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The Practical Guide to Buying and Running a Smallholding in Wales [Paperback]

Liz Shankland
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
Price: 14.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

Nov 2008
More and more of us are dreaming of escaping the rat-race, moving to Wales and embracing 'the good life'. But could you really do it, and what might lie ahead? Liz Shankland's practical guide book is a no-nonsense guide to buying and running a smallholding in Wales, aimed at would-be downshifters, wherever they may live.

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The Practical Guide to Buying and Running a Smallholding in Wales + Smallholding Manual: The Complete Step-by-step Guide
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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: University of Wales Press (Nov 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0708321380
  • ISBN-13: 978-0708321386
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 16.7 x 23.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 501,426 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Unlike lots of my current friends, I wasn't born a farmer - far from it. I was brought up in a terraced house in the South Wales valleys and spent 30 years as a journalist and broadcaster before discovering there was more to life.

Back in 2000, I accidentally - yes, accidentally - bought a smallholding, and started keeping livestock. Since then, I've never looked back.

In my previous life, I used to interview celebrities and politicians, go to fancy media events, and swan around in designer clothes. When I bought my hilltop smallholding, all my smart outfits went on eBay to help buy a tractor; nowadays, you're unlikely to recognise any of the labels I wear unless you're a fan of heavy-duty wellies or waterproof overalls.

I have a prize-winning herd of pedigree Tamworth pigs - one of our native rare breeds - and I exhibit extensively at agricultural shows across the UK. My sows have won the prestigious Tamworth Champion of Champions competition, which is a pretty good endorsement of the quality of the herd. I also breed Herdwick sheep, rear bronze turkeys for Christmas, keep hens for eggs, grow fruit and veg, and recently planted a small orchard for cider and perry. Some of the produce is sold at local farmers' markets, but even more goes direct to regular customers who like to buy half a pig or lamb, butchered to their requirements.

One of my passions is getting new people involved in smallholding, so I was thrilled when I was asked to write the Haynes Pig Manual, followed by the Haynes Smallholding Manual; look out for the Haynes Sheep Manual next, due to be published in 2015. For the past three years, I've also been teaching courses for smallholders at Humble by Nature, the rural skills school set up by TV presenter Kate Humble at her farm in Monmouthshire. See www.humblebynature.com for details.

What comes next? Who knows what's around the corner? Whatever it is, it's a lot better than spending several hours each day sitting in commuter traffic and even longer stuck inside an anonymous office block.

If you'd like to find out more about me and my animals, you can visit my websites, www.biggingerpigs.com and www.lizshankland.com. I write for a variety of publications, including Country Smallholding magazine, for which I'm the resident pig expert, columnist, and book reviewer.

If you're visiting any of the major agricultural shows in the UK, do check out the pig section and see if I'm there with any of my show team. I never tire of talking about livestock, so please come and have a chat.

Happy smallholding!


Product Description

From the Author

Whether you're considering quitting the rat-race and going for full self-sufficiency, or simply planning to buy yourself a cordon sanitaire as a buffer zone between yourself and the rest of the world, this book will help you to achieve your goal.
I was brought up in a tiny terraced house in industrial south Wales, but learned from scratch how to run a smallholding, raise and care for livestock, and market my own produce. If I can do it, so can you! Good luck!

About the Author

Liz Shankland is a journalist and broadcaster; she writes a weekly column, Down to Earth, in the Western Mail and is editor of Welsh Wildlife magazine; she also broadcasts for BBC and S4C.

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Customer Reviews

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4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really helpful practical advice! 24 Mar 2009
Very enjoyable read, we're about to buy a place in Wales with 4 acres of land to develop so this couldn't have turned up at a better time! Well written and informative, plus when I had questions the author replied to a personal email I sent her, which is rare these days! Looking forward to re-reading the book as specific situations arise, but it's quite easy to dip into as and when needed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Smallholders guide 15 Sep 2012
By Sam
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I read this book last year when we were contemplating leaving the area we lived in. we only got one county away but the book was very inspiring and dealt with the reality of going to live in a completely different area, in Liz's cse with a different language as well. They still speak English in Gloucestershire, where I am now and I haven't got even an acre but Liz's book has inspired me to GO FOR IT in a sensible way. I have Vegetables, pigs, dogs and soon will have chickens and when we find our plot in Wales Devon or Shetland there will be more.Thank you Liz for your sound advice and inspiration
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book 10 Jun 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Really enjoyed this book. Lots of very practical tips and information. There was enough detail to make it understandable for the beginner and yet also to be used for reference later on. I particularly enjoyed the section on Welsh culture and the importance of integrating if moving there as an incomer. The pictures were interesting and clear. Overall I felt it was an honest and thought-provoking book providing a warts and all account of what it is like to buy and run a smallholding in Wales. Highly recommended.
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