Tuesday 18 June 2024

Wildlife Watching at Frugaldom from your Campervan or Motorhome


When visiting Frugadom in your campervan or motorhome, you are likely to encounter some of the wildlife that we feed in the garden and orchard around the yard. Bay 1, a corner pitch, overlooks a wildlife feeding station so for any photographers, wildlife watchers or nature fans, feel free to bring along a rail cam and set it up ouside your van. I left a camera out there last night just to see what is visiting.


The badgers were active, snuffling around the feeding station for quite some time, rooting for peanuts that we always put out for them and the pine marten.


Frugaldom is also home to several feral cats that roam around after dark. We very seldom catch sight of them during daylight but we know thet are out there in the same way we know the badgers, pine marten and fox are out there - caught on camera. This is Macaroon, the black cat. She is often seen along with Socks, a tabby and white male. Most have ben neutered under the catch and release scheme so we shouldn't see kittens. 


The fox is here most nights and we think she is nursing cubs somewhere nearby. Unlike the badgers, who have already brought a baby along to Frugaldom, she hasn't ventured within camera range with any cubs, yet. It could be soon - it could be while you are here watching.


This is a photo we caught of one of the mother badgers bringing her cub into the paddock a couple of nights ago. We love supporting the wildlife here and will happily accept peanuts, complete dog food or cat food in lieu of payment for an overnight stop. Likewise, you are welcome to leave eggs for the pine marten as these are his favourite food of the moment.

The pine marten is a little more elusive but if you can't see him, you ofen hear him at the feeding platform in the big tree, where the clunk of the wooden lid of the feeder signifies he is there snacking on peanuts. Leave an egg and peanuts out for him on the platform next to bay 1 and chances are that he will pop by for a late supper.

We can comfortably accommodate three motorhomes or campervans up to an absolute maximum of 7.5m but you need to have your own toilet on board and bring water as we are completely off grid with no services other than our grey water waste soakaway and a toilet tank for emptying cassettes. We have rain water harvesting to a 1000 litre tank for rinsing but during dry weather, this can run out. At £5 per night for an overnight stay, it is still well and truly worth a visit to Frugaldom. Find us on Google maps, SearchforSites, Park4Night and What3Words///Photo.Regal.Fencing will bring you to our main gate. Just search for Frugaldom or better still, join us via our support group at www.ko-fi.com/Frugaldom then visit whenever you can.

See you soon!

Monday 17 June 2024

Are There Any Aires in Scotland?

This page is dedicated to campervan and motorhome stopover providers within Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland licensed through CAMpRA Rally Group*.

ARE THERE ANY AIRES IN SCOTLAND?


Yes! At time of writing, there are 162 CAMpRA aires within the UK and around one third of those are in Scotland. Many have their own websites, are pinned on Google maps and/or have social media pages. Frugaldom blog is hosting a free list of some fabulously frugal aires that should be on every campervanner or motorhomer's list.

WHAT IS AN AIRE?


An aire is a simple stopover that can be used by campervans or motorhomes while travelling. These can be service points that offer fresh drinking water, electric hook-up and toilet emptying facilities in exchange for a nominal fee or, in some cases, a donation. Some aires simply provide a safe, secure and legal place to park. The 'no services' aires are handy stop off points and allow you to relax and rest for a day or two without the worry of being moved on, as long as you don't display any camping behaviour. No camping behaviour means no awnings, no BBQs or firepits and no setting out the sunloungers, chairs or picnic tables. Aires provide overnight parking, nothing more. Most expect you to arrive in daylight with everything onboard you require and leave no trace when you go. The usual price for these stopovers is around £5 per night, slightly more if there are services available. The 'CAMpRA' licensed aires are star rated with 3 stars meaning no services, 4 stars have waste facilities and 5 stars can mean electric hook-up is available. Prices vary accordingly but like I said, many are asking for only £5 per night. Aires, unlike many holiday parks and campsites, are open all year round. 

WHO OWNS AIRES?


Aire owners are just ordinary people who want to offer those travelling in campervans or motorhomes an inexpensive alternative to fully serviced campsites that stipulate a minimum stay. Aire owners set their own rules and prices, depending on the facilities available on site. Some will have grass pitches, some will have hardstanding or be based within enclosed yards, all will be for a maximim of 5 vehicles. If you arrive at an aire with 5 vans already parked, move on to the next available stopover site, don't risk losing the aire owner their licence.

FINDING AIRES (The demonstration links here lead to Frugaldom's aire)


Being rural, postcodes and SatNav can often take you the wrong direction. In the countryside, several miles of single track lane may link a number of farms, houses and businesses, all with the same postcode. There isn't always anyone around to ask directions and often mobile signal can be non-existent, so no option to call anyone. For this reason, we always recommend using What3Words or else check for pinned sites on Google Maps. Many sites and apps such as SearchforSites and Park4Night include coordinates for these overnight stops.

SCOTTISH AIRES


Naturally, I am going to begin with Frugaldom. Overnight parking is provided in the yard so you are fairly sheltered and secluded. The yard is all hardstanding and as level as we can afford to make it for now. Set within the centre of the sanctuary and surrounded by wildlife and wild bird feeding stations, this aire is completely off-grid. Arrival is by daylight only and we have quiet hours between 9pm and 9am. There is no electricity and no fresh running water but we do have grey water waste disposal and a tank for emptying chemical toilets. For use of these facilities, we ask £5. The overnight parking is by donation either by scanning the QR code that links to PayPal or by dropping a few pounds into the donations / honesty box. While here, allowing for weather conditions, you can see the sanctuary ponies, Vincent Van Goat and possibly the badgers, fox, pine marten, adders and various wild birds. We also have our  environmental art project, which now has over 50 sculptures dotted around the site, from wizards and green men to unicorns, woodland creatures and fairy folks. I like to think of Frugaldom as being one of the quirkiest aires you will visit.

