I’m the middle of three girls, born in Portsmouth, and moved to Berkshire with my family when I was 15.
I’ve worked in HR for 20+ years. I started my HR Career working for Tesco in Burgess Hill near Brighton. I have worked for many of the Thames Valley’s multinational organisations such as GE, Sony, HP, as well as Urgent Airfreight and Warehousing. I then moved to a not for profit organisation and found that working for a company that gave back to the community was so much more beneficial to my own wellbeing, the employees, the clients and their families, that, I decided to find my next role in a similar setting.
Moving to Wales – This was a massive decision!
My boyfriend of 20+ years and I bought a field – or 3, a total of 18 acres comprising of 2 acres of woodland, a stretch of the river Taf, and fields. Nothing was here apart from the green fields and amazing trees.
We are fully off grid, we have 12 solar panels, a spring for water, and use LPG gas for the oven and hot water. The solar panels provide enough energy to run the lights, TV, and low wattage items but anything that has high power requirements such as a kettle, hair dryer, hoover, washing machine, etc. have to use the generator. We store power into forklift batteries during the summer, which is fantastic, but during the winter we have to be very conscious of overcast days and electricity usage, so far we haven’t had to sit in the dark.
We built our home under the caravan act and are due to move in imminently, you just can’t understand the excitement we have. It’s the little things like being able to open a window that will make moving in so exciting.
I left my job in Berkshire on the night of 27 November 2019 and headed straight for Wales. Jon and a friend had already been working in the field to build a driveway. I have a 10-minute, 14o slope walk to the car– so if I look dishevelled in the mornings you know why – no hairdryer and a long tiring walk.
Then Covid hit, as we are an One Planet Development this means we can’t use concrete, plasterboard, brick or other non-recyclable materials. Our new home is a Barn, which is built out of wood. We were quite lucky we bought most of our materials prior to Covid. However, stock wasn’t forth coming, deliveries were delayed, and when we required ad hoc materials, the prices were astronomical.
We have a few more projects that we need to do like build a workshop that will be our milking and food storage area, finish the drive so I don’t have to jump on a quad bike to meet food deliveries, and fencing so we can get some sheep and goats. We also need to learn how to keep bees and preserve honey. We hope to have our own honesty box next year (2023) as we need to earn money off the land depending on how things grow on it.
The Rivers Trust and Woodland Trust have donated 100+ trees each to ensure sustainability and reduce landslip into the rivers.
The only thing I haven’t mentioned is that I love donkeys. We plan on adopting from the donkey sanctuary in Sidmouth Devon in the future, and I can’t wait!!!