Mon 9th January 2017
New year, new experience and all that. Well, this is a new one to me. I want to share with you something of the future we are hoping to build. Firstly let me introduce ourselves. We are Iain and Jane Tapp. We live in beautiful Mid-Devon on a farm. The farm is mainly a dairy farm and belongs to Iain's family but we also have a little land of our own and our own flock of pedigree Dorset sheep as well as keeping some traditional breed piggies and a motley assortment of chickens. As well as the farm animals we have a small assortment of mucky and mildy mad dogs – and also an assortment of mad and mildly mucky children!!
So what is the dream we are hoping to build? We would like people to be able to spend time somewhere beautiful, having fantastic holidays, recharging their batteries away from the stresses and strains of everyday life and creating wonderful memories to last a lifetime.
Then how are we hoping to do this? We have the somewhere beautiful. Our sheep fields are like little havens in a mad and busy world. They slope down to the tinkling Hollywater stream which runs along the bottom. They are quite steep with stunning views of Devon countryside stretching across the valley. The sheep have favourite resting places below the mature oak trees and the flock is named after the abundant bluebells that transform one of the fields into a blue carpet in May. We would love to share this with people and have everything crossed that Mid-Devon council will agree with us and approve our application to put 2 gorgeous Shepherd huts in the field where we can then go on to make a wonderful, peaceful retreat for visitors to create those memories of time well spent. This is where they might (hopefully) sit.
The application is in and we have spent loads of time discussing all sorts of possibilities with various people we met when we went to the Glamping Show in September. My head is buzzing but we still need the 'go ahead' from the powers that be. On Friday we met Mr Planning ambling up the lane to the field in question as we were returning from the sheep rounds. He looked very smart in his suit carrying his clipboard and it was immediately obviously who this stranger must be. It was also immediately obvious that it would probably be for the best if our young, friendly and excitable sheepdog could be persuaded not to bound up and 'sign' him in her joy of meeting somebody new…! As it was I think we already looked somewhat bedraggled and felt a little at a disadvantage coming down the lane on the quad bike in waterproofs and wellies, covered in mud and carrying sacks of ewe and lamb feed and buckets. I was very grateful to Swift for not showing us up any further with her muddy paws. He did introduce himself but played his cards very close to his chest so we feel no better informed of his opinion. However, regular tracking of the application online has told us that there are no objection from other quarters so far and we have another 4 weeks of waiting before the date that we have been told we should hear the verdict.