Wild Meadow in Powys has an eco cottage and shepherd’s hut. Created by one family for other families to enjoy. Read their story below…
Camping has always been our passion. Our longest trip away was 4 weeks travelling across France & Spain with our boys aged 3, 9 & 11. Although we love camping, sometimes when babies became toddlers, and when autumn turned to winter, we longed for a little more luxury to back up our outdoor adventures…
It all began 5 yrs ago when we brought a field about a mile from where we live. We cut the thistles, planted wild flowers, grew vegetables and started an orchard. Our own enjoyment of it made us realise that this would be a beautiful place for families to stay. One idea led to another and after many hours of planning, digging and sawing, Wild Meadow is soon to open.
The 3 bedroomed eco-cottage is made of timber from a local sawmill. Over the past year we have all got involved in building it. The boys have cleared stones, filled in trenches and helped fit the sheep’s wool insulation. Incentives such as sausages and marshmallows over the open fire have helped keep them focused! One highlight was working in the cottage over the summer with the swallows swooping above our heads and raising their chicks inside the building. We delayed putting the windows in until they all flew the nest! Tracking the badger trails through the snow whilst planting the willow (for hides) was also another memorable occasion – a wonderful distraction that meant the hides had to wait another day to be finished.
The hardest part (we did not use an architect) has been designing something which was green, within our budget, and that would accommodate different guests needs (we may be happy to wait for an hour for the wood burner to heat the house up but we can’t expect guests to be).
As well as the cottage, Wild Meadow has a shepherd’s hut which was a dream to build as someone else did that for us! It has its own outdoor undercover kitchen so, no matter what the weather, a meal can be cooked over a gas hob and eaten whilst overlooking the beautiful welsh hills. The hut has a deluxe double bed & families can pitch a tent by the side.
We don’t live at Wild Meadow so guests will have 3.5 acres to themselves. Harvesting produce from the kitchen garden, discovering the willow hides, playing on the swings and pond dipping are just a few of the things to do. Children’s explorer rucksacks will be hanging up packed with equipment such as magnifying glasses, mini beast pots and ideas for outdoor activities. We have just brought a GPS which will be available for families to borrow if they fancy having a go at geoacaching in the local area. We just need to get to grips with it ourselves first and learn how to programme it!
One of the best parts about camping for us is cooking outside. It is also a great way to galvanise the boys into helping to prepare a meal. Both cottage and shepherd’s hut have their own firepit, griddle and kotlich. For us there is nothing like sitting around an open hearth to make for a great holiday and we hope guests enjoy it too…
The Shepherds Hut will be open in March 2014, with the cottage following in the summer.
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