Bivouac jobs [Read me!]
Foraging with Taste the Wild [Read me!]
And the Winner is…... [Read me!]
Bivouac Loves….Curious Handmade… [Read me!]
Jane Corbett Makes Bivouacs Spring Time Wishes... [Read me!]
A day Woodland Printmaking at Hackfall! [Read me!]
Beth Hardwick posted this on 12th Dec 2011
On Sunday we had the privilege to meet a lovely family who wanted to come meet us, see what we are up to at Biv and ponder on what connections there might be for further thought. Jo, James, Oscar, Annie - joined in the fun around site for a few hours before heading home. Jo wrote a blog entry for us last night - made me shed a tear I have to admit! I thought you should get to read it….
Thanks Jo x
This afternoon we braved the wintery weather to make a trip to North Yorkshire to meet Beth & Sam, the inspirational husband and wife team at The Bivouac.
Armed with directions we headed north of Ripon, turning left when we got to the market town of Masham. As the lanes got narrower, we got more excited about what we’d find at the end of the road. We headed uphill through woodland towards the Druid Temple and hung a left into the farm, at least that’s what the directions said, but we parked up on the road deciding that if we parked in the field we may never get out again!
We donned our wellies and with our 18 month old ensconced in the backpack, we squelshed towards the farmhouse, with our 5 year old saying ‘I love slippy slidey mud, I think I’ll call it “fun mud”!’ As we arrived at a long stone building, debating which door was the door to the farmhouse, there appeared Beth to greet us and welcome us into her home. And welcome us she (& the rest of the team) did! The minute we arrived we were made to feel at home, the kettle was on, and the kids ran off to play with Beth & Sam’s kids.
Around the big farmhouse table, over tea and cakes, we met Hazel, another member of the Bivouac team, and Georgie, a family friend who was up for the weekend. Following a sharing of our stories – what had brought us together – and some time spent hearing Beth & Sam’s vision, Hazel and Georgie kindly offered to keep an eye on the kids whilst we had a tour of the site.
Wow! The vision was impressive, but seeing the vision coming to life was even more so. After spending only a couple of hours at The Bivouac, I’m not sure I’m qualified to successfully convey the vision – you’d be better talking to Beth & Sam for that, but here’s what we found so impressive…
Amongst the mud (of which there is much) there are “shacks” as Beth and Sam term them, being put up in the woods. “Shacks” really doesn’t do them justice… they’re round cut timber cabins sleeping up to 7 with verandas, en-suite bathrooms and wood burning stoves. As we viewed the impressive timber framed, wooden clad structures, Beth shared with us a story of the happy times she and Sam and their eldest daughter had had whilst living in a converted garden shed!
The tour took us to see the bases for the yurts which will soon be arriving onsite; a number of barns which are taking shape as: a camping barn; a shop and reception; housing for the biomass boiler which will heat the main buildings and a 60 seat café with additional outside space in the courtyard and walled garden. All of which sits in a fantastic location looking out over the valley with views stretching over 40 miles on a clear day to York and Roseberry Topping – a hill which, incidentally, I spent many a happy childhood hour climbing!
As Beth and Sam, talked of all the people they were working with to make the vision a reality – investors, suppliers, partners, volunteers, locals – it stuck me how brilliantly they epitomise true partnership working. They know that collaboration is what will ultimately deliver their vision.
Returning to the farmhouse and back to the farmhouse table to warm ourselves by the fire and for more tea and cakes, we had a further chance to hear of the current challenges The Bivouac team are juggling… meeting the needs of multiple stakeholders; recruiting and motivating volunteers to help them develop the site; project managing multiple teams who are all working on site concurrently; preparing all the elements of the site (shacks, yurts, camping barn, shop, café, road, car park, landscaping, etc.) to be ready for visitors in April 2012; recruiting staff to run the site post-April; sourcing reclaimed and recycled furniture which can then be renovated and used on site; developing relationships with partners to provide different offerings enhance the guest experience. And these are just a few of their challenges – there are many more besides!
Following further talk of next steps in our exploration of how we can work together, Beth, Sam and the kids along with Hazel & Georgie dashed to the local church for the Christingle service as we squelshed our way back to the car reflecting on Beth and Sam’s drive, focus, commitment and courage to make their vision a reality. Their values of sustainability, family and connectedness really came across to us in the short time we spent with them and we saw how their creativity, ideas and energy along with their openness and desire to create meaningful relationships will make The Bivouac an amazing place to be enjoyed by many people. They’re a genuinely visionary couple who are making a difference in the world.
As we drove back down the hill through the woods at dusk, we were blessed to see a deer cross our path. It was a magical moment. The deer embodies many of the principles of The Bivouac… love, grace, peace, beauty, humility, creativity, spirituality, happiness, a keen awareness of environment, connected, trusting, co-operative and ‘homonym’ the Chinese word for deer which means abundance.