AIRES IN UK


I am compiling a list of inexpensive aires for anyone to browse, save, share or take note of for future travels. Aires are the way to go if you are travelling in a campervan or motorhome and in some locations, such as Frugaldom, they are free for those prepared to trade their time volunteering in exchange for safe and secure park-up. This is the link to the list of aires in UK that is currently being developed.

Happy holidays, folks! Frugaldom is about finding affordable options. You are welcome to join us as Happy Hutters or Wildlife Watchers if campervanning isn't your thing. I'm not including camping as there are just too many places in Scotland where you can wildcamp for free. Please remember to observe Scotland's 'right to roam' Outdoor Access code sensibly and respectfully.

CAMpRA UK Ltd is the Campaign for Real Aires in UK

Sunday 16 June 2024

Hutting and Wildlife Watching at Solstice

Scottish hutting - small wooden hut 

Fast approaching summer solstice so we are planning an overnight wildlife watch

Fox searching for snacks of dog biscuits and peanuts

While spending time on wildlife watch at Frugaldm, chances are you will spot the little vixen that comes into the paddock most nights to get dog biscuits and, occasionally, some cat food.

Badger on the decking eating peanuts

Most nights, te badgers visit the deckings of huts 2 and 3 to snack on peanuts

Pine marten on the decking looking for food

The pine marten is a regular visitor to huts 1 and 2 where he comes looking for peanuts, apple or an egg. His favourite is currently egg, which he will happily retrieve from any of the bowls of peanut feeders.

Can you believe it is only a few days from midsummer? I can't! What happened to the first half of the year and, worse still, how fast is the second half going to whizz past. So much still to do between now and then. Pnies to rehome, a companion goat to find, endless hours of garden work and then winter trees to plant. Why not join us as Friends of Frugaldom and pop out for a visit to help keep the flag flying. At just £5 for overnight parking, campervans and motorhomes are welcome.



Frugal Aire

An overnight stop at Frugaldom costs just £5 in a campervan or motorhome.
We can accommodate vehicles up to an absolute maximum 7.5m if you are fully self-contained.  Frugaldom is totally off-grid so no lighting, no electric hook-up, no showers, no running water, so don't arrive expecting campsite facilities. Nearby Balloch o'Dee may better suit your needs if you aren't used to the wilder side of getting away from it all. We simply offer a frugal alternative.
What we do have, however, are basic waste facilities for grey water and toilet cassette emptying, as long as you are using eco-friendly products.
Bay 1 overlooks a wildlife feeding station where you may catch a glimpse of a fox, badger or pine marten, as well as the wild birds that frequent the feeders.
Next are the rearing horses, representing the ancient Galloway breed that once roamed the nearby hills and became famous world wide before being bred out of existance. The Bald Galloway is one of the original descendants of almost all modern day Thoroughbred racehorses and many top performance horses. Now you know.
Bay 2 overlooks more of the wildlife garden that leads to this little area, home to the ghostly hooded rider. Another bird feeding station can be seen here, often visited by the resident woodpeckers, siskins and various other birds and wildlife.
Bay 3 is adjacent to our visitors'herb garden, from where anyone can help themselves.
Payment for stopovers can be made via PayPal to frugaldom@gmail.com or via the QR code but we also have honesty / donations boxes for those  who prefer to pay cash.
If you would like to support our project, which is run voluntarily as a sanctuary, you can do so here.

Thank you for taking the time to read these posts. Please share with friends and help us keep our animal sanctuary, art project and stopover aire open.

Who You Can Expect to Meet at Frugaldom

 

Rescued goat at Frugaldom sanctuary

For anyone visiting Frugaldom, either in a campervan, motorhome or while staying in the wagon or huts, chances are that you will meet Vincent Van Goat, our assistant gardener.


Vincent was one of two goats we rescued from being barbecued. He was brought here along with his buddy, Goatis Redding. Sadly, Goatis had to be put to sleep just a few months ago. We are still seeking a suitable goat companion for Vincent. If anyone can help out with that, we will happily rehome one or two goats, either females or castrated males but they must be tagged. Frugaldom is a registered holding and Vincent has his walking licence.


There are hundreds of dog roses around Frugaldom, each one planted over the past few years. We have assorted colours of Rosa Ragusa as well as the common dog roses, Rosa Canina. Vincent doesn't mind which type he trims. The rosehips are collected for feeding to the ponies and wildlife and also for adding into cordials, syrups and hedgerow jelly. Foraging is actively encouraged here at Frualdom.


I must not forget the oxeye daisies. We have thousands of them here at Frugaldom. Vincent does enjoy eating the heads off a few of them but for anyone visiting, you are welcome to take some away with you for your own gardens. 

An overnight stop at Frugaldom costs just £5 in a campervan or motorhome. We can accommodate vehicles up to a maximum 7.5m and they need to be fully self-contained as we are totally off-grid with no electricity or running water. We do, however, have waste facilities for grey water and toilet cassettes with eco-friendly chemicals.