The arrival of 2019 was met with the usual fluctuations of running a farming business with the added highs and lows of farm diversifications, especially with one of those diversions being in the hospitality sector.
Unfortunately, the farming side of the business was facing financially more challenging times and serious conversations were being had about how or what we could do with the land to give us a more stable income without having to sell The Farm and remain custodians of the land.
Having been approached by a solar park development firm the previous year (which we initially rejected) we decided to follow up with them to see what the possibilities of a solar park on The Farm were, and the pros and cons of doing so.
To cut a long-drawn-out story short, it was potentially a viable option for The Farm for the following reasons:
– Create a long-term stable income for The Farm through a rental income.
– To retain usage of the land through grazing of sheep.
– Potential for producing cleaner energy.
– Habitat creation, planting of new hedgerows and tree-planting areas.
Taking the above into consideration, towards the end of 2019 with all this going on and still busy establishing the Larder Café and Butchery side of The Farm we were about to face a coming storm from which not even taking shelter we could hide.