Picket Pods – new venture for Welsh rural farmer

Pod style Camping in South Wales

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the past eight years Mike Gibbon has been sharing his time between running his family farm and developing the successful shed and stable business Ashdown Cabins in the Vale of Glamorgan, South Wales with his bother Howard.

However more recently he has introduced a third string to his bow turning part of his small arable farm, also in the Vale of Glamorgan, into a destination for alternative camping.

Glamping in South Wales - Pod chaletsCombining the skills he has acquired whilst developing his shed businesses, Mike has now established the campsite ‘Picket Pods’ which houses six of their glamping style pods, which are wooden, purpose built chalets with arc shaped roofs, so whilst those inside get the feel of camping in a tent, the Pod itself remains warm and water tight – an attractive feature when considering our sometimes unpredictable weather.

This venture has been something Mike and wife Alison, have considered for many years – wanting to make more of their beautiful farmland and landscapes. However the costs of such an initiative have always proved prohibitive, that is until they were introduced to the funding available through the Rural Development for Wales 2007 – 2013 by the Welsh Government and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development. More specifically, the Creative Rural Communities’ Pride in our Farming Families scheme was the source of the grant for the this project, whose aim is to support agricultural families who want to supplement their income by diversifying into other areas.

The grant that was secured allowed Mike to launch his venture and covered the cost for building and installation of the pods.

Glamping in South Wales - Pod camping, Sweet DreamsFunds were also made available for branding and marketing activities to help gain awareness for this new business and attract the attention needed to secure its success. For Mike and Alison this really is an exciting time “We’re really looking forward to welcoming our first visitors” “and hope to be able to employ additional staff to assist in the near future”. Having first had a taste of being a part of the tourist industry as a young boy, when his parents ran a B&B Mike is hoping that Picket Pods will allow him follow in their footsteps and extend the same warm welcome to his guests as his parents once did many years ago.