Sunday 30 June 2024

This Frugaldom Corner of Scotland

Rescued foals

In 2020, with the COVID lockdowns hanging heavy over all of us, we struggled along, devoid of volunteers, gainful employment (or self-employment) and with support at an all time low. Several friends lost their jobs, their businesses and their loved ones. Times were pretty grim. We had just taken in 5 emergency rehomings late 2019 - a Shetland pony, plus 4 colt foals that had been part of a large rescue operation in South Wales.

We survived 2020 and then into 2021. With the support of a few vanlifers and a planning exemption certificate from Dumfries & Galloway Council allowing us to charge £5 per night for visiting campervans and motorhomes, we made it through 2021, having rehomed the Shetland pony but gained a laminitic retiree. Estimated costs of keeping a pony here average £1,000 per year and £10,000 is a huge amount to pay out just on feed, bedding and hoofcare. We are lucky in that we have no rent, mortgage or other debts to service so as long as the animals are fed, we are fine. 
Yard parking

When the council exemption certificate ended, we decided to continue with our 'aire', the certification transferring to the organisation called 'MotorhomeFun'. We remain licensed for up to 5 campervans, only now it is through CAMpRA Rally. 

We remain at £5 per night for stopovers. We are still off-grid with no services other than a soakaway for waste tap water and a tank for emptying cassettes from portable toilets. We are still devoid of visitors, volunteers or supporters most of the time, despite being listed in many of the relevant sites, directories and mobile apps. This makes us a great hideaway for anyone travelling around our part of southwest Scotland. 
A holiday park or campsite is something we will never become but if you love wildlife and nature, plus ponies and the odd goat, you are welcome to stop in for a visit, park up, stay a night, a weekend, a week or a fortnight. Just remember that all you get for £5 per night is a safe place to park and a memory of Frugaldom. We recommend you bring peanuts, eggs and apples for the pine marten and badger clan. some dog food for the fox or cat food for the feral cats. Alternatively, you could bring carrots, apples, celery or bananas for the ponies and goat.

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