Strangers on the marsh – The Property Chronicle
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Strangers on the marsh

The Farmer

How uninvited guests can bring unexpected delights

Farmers are apt to rail against uninvited people on their land. I am no exception, yet the farm would be a poorer place without them. ‘The 1066’ runs out from Pevensey Castle’s Roman walls and Norman keep, along our riverbank and on across the county. On a busy summer weekend, several hundred people will cross the farm and in the week it can be nearly as busy. Many thousands of visits in a year. In the depths of winter or in bad weather, nobody comes. We can claim some peace in those moments.

When stopped on the path, visitors are immediately defensive. Polite enquiry into their business though, is greeted with relief and what follows is usually a genuine interest in the farmer before them. Somehow their traverse through someone’s home is made more remarkable by the actual manifestation of that someone. In welcoming them, the landscape becomes more special and more connected. They, too, become more acceptable to the farmer.

“He had grown up in the Italian Dolomites on a mountain stock farm, one where in winter the cows were housed in a downstairs room in the family home”






The Farmer

About Martin Hole

Martin Hole

Martin Hole farms at Montague on the wetlands of the Pevensey Levels in East Sussex. Part family-owned and part rented, the 300ha organic enterprise provides a home to about 150 cattle and nearly 2,000 head of sheep, with a small diversification into residential property and a fledgling green tourism business. A former RSPB UK Lapwing Champion, Martin remains fascinated by the provision of wilderness whilst trying to keep the farm intact for three daughters.

Articles by Martin Hole

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