A few months ago my husband's uncle, or for regular readers 'grandad's brother', bought 70 acres of land at Awbridge, Hampshire. Approximately 20 acres of grassland and 50 acres of woodland I believe, and this weekend it held host to the first Spratt family Summer gathering, Spratt Camp. I wanted to write a bit about it as it was a lovely afternoon but also a really interesting thing that's happening there.
It's hard to explain just how wonderful a feeling it is letting the children all run free and explore knowing it's just you in the woods, far from the paranoia of modern life - like childhood should be.
The uncles son, James was telling us about what they have done to the land already and their plans for the future and I must say it's all very exciting. So far uncle and son have done much work on the land, moving deer on, setting up bat boxes and bird boxes, identifying and preserving sites of dormice, copicing and much more. Long term they are going to learn the charcoal business, erect tipi's and generally make a business from the land. How great to be able to work together, father and son for a better future together, creating a business that can be so hands on and with nature, it's something that really struck a chord with me.
I've already asked if I can head up with my camera sometime to document how they get on. I find it utterly fascinating and simply brilliant that people who already have businesses and jobs can get hands on with nature and find a new, more enjoyable, less stressful and infinitely more rewarding career path. One that James can pass on to his sons, a family affair, one that will benefit generations.
Cheers for a lovely afternoon / evening Spratts - here's to exploring more.