"As a business owner, its wonderful to be able to adapt our current business and expand it, whilst remaining loyal to the integrity of the farm."
Owner and managing director, Suzanne Miller
An ambitious Tattenhall farmer has launched a new venture aimed at providing high end glamping and camping experiences in the heart of the Cheshire countryside.
Suzanne Miller, along with her husband, Drew, runs Broad Oak Farm on the Bolesworth Estate, and has recently set up Pitch & Canvas to offer spacious pods, classic bell tents, and tent pitches all in a tranquil paddock with breathtaking views of Sandstone Ridge.
Guests will receive the ultimate glamping experience; however there’s also the option to get a real insight into the running of a working dairy farm.
Suzanne, who originally created Pitch & Canvas to diversify Broad Oak Farm and bring their dairy trade into the modern world, said: “Glamping has seen a real surge in popularity over the past few years, with people wanting to make the most of the great British countryside, whilst still enjoying the luxury that comes with a standard holiday.
“Broad Oak offers the perfect opportunity to marry nature and business together, and create a unique offering which not only supports the growth of the farm but opens us up to a completely new market and audience.”
When developing her proposition for the farm, Suzanne attended business and marketing masterclasses run by Reaseheath College’s European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) funded SME Business Growth Programme.
“As a business owner, it’s wonderful to be able to adapt our current business and expand it, whilst remaining loyal to the integrity of the farm,” she added. “The support I have had from Reaseheath has been fantastic and without them, I would have had no idea how to turn our idea into a proper business.
“The team at Reaseheath were very supportive of my idea and initial plan, offering advice and support on aspects of marketing, trademarking, and company structure. It was vital to be able to chat through our initial ideas with professionals who not only are experts in business development, but understand the pressures currently facing the farming industry.”
Janet Nuzum, ERDF Business Advisor at Reaseheath, added: “Suzanne has been wonderful to work alongside as part of the SME growth programme. Her enthusiasm, vision and work-ethic are second to none and they have wonderful future plans for Pitch & Canvas.
“Farming is an incredibly competitive industry, which is facing a host of challenges and external pressures; so, it’s extremely encouraging to see farmers taking initiative and diversifying their offering to capitalise on developing economic opportunities.
“We hope to work with more businesses who share Suzanne’s forward-thinking approach over the course of our programme.”
As part of its exclusive glamping experience, Pitch & Canvas will also offer guests the opportunity to see part of the working farm; from watching the cows being milked, through to baby calves being fed.
“Broad Oak Farm will remain a fully functioning dairy farm,” added Suzanne. “So, as a unique experience, we will have the opportunity to allow our guests and visitors to see some of the daily duties that come with running a dairy farm. The can observe milking time in the parlour and if they are lucky enough may even get to see a new calf being born.
“If you’d rather not get involved with the farm though, our beautiful location offers peace and tranquility and also easy access to popular north west tourist attractions. There’s the popular Ice Cream Farm a short walk by public footpath, or Cheshire Candle Factory and Chester Zoo are easily reached by car. Guests can also have lazy summer days and relaxing evenings round the fire pit toasting marshmallows through to stargazing with no artificial light.
“We’re already seeing strong interest come through, as we look to support popular leisure events, including Car Fest, Classic Ibiza, and The Great British Proms. Hopefully it will prove to be a successful first summer in business for us.”
Pitch & Canvas is also working with outdoor education company Get Outside the Classroom to provide accommodation to schools and colleges for various activities such as the Duke of Edinburgh Award and residential courses.
Part of Pitch & Canvas’s mission is to show children the joys of the countryside and allow them to encounter a rural experience, which will improve their skills outside of the classroom. Children will get to enjoy team building activities, pond dipping, survival skills, bug hunting amongst the programme of events.
Bookings will be taken throughout July, with the site opening on 1 August 2017. Enquiries can be made by calling 01829 770325 or emailing email@example.com.