daffodils are also popping up through the ground here and there. The many bulbs I planted in pots in the Autumn are ...

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New year, fresh plans...

As the new year begins, it is time to reveal our exciting project for 2017: we have a shepherd's hut and will soon be offering holidays and retreats.

Last Summer, we came across a local craftsman who was selling a shepherd's hut he had built himself, a new wooden structure on an old hay trailer chassis, with big lorry wheels. We immediately liked it and started the process to obtain the necessary planning permission from the local authority to site the hut in one of our fields. At the end of October, after an anxious two months submitting ...

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Winter Solstice

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Today is the Winter Solstice marking the point in the year when the Sun reaches its most southernly position, giving us the shortest amount of daylight. The Sun rises but barely makes it over the horizon at this time of year. I have been out most days at sunset over these past couple of weeks, taking hay to our sheep at that time, and on clear days, I have been treated to the most delightful show of pinks and light yellows.

Have you noticed the qualities of sunlight at Midwinter? It is pale, weak, fragile and hesitant. Not at all ...

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Resilience in dark times

When we were looking to buy a smallholding, one of our priorities was somewhere where we could be or work towards being “off-grid” for our utilities, or at least some of them. We thought that it would help us achieve our goal of keeping our outgoings to a minimum and feel more in charge/in control of our consumption. We figured that a more sustainable and self-reliant way of living would make us more resilient in an increasingly fragile and unsustainable world with rising living costs, limited resources and the serious challenges we face to tackle and respond to climate ...

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The Peace of Wild Things

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When I awoke this morning to the news that Donald Trump was going to be the USA's president, my heart sank. I felt the same earlier this year when the news came that the UK had voted to leave the EU. Actually, it is a feeling I regularly experience when I connect with the troubled world we live in. It is easy for me to feel despair, sadness and anger in the face of all the challenges, difficulties and inequalities affecting the human race and all the animosity, hatred and aggression that ensue. The language in the media has ...

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