Meon Valley farm goes glam and grows its flock of shepherd’s huts

Sedge, one of the new shepherds huts at Meon Springs Picture: Malcolm Wells (160822-3222)
Sedge, one of the new shepherds huts at Meon Springs Picture: Malcolm Wells (160822-3222)

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VISITORS to Meon Springs – the diversified farming business in the Meon Valley and home to a commercial fly fishery – can relax in luxury.

The farm has taken delivery of two new hand-built shepherd’s huts expanding the glamping – short for glamorous camping – accommodation it offers.

The tranquil River Meon Picture: Malcolm Wells (160822-6952)

The tranquil River Meon Picture: Malcolm Wells (160822-6952)

The huts were made by Midlands-based Riverside Shepherd Huts and brings the total number of huts on offer for visitors to stay at Meon Springs to six.

Each hut sleeps two with a pull-down bed, kitchenette, shower and loo. They have been beautifully crafted, fully insulated and can be used throughout the year.

The expansion in glamping at Meon Springs was due, in part, to Rural Development Programme for England funding aimed at helping rural businesses grow and diversify into areas such as tourism.

The RDPE Programme is funded through the Common Agricultural Policy which is led by the European Union.

Jamie Butler checks his crops 


Picture: Malcolm Wells (160822-3181)

Jamie Butler checks his crops Picture: Malcolm Wells (160822-3181)

The fund is managed locally by the Fieldfare Leader Local Action Group.

Jamie Butler, who looks after the shepherd’s huts at Meon Springs, helped pioneer glamping in the area. In 2009, it was one of the first places in the UK to put up authentic Mongolian yurts, quickly followed by the huts.

At the time the farm was so ahead of the curve the word glamping hadn’t even made it into the dictionary.

Jamie said: ‘All our shepherd’s huts are named after fishing flies. Hawthorn, Damsel, Mayfly and Montana.

‘And our new ones are the same – they’re called Sedge and Alder and they make a perfect getaway for couples, anglers or individuals who just want to enjoy the peace and quiet of this lovely place.’

The farm has self-storage units and hopes to become a conference centre – although it’s still a working farm and is home to 450 cows, whose milk is sold to Sainsbury’s.