Farming couple’s cottage industry
- Credit: Archant
A couple is celebrating after renovating seven of nine cottages on their farm as part of a painstaking five-year diversification project.
Susie and Stuart Bradshaw decided to upgrade the cottages to provide environmentally-friendly holiday accommodation after buying 22-acre Gladwins Farm at Stoke by Nayland from Susie’s parents.
Since taking over in 2010, seven of the nine cottages have been completely refurbished, and a new games room, beauty suite, shop and indoor and outdoor play areas added, alongside woodland trails and organised seasonal activities. The couple also keeps pigs, chickens and goats.
“We wanted to appeal to a wider market and felt there was so much potential to really improve what we were offering,” said Susie.
“From feedback from our customers, and a close analysis of our competition, we’ve slowly upgraded our facilities and introduced new ones to ensure we appeal to everyone.”
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Alongside the painstaking upgrade, the farm has also become self-sufficient and now runs all its electricity from solar panels. It secured a grant to install a woodchip boiler for heating.
“It was very important to us to find ways to respect the environment so we could offer a greener holiday to our clients. We source all our wood chip locally and everything we sell on site in our shop is provided by local businesses in the region,” said Susie.
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“It has been a hard five years, but it’s been worth it as we now have a proposition that can compete with other cottages across the country. Our aim now is to finish the final two cottages, upgrade our driveaway and market the business more effectively to increase bookings throughout the year.”