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My daughter and I live in a tiny cottage next to a small river. We are lucky enough to have a large garden and a separate rented plot of land, which we divide into paddocks for our two driving ponies. We grow lots of herbs, vegetables and soft fruit in our cottage garden.
We keep a hive of bees and we share our lives with a selection of other wonderful animals (more about all those later).
We try to live very simply and as close to nature as is possible here and we try to maintain our plot and our home using permaculture practices. The cottage is heated with foraged and free firewood. Wood also heats our water.
We gather wild food and make preserves and other yummy things and we barter produce and my labour with other people in our community. Rainwater is used on the garden and to water our animals. We also make LOTS of compost! Our garden is a haven for wildlife, with a good-sized wildlife pond, the river along one boundary, various bird nest boxes, bug boxes, bee boxes, bat boxes and bird feeders scattered about the place. We leave wild corners untouched to encourage as much wildlife and insect life here as possible. We garden organically. No chemicals have been used on our plot since we moved here. So far we have seen deer, badgers, hedgehogs, woodmice, weasels, barn, little and tawny owls, sparrow hawks, kingfishers, bank voles, firecrests, wrens, dunnocks, long-tailed tits, blue tits, coal tits, great tits, mistle thrushes, blackbirds, collared doves, plus lots of wild waterfowl ( we live opposite a wetland conservation area)…and many, many more species.
We live in hope of seeing an otter!