Well, it is about a year ago that I was walking along the Worcestershire country lanes and thought it would be a good idea to have a caravan and camping site on the farm to help us diversify away from dairy farming which is incredibly hard work, and currently not providing much income. A year on we are still not open, but getting there, and although it has been a really busy year, I have learnt an awful lot.
We first chose a field, not too near to the road to be noticeable, and not too near to the milking parlour for it to be noisy when milking. We decided not to do caravans, as although we like caravans (we have one ourselves!) our country lane is narrow, and the farm track is narrow, and we didn’t think caravans going up and down would be practical. We first went for planning permission which took some time, but with some professional help (thanks Moule&Co) we got it, then started to plan.
I started crafting, I wanted an eco friendly, upcycling, vintage, shabby chic theme, so I went on a paint course and started upcycling furniture for the tents, I also made some coasters from old tiles, and have recently completed two solar chandeliers.
I went on a business course and wrote a business plan and a financial projection for two years, certainly a challenge, but Worcestershire County Council do provide business help for new start up companies, and I couldn’t have done it without them.
I have painted a toilet and shower block, carried numerous heavy paving slabs until my arms hurt, squeezed mattresses into my car for the beds, designed a fairy door trail in the woods, and learnt about websites, logo design, and social media.
Currently I am looking into how we can make Canvas & Clover accessible to people with disabilities, designing a washing up area, and painting and planting up some galvanised steel buckets. Canvas & Clover is a labour of love, a challenge, a huge commitment, and more than anything, hopefully a place people can visit and love!