Sunday 9 June 2024

Things are Changing Around Here in 2024


The Internet is becoming more and more of an abyss, what with social media blurring the edges of every website we visit and an assumption that everyone has fabulously fast broadband and mobile phones that can juggle a thousand photos, videos and applications. Sadly, this is not the case for everyone. Some of us live within the small percentage of UK to where such luxuries have not yet arrived. Blogging seems to have become obscured by vlogging and while viewer numbers on our own YouTube channel reflect no need for it to be there, it is still something that I want to do, There are no frills attached, not even voiceovers, just tiny fragments of videos that give our viewers the opportunity to see what we see while we are here. Getting the word out about anything is beyond affordability to the likes of us, despite taking part in local wildlife events and such like.

So here we are, trying to get back into blogging but now from the off-grid huts that sit amidst the wilderness that is Frugaldom. I am relying on an inexpensive 100w solar panel connected to a secondhand leisure battery to power the laptop and I access the internet by tethering the laptop to a mobile phone. This only work if I perch the phone on the edge of the camping stove. Granted, the view from the office window is fabulous on a clear day - fields, forest, Vincent Van Goat calling from his enclosure, rescue ponies frolicking around their track in whatever the weather and all against the backdrop of the Galloway Hills. Not bad, in my book. But that doesn't pay the bills nor does it put food on the table, feed in the buckets or hay in the nets.


At just £5 for an overnight stop and a licence that allows for up to five campervans at a time, we have the potential to generate some income. Our yard is fairly level, secluded, enclosed and secure but lends itself better to hosting three motorhomes up to 7.5m so that is the number I am working with for now. We are off the beaten track bu only 4 miles from the main A75, depending on which route you take. We are not on a through road, nor even on a road to anywhere other than a wind farm and forest so only the farmer, forestry folks and windfarm maintenance people pass our gate, plus a few dog walkers who drive their dogs up to the windfarm. Again, this does not lend itself to overnight stops, especially as all around us are alernatives to paying for parking. But wait... could there be a small percentage of campervanners who may just be looking for a safe, secure hideaway to escape the norm? Or might there be the occasional individuals looking to pay £25 per night to have the yard to themselves? Even better!

With 5 spaces at £5 per space, our yard has the potential to generate an absolute maximum aire income of  £9,125 (less transaction fees) per year, but the reality is far different from that. Based on 3 campervans, the income potential is £5,475. Again, the reality is far from actual turnover as the possibulity of having 3 campers in every day of the year is just fantasy. Where we are right now, we are lucky to see an average 1 campervan a month. No point glossing over this fact. I am forever reading comments on socal media about how so many want to pay so little for so much and this is one of the reasons I feel we should move on from offering secure parking and look at alternatives. We are a very quirky project, not your normal run-of-the-mill campsite. We are an aire - a term I had never encountered before opening our yard to the land of campervanners and motorhomers. Indeed, I have never spent a night in either - my preference is hutting in the countryside, surrounded by famiiar landscapes and our regular visits from the badgers, pine marten, fox and yes, even the adders, when the sun decides to shine. 

We accept PayPal payments to Frugaldom either direct via the QR code posted at the gate or by email to but we also use honesty and donation boxes for those who prefer to pay cash. On occasion, we will barter for goods, services or a little bit of help from visiting campervanners. It all helps when running a voluntary project with no regular source of income generation on site. So what is our niche?


Most nights, we are visited by pine marten, badgers and fox. As members of our regular support group, which costs from as little as £5 per month, you can visit anytime and watch for the wildlife. 

Bring some peanuts and you're sure to attract some animal attention, even if it is just a visit from Vincent Van Goat, who is one of our rescued residents living at the Frugaldom sanctuary.

We are special, we are quirky, we are affordable, we are niche, we are at Frugaldom. We will hold the ampervan aire open until the end of the year then assess the situation from there.

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