Sun on a winter’s day

One of the best bits of working here is that when the sun shines, we can enjoy the outside. This is especially welcome in the middle of winter.

Take today for example.

It’s the middle of February, but it’s sunny and warm (well, one-jumper-warm) and a good day for having coffee outside.

It keeps surprising us that taking a break outside is great for giving the brain a rest, looking at the view, and getting fresh ideas.

First Fridays

During a recent visit to Sue and Steve Heatherington at The Waterside we were introduced to the idea of First Fridays – which we really liked. First Fridays are about making connections with like minded people, about becoming a community.

Our work and our life here revolve around making connections and learning from them; connecting knowledge, each other, nature, the past, present and future, connecting with who we are.
So in the best tradition of Renew, Reuse, Recycle, we have borrowed the idea of First Fridays for Like Work But Different.

Therefore, from March 1st (St David’s Day, very appropriate) and on the first Friday of every month thereafter, we will be opening The Hub to guests who want to just drop in, drink coffee and eat cake whilst thinking, reading, working, meeting…. All for free.

Find out more…

How can you live in a National Park?

“We googled your postcode and it showed up in the Brecon Beacons National Park, so we thought it must be wrong”

That was what they said, when we booked some flooring fitters based in the West Midlands. The idea that people can live in National Parks, or work in them, was a mystery to these guys. What did they think a National Park was? A bigger version of a town park, with a big fence around some swings and slides and maybe a football pitch or a pond? Or proper wilderness with mountains and wild animals? Maybe they were expecting Yosemite.

Yes there is wilderness. But National Parks in the UK also have farmers. And houses. And doctors, and schools, and shops, and businesses. Everything that you need to live.

However, in a National Park these ‘essentials’ are present in a way that contributes to the very special character of the area. So priority is given to maintaining and improving the environment – both the landscape and wildlife. Development of all buildings is tightly controlled. And residents and businesses have to behave in ways that complement the aims of the National Park, to ensure it remains very special.

So that’s what we try to do here – preserve and enhance the beauty and peace of this place, whilst stewarding the natural resources on the farm to support our life here. 

There is always tension between those who want to keep the Park exactly as it is, and those who think that it needs to evolve to survive. Maybe that’s the difference between those who come to visit and those whose livelihoods depend on it. But both constituencies have the same desire – to see the Park thrive and continue to be a resource for everyone.

P.S. If no-one lived, or farmed, or did business here, then the Brecon Beacons National Park would look very different. And the character of the landscape would rapidly change. But that’s a topic for another post…