We have been fortunate enough to acquire the wonderful setting of Hillside House in Great Shefford. Set overlooking the Lambourn Valley we wanted to aspire to maximise the land we have available to us. We keep the wonderful pure breed welsh badger faced mountain sheep and also keep rare breed Berkshire pigs. We have been slowly renovating the gardens and grounds and have built two new rose gardens, a fruit and vegetable raised bed area, renovating an old apple orchard, planted a new tree fruit and nut orchard and built a walled Apiary. Rest assured there is still plenty to do.
The first thing we aspired to was keeping bees. We went on the excellent Newbury and District Beekeepers association course and became members of the BBKA and NBKA. I was very proud to receive the Newbury Beekeepers Colonel Peake Cup along the way and continue to strive to read and seek opinions of all beekeepers to solve the many hurdles that you come across. We are regular attendees of the association meetings and have just started writing for the local parish magazine. We are very much still accumulating knowledge on the craft but even in speaking with some of the association members who have 50 years of beekeeping experience you never stop learning. We are just in the process of building a second Apiary which can accommodate another 12 hives and are actively seeking new sites and hopefully providing more honey varieties and a range of accessories all from our garden and grounds.