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4.7 out of 5 stars
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 27 April 2013
I'm a big fan of the Springwatch and Autumnwatch wildlife programmes, and since Kate Humble has not presented the last few series, I don't think that I will be on my own in saying that she has been missed.
Back in 2007, Kate and her husband, Ludo, left London and bought a house and a few acres of land in Monmouthshire. The early part of this book charts Kate's move to her new home and her experiences of being a smallholder. It then moves on to Kate's filming of the Lambing Live programme and how that inspired them to buy another farm and set up Humble By Nature, a rural skills and animal husbandry school.
I knew that I would enjoy this book, and anyone that likes reading about animals, farming and the countryside will also enjoy it. It's also informative for anyone interested in farm animals, being a smallholder or setting up a similar business. I enjoyed reading about the challenges of setting up Humble by Nature, the various people involved and all the animals.
The book is written in a straightforward and down-to-earth style and Kate's warm, friendly personality shines through. The colour photographs complete the story.
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on 28 April 2013
I really enjoyed this book. Kate Humble has a very readable writing style, and her account of how she moved from London to South Wales, first to buy a smallholding, but then to buy a farm, makes compelling reading.
I found myself admiring both her and her husband Ludo Graham immensely, as they overcame a daunting number of hurdles to realize their dream of owning a farm, and creating something very special.
Red tape and inertia of the local Council, by no means the complete support of their neighbours and local community, and even bolshy Architects, were some of the many problems that would have made most people give up, and just go back to enjoying their fulfilling careers and life.
But Kate Humble has proven herself to be so much more than the average television celebrity. She has put her money where her mouth is, and (with the considerable support and help of her husband) created something of lasting value, to farming and conservation alike.
`Humble by nature', the business they have created, teaches people to reconnect to the land, by running courses for adults and children, teaching them farming, rural crafts, sustainability and conservation.
This is an inspiring read, and Kate and Ludo's efforts should be greatly applauded by all who care about the future of farming and the countryside. Recommended.
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on 17 May 2013
I bought this book hoping to keep it to read on my holiday, but there is still two weeks before I go and I have finished it already! It is so well written and I wanted it to go on and on, but I guess I will have to wait for the next one, so I am hoping Kate is scribbling away and keeping up with what is happening in Monmouthshire! Rather than making me want to keep animals, which is what I thought would happen, it made me realise how difficult it is. Even keeping bees, which I thought looked easy, is clearly not. Everyone who has a dream of smallholding should read this book and enrol on one of Kate's courses before they do, to make sure they know what it entails.
Keep scribbling Kate - I am waiting for the next book!
Jane
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I will admit that I wasn't a fan of Kate Humble in Springwatch. Cheerful and enthusiastic; weren't wildlife presenters meant to be ernest and unsmiling? I didn't change that view until Wild Shepherdess when her naturalness shone through, a quality that is evident in this book. Who would have thought that in her younger years she had lived in a squat and, didn't see University as part of a career path?

It starts like a scenario from Location, Location, Location. A London couple want to move to the countryside and raise chickens, but hold on. This is more than a celebrity with Hunter 'wellies playing the farmer. Anyone who has dealt with a local Council will empathise with her frustration that led to writing e-mails to planning officers in the early hours. Then there's literally getting her hands dirty and learning the many skills required of a smallholder.

This is a good read, full of passion and warmth. We need more people like Kate Humble to keep our countryside alive.
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on 29 May 2014
This book has proved to be a really good read in an unexpected way. The book is indeed very well written, with humorous anecdotes and stories which manly revolve around her small holding and the new farm Kate and husband Ludo purchased. It does occasionally seem to jump a bit and in the early pages, - the early years of her career, years seem to be missing a bit and you feel she could have added a touch more info there, but that aside it has been a real eye opener.

Living rurally, in West Wales and being surrounded by farms, it's not until you read this book you begin to appreciate the struggles, hurdles and problems faced by smallholders and farmers alike, not to mention the tremendous knowledge we are letting go in this country. It may not seem that interesting to read about setting up a small holding, or running a farm, but you will learn SO much from this book in ways you would never imagine, and it really will open your eyes and you'll never look at things the same way again.

Kate is very pragmatic. Chickens are there for eggs and food. Pigs are there to breed and be eaten etc but over all of that comes across a sense of love for the animals and a very real desire to help in any small way they can to keep Britain's farming alive. Thoroughly enjoyable.
One of the best reads for a long time, go ahead and buy it. Brilliant.
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on 6 November 2015
A good insightful narrative of the setting up of Kate and Ludo's enterprising farm venture.
The way Kate Humble tells the story is characteristic of her easy friendly style that comes across on screen however it flits lightly over some of the immensely tough core and engaging personality she must possess to have succeeded in bringing so many people together to make a going venture of the idea.
Thanks Kate, another book please ( when you have time!) .
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on 19 April 2016
This book was a present for my wife which I have also now read. It is an enjoyable and entertaining book which brings out the personality of Kate and her love of nature. The ups and downs of setting up home on a Welsh farm as novices from London and their relationship with their neighbours.
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on 21 May 2015
I could not put this book down. Kate's enthusiasm for her new way of life is infectious, but she pulls no punches regarding the snags either, and really tells it like it is; its fascinating - a great story, but realistic at the same time. I was sorry to reach the end of the book.
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on 22 March 2015
This is a really down to earth read, factual with the romance and honesty of working hard to make your dream come to fruition. I loved the grit and determination that Kate talks about alongside the human element of loving all animals and people. Her enthusiasm falls off the pages and the characters both animal and human that fill the book come to life. It's an easy read, a book I just couldn't put down as I needed to know if they got there in the end. The fact that it is a true story makes it all the more interesting. Recommended for anyone who has ever wanted to live on a farm or own a few pigs or rekindle those memories of farm holidays as a kid. Every page is a breath of fresh air.
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on 19 June 2014
Loved every minute of reading about Kate Humble - she is a very hardworking lady and comes over as she does on the television screen - just herself.

Its amazing how many animals she ends up with!!

Thoroughly recommend- a good read.
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