Foxholes Coppice was a small woodland situated just outside of Bishop’s Castle.
Bishop’s Castles ‘Railway to nowhere’ closes after 70 years. The sleepers were re-used in creating our drive. You will note the ‘rhythmical’ driveway from the ridges they have created.
Foxholes House was built by the Estate Manager for Lydham Manor. The House was built using stone quarried from Squilver Quarry by Lydham with a castellated roof
Local rumour has it that Haile Selassie visited the Foxholes whilst he and his family were staying at Walcott Hall in exile after fleeing Africa when Mussolini conquered Ethiopia.
Mrs Borthwick, the Great Granddaughter of the Welsh industrialist and Liberal politician, David Davies Llandinam purchases Foxholes and renames it Borthwick. It would remain as Borthwick until we purchased the small holding in May 2006.
Chris and Wendy Jones, a local family purchases the Foxholes. Now a run down small holding with glimmers of a previous life, with a milking parlour to the rear and original Maids Bells in the Kitchen. With the hard work and support of Friends, Family, Local people and Shropshire Council they set about transforming the land into a wildlife haven, with a campsite designed to embrace the beauty that surrounds it.
The campsite opened Whitson Bank Holiday. Having transforming the garage into 3 wet-rooms and planting over 850 trees, hedges and coppices. It was a wet summer but meeting our lovely guests inspired us. In August we expanded by purchasing our first Static caravan.
The mission continued, planting more trees and repairing fences during the winter. Work started on converting the old milking parlour into a bunkhouse. 2008 was another wet year but dream was becoming a reality. We finished the season by purchasing a second Static Caravan to hire.
We worked through the winter expanding our hedgerows and introducing new coppices, inspired by already seeing an increase in numbers and variety of birds and wildlife.
During Spring work began on removing the ruined chicken shed. In the footprint of which we built the new Solar toilet/shower block. In conjunction to this we excavated an old well to supply the flushing water, the worst job ever! Cold, wet and claustrophobic! The new toilet/shower block was completed by Good Friday 2009.
To work with the Well we relined a huge water tank that was beneath the wet-rooms and converted this into a rain water store to assist with the toilet flushing.
This winter was spent working on our rollercoaster drive. Originally built on railway sleepers they were rotting and collapsing. We dug down and widened the drive scrounging every scrap of rubble from the whole of Bishop’s Castle!
At the end of 2010s season it was decided that we would be selling our first Static and replacing it with a purpose built EcoCabin. The Cabin was built with full insulation so that it would be toasty all year round. The cabin has large constantia doors that look out on the stunning views the spill out in front of it.
The debate of the winter was Photo Voltaic Vs Windmills and whether or not to borehole…?
260ft deeper we have clean potable water and a borehole! Also, we now have Photo Voltaic which have been working well despite the poor weather.
This summer Cool Camping got in contact and the result of which is that we got featured in four Sunday Papers!
We have created a covered common room with washing up sinks and indoor seating. The recycling point has been relocated into a coppice.
Continuing on our quest to increase natural environments we have created a wildlife pond and have continued to plant in excess of 600 trees.
During the Winter we sold the second Static Caravan and began the creation of our 6 berth Datcha.
The fruits of our labour are evident with the sightings of both a Barn and Tawny Owl on site. The pond is proving popular with Dragon Flies, Frogs and insects.
10 years of plans, hard work, and learning on the Foxholes has flown by. To say thank you to our loyal campers we have treated you to some heaters for the toilet block! Looking back at old photographs Foxholes is unrecognisable from the barren small holding on the top of a hill. A lot of effort has gone into creating this green oasis for wildlife but being able to share it with our guests and hearing their awe makes it all worthwhile.
Following 10 years of midnight arrivals and 7am phone-calls, long summers days and hard labour during the winter, we decided to call for some help! Our daughter Bridie, who help set the campsite up will be returning with her partner Adam.
During the winter of 2017 we built ourselves our new home down by the wildlife pond. Inspired and using the knowledge from creating the cabins we built a single storey wood clad building looking across the valley.
Adam and Bridie have invested in a Catering Trailer that is situated on site. The Greedy Fox serves breakfasts over the weekends and is looking to expand into occasional evening meals too!
The adventure continues…