South Downs self catering cottage, England

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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: South Downs self catering cottage, England

Environment

The farm is a haven for wildlife. There are many bird boxes and a local member of the British Trust for Ornithology regularly records the species identified. Part of the farm is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest of European Importance and has rare mosses and snails. One guest commented “The walk was lovely – early morning and misty – saw rabbits, fox and squirrels, lots of pheasants – heard owls, a buzzard, jay, magpie, blackbirds, wrens, robins, blue tits. Swans looked beautiful on the misty lake. Thank you for letting me share it all.”

If guests arrive by car we encourage them to leave it behind when here and explore the farm and area on foot or by cycling. It is possible to arrive on cycles, by taking a train from London Waterloo to the mainline station at Bentley, 3 miles away.

We care passionately about this farm, as others have done before us, and are keen to take care of it for future generations. We make sure we recycle, collect rainwater, use energy efficient equipment and a high standard of insulation.

Community

Local builders and craftsmen were used for the conversion of the holiday cottages and continue to be employed when work is required. We support our local community by being on the Village Hall Committee and by working with our local Church. We attend and help at various functions raising money for local needs.

Whenever possible we use home grown or local seasonal produce for our own needs and provide guests with information on local farm shops and farmers markets so that they can enjoy discovering the local specialities. Locally made ice creams, locally grown watercress and fresh trout from the chalk streams; lavender products grown nearby to pamper you or take home as gifts; small studios producing arts and crafts, local theatres and events; we encourage you to enjoy the locality and can offer advice on where to visit.

Landscape

The East Hampshire area of the South Downs National Park is one of the loveliest parts of rural England, with its steep wooded hills and hidden valleys. Man has been living and working here since the Stone Age and there have been plenty of archaeological finds from then, through Bronze Age, Iron Age, roman times and beyond. We are close by a part of the Roman Road which ran from Chichester to Silchester and for those with an historical interest the Alton Museum is a great place to visit to find out more.

Agriculture has played a big part in the landscape; with the soil good for growing hops, Alton was at one time a major brewing town. This industry is now being revived with several micro-breweries in the area. Here, at Stubbs Farm, we grow cereal crops, oilseed rape, beans and maize and have a herd of beef cattle. The crops are grown on the fields of rich loam with cattle grazing the grass fields on heavier land and hills. We have planted areas to encourage bees, butterflies and other insects together with areas to feed wild birds. There is a lake on the farm which is home to wildfowl and swans. Dragonflies and damselflies are to be seen darting to and fro and occasionally a kingfisher can be glanced. The collection of buildings in the farmyard at Stubbs Farm are Grade II Listed and we are happy to show guests staying in the cottages the inside of the magnificent 16th Century Barn.

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