We met in 1997 when we were both working for The British Trust for Conservation Volunteers (BTCV). Andy went on to build mountain footpaths in the Lake District for the National Trust before becoming a National Park Ranger in the Yorkshire Dales.
Katy led groups of conservation volunteers on projects all over the world for BTCV and Biosphere Expeditions as well as training new project leaders internationally, caretaking farms, equine yards and smallholdings and working in animal rescue.
In 2009 Andy became a timber framer and natural builder starting out as a carpenter for Ben Law (famous for his “woodland house” on Grand Designs). Katy moved into designing and creating sustainable and edible gardens (www.katefoxmicroholding.co.uk) and feature writing for Country Smallholding magazine and Permaculture Magazine. We both helped to manage a 30 acre Sweet Chestnut woodland which we coppiced for materials for our projects.
As well as being nature lovers we both have strong interests in food production and growing our own and in 2010 we won UK Smallholder of the Year for our self sufficient garden and traditional rare breed pigs.
From taking a 600 mile walk carrying all our kit to building fire sculptures at festivals we have taken inspiration from our many crazy and varied experiences to create the most fun camping experience in our own stunning nature reserve – with the odd surprise thrown in!
From family camping as children back in the 1970s to Scout and Guide camps in the 1980s, camping holidays around the UK in the 1990s and backpacking around the world in the noughties we have done it all. We literally lived camping for 4 years before moving to our smallholding: we sold our house in Sussex and lived in a bell tent for 9 months while we designed and built our tiny home. Then we brought our tiny home to Pembrokeshire and lived on farm campsites while we built up local links, had a lot of outdoor fun and looked for a wild and natural place to buy. Now home is a 22 acre smallholding in a secluded valley near the famous Pembrokeshire coastline and you can stay in our tiny home tucked away on our nature reserve or pick one of our camping pitches surrounded by nature.
BTCV (now called The Conservation Volunteers): www.tcv.org.uk
The National Trust: www.nationaltrust.org.uk
Biosphere Expeditions: www.biosphere-expeditions.org
Ben Law: www.ben-law.co.uk
Country Smallholding magazine: www.countrysmallholding.com
Permaculture Magazine: www.permaculture.co.uk