But as we drove away I wondered whether the deer appeared to remind us of all that The Bivouac symbolised or as a message to us to trust our instincts and be enticed into a new adventure…
Beth Hardwick posted this on 06th Nov 2011
Rum hot chocolate
Thanks for those who came - watch out for next years Bivouac bonfire!
Beth Hardwick posted this on 31st Oct 2011
We are BUSY!
Running around like headless chickens we are…. the office is never empty and the site has more mud churn than our wellies can cope with!
But it is coming together and we are loving this weather… it does not feel like winter yet? Maybe I am speaking to soon…..
A few pics to share with you…
Beth Hardwick posted this on 20th Oct 2011
We are amazed at how many folk are helping us raise money in memory of our daughter Florie. The Bivouac team are so excited to see this happen and we all want to thank you so much for your help. Keep it up! Want want to raise £25,000 to get the best in keeping natural play area here for families to enjoy for years to come.
Check out facebook page - ‘Florence Briah Play Park’, as well ‘Gifts for Florie’ and help us spread the word and raise funds.
THANK YOU FOR RAISING £1,400 SO FAR!
Beth Hardwick posted this on 25th Sep 2011
ACER / ILEX / QUERCUS / CASTANIA / SAMBUCUS / TILIA / CORYLUS / PYRUS / SALIX / CARPINUS / CRATAGUS / TECTONA / POPULUS / ULNUS
First one to get it right wins a prize!
Beth Hardwick posted this on 11th Sep 2011
Two shots from our last event here at The Biv…. this event was organised in a week! So just think what we can do if we had more time….
I am looking for a someone… can you help? A chap called the office a month ago asking about events here… I want to call him back but the number I have for him is wrong!
So for any local folk…... if you know of a Gary Biddlescombe from Kirkby Malzard… can you ask him to call us? I’d love to have a chat….
Beth Hardwick posted this on 30th Aug 2011
I think our builders are having too much tea! They might say it’s the rain but I am sure big burly Yorkshire builders should be used to working in the rain?
Mind you - they are doing a great job… I’ve been very excited to see the developments today (having hidden away for a few weeks). Sam calls me Alan Sugar as I crack the whip… I think that is a little harsh… but I won’t be cracking this whip just yet.. as there is much evidence of hard work around this site.
The cafe barn is coming along… the toilet block is looking restored and the shop and reception area is now dry!
Just at the tip of the iceberg as they say… but I am encouraged.. if not totally overwhelmed!
Beth Hardwick posted this on 29th Aug 2011
Over the last few months Sam and I have been working hard to try and clean up the woodland here. In and around Druids Temple - we see many visitors come and visit the site. Most folk are here to enjoy the woods and the folly. Sadly however there are those who come up at night to abuse this space. We now cannot count how many times we have been met with car racing teens who are over the limit… out of control fires…. parties which get out of hand… rubbish all over the woodland, broken glass, cars broken into and wallets stolen….and more.
To be honest - having to go up to the woodland every night - sometimes more than three times… can get a bit tiring. Mostly because these night callers are not the folk who are here to love but to abuse or at least to abuse us!
This site is private land. There is a policy clearly signposted which states that there is NO CAMPING and NO FIRES to be lit. The Bivouac now manage this area and we are keen to see this place loved, used in the right way and celebrated. We are not trying to be party poopers… or ruin plans for a nice night away. We simply cannot have one rule for one group and another for others. It won’t be long before you can camp here - in the appropriate way.
This weekend we met a group of four family’s who camped here. When at five pm I told them that by nine pm they would have to leave… they laughed at me and totally ignored me. They told us that they had camped here for years and they were not leaving. They lit fires and carried on doing what they wanted. We found them to be rude, self centered and in total disregard for us, our aims on this site and for our management. It is a very tricky thing for us… we love folk to go camping and enjoy the outdoors. BUT how can we manage this site with people like this thinking they can behave in this way?
It made me mad. I am grieving the loss of my daughter right now…this journey is not one I have any control over. When I was met with this behavior this weekend - something inside flipped. It took all I had in me not to go up there and scream at them…. and tell them of my pain, my loss, my reaction to their ignorant, selfish behavior and the lessons they are teaching their own children.
Instead I had to take deep breaths and grieve quietly here at home.
On their departure - a few days later… they broke open our locked gate, stole one of our bins and left us a LARGE BUCKET OF HUMAN POOH! Nice…. what kind of people leave their own sh.. in a bucket for others to deal with?
Sadly these people and many more.. have now made it even more difficult for us to be as open and flexible as we’d like with this space. We now need to tighten the rules and go against our ethos… whilst we are developing this site for the celebration we know it will be.
So - if you know of anyone who comes up here to abuse this area… or folk who think they can behave how they want with no regard for others… just warn them will you - that there is a grieving woman here who has had enough of people like this…..... !
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