James and Emma Strachan, the owners of Birds & Bees, a family-run eco-friendly campsite located in the heart of Suffolk’s Alde Valley, United Kingdom, never expected their land to become one of the county’s most popular holiday destinations.
The farm, which has been in James’ family since the 1970s, used to produce milk, ice cream, and yogurt, but as the years went by, they realized that they couldn’t sustain their herd of 100 cows with such a low number, according to a report by the East Anglian Daily Times.
In 2016, they decided to sell the cows and search for an alternative solution that would cover the overheads while remaining sustainable. That’s when the idea of an eco-friendly campsite came to mind. They opened the campsite during the summer of 2017 and were fully booked for the summer holidays.
The campsite takes up just 10 of the farm’s 200 acres, but because there are only 16 to 17 pitches, everything is spread out, allowing visitors to feel like they are camping in nature truly.
No cars are allowed in the meadow. Visitors must park in an open car park, which keeps the cars out of sight and out of mind to maintain the campsite’s ‘back to basics’ ethics. The farm has also added solar panels which heat the water, and this year they’ve added more panels which will cover the electricity for the campsite and farm.
The farm also has a long-term deal with Countryside Stewardship, a government scheme that provides financial incentives for farmers and landowners to look after and improve the environment.
Through this scheme, they work alongside Defra to grow nature and bird and nectar plots, and they have parts of the field dedicated to planting a wide variety of flowering plants. Birds & Bees is open from the beginning of May, closes in the middle of September, and is currently taking bookings for the upcoming season.