The story so far
We had a dream, after spending our honey moon 17 years previously working for holiday camps in the south of France of running our own camp-site in Bishops castle.
When Borthwick house came on the market in May 2006 we knew it was a once in a lifetime chance.
November 2006 we moved in changing the property back to its original name of Foxholes. With lots of support from our friends, family, local people, and south Shropshire council we got to work. In the first year we transformed the garage into three wet rooms, planted 850 trees in new hedging and coppices and improved access roads.
We are very interested in alternative technology and the environment and very keen to optimise the potential at the Foxholes.
We opened for business Whitson bank holiday 2007.
That summer we met lots of lovely people who encouraged and inspired us. In August we brought our first static. We were really pleased with our season despite the wet summer.
The winter 2007/2008 we planted more trees repaired fencing and started work on old milking parlour turning it into a 6-bed bunkhouse. We have always had an issue regarding water so we also put in 2 x600 gallon water tanks.
2008 was another wet summer but we met even more lovely people we were learning fast and getting more confident that our dream was a great reality. We brought our second static that September.
Winter 2008/2009 we coppiced a lot of old hedging and replaced more rotten fencing widening and letting hedgerows grow bushier really starting to notice birds growing in number and variety.
In the spring of 2009 we removed an old chicken shed and started on second Toilet /shower block of which we are very proud with its 150 solar panel tubes and rainwater harvesting and water from the abandoned well for toilet flushing. We had to dig out the old well, the least favourite of all the projects we have done here, wet, muddy, dark and claustrophobic. We managed to complete the new shower block Good Friday 2009 making our and our campers lives a lot easier.
We also relined old water storage tank under wet room floor. Another wet but enjoyable summer followed.
The winter 2009 /2010
The single tracked drive built on railway sleepers was rotting, and collapsing fast so we widened it, dug down, scrounged and begged every bit of rubble going in Bishops Castle that winter. Always aiming to have the track ready for start of season.
That summer was a lot drier and even busier and we decided our project for the winter would be selling our first static and replacing it with a purpose built freestanding Eco cabin with lots of insulation, so we can rent it out in winter. The Eco cabin takes full advantage of views and secluded position.
Winter 2010/2011 we spent building the Eco cabin. We worked on information boards explaining why we let stinging nettles and meadow grass grow and why we plant coppices. As well as why it is important to recycle and the benefits of rainwater harvesting. For the future we are debating Photovoltaic panels versus windmills and whether or not to borehole? Any ideas information are gratefully received.
The story continues…
Borehole won we found clean potable water at 260 feet.Cool camping found us and we got in 4 sunday papers, met a whole load more of lovely people.Had a very good season 2011, resting up and looking forward to 2012. Have now had photo voltaic solar panels fitted behind house , seem to be working really well. When the sunshines! We are really lucky to have some tough campers that enjoy the challenge of a wet season, luckily all our fields drain really fast we don't do puddles.
Winter 2012-2013 we cleared and fenced sunken lane. We have replaced outdoor washing-up area with covered area for washing up and indoor seating area for the hardy campers. We have moved are recyling area into the coppice and are now ready for year 7.Might be time to make a nature pond.
Summer 2013 made nature pond very enjoyable.
Winter 2013/2014 We have had a beautiful proper summer really lovely not having to apologise for wet weather. We have built our nature pond and had a really good season with new polytunnel last years birthday present grew tomatoes, peppers, aubagines, cauliflowers, cucumbers, basil, corriander and its lovely and warm on a chilly day. The washing up shed is going down a storm I don't know if its because its warm and cosy or the reviews we put up for the campers amusement.Plans this winter is cabin number 2 a little smaller 6 berth. Put new flat roof on house we had been neglecting our own accomadation.Oh and 600 more trees to plant . hope to see you soon