Running a standard tent camp site

Pasty

Member
Location
Devon
We have gained permission for our 'Glamping' site but are only using 2 of the 10 pitches we are allowed on the site. This is to make it 'high end glam'.

So I'm now thinking. What if we fenced off half the field and did standard tents in the other bit. No caravans as the lanes are not practical for that. Just 8 tent pitches sold night by night.

If we did that, what do we need to think about? Equipment we have is a double compost loo which could be deployed. Access is OK and happy to do matting for cars etc. Could put up a shower shed pretty quickly. Or could rent in or buy loo / shower trailers etc.

Does anyone run a small scale tent site like this and if so, any advise ref. expectations, potential problems etc.?

Thanks.
 

Old Tip

Member
Location
Cumbria
Sounds good as long as your campers don’t upset your glampers. We only take pre bookings which limits the clientele but does mean you can vet them before they come and they’ve already paid so can’t do a runner on you. If you can sell them eggs etc as well it’s a win win
 

Pasty

Member
Location
Devon
Thanks. Thinking about it, we have a whole site license so they could go in the next field which is across a drive. Can definitely sell them eggs etc.
 
As many of you know I have visited a lot of farm camp sites.

Most people are fine. Try to deter bookings from large groups (unless you want a women's rugby team staying and going on the razz), have rules printed on a form you give to people, IE 11pm its quiet time.

You can hire folk firebowls and then flog them overpriced logs or recycled sawdust briquettes.

Don't just sell them eggs. Buy a half sensible fridge and stock it with milk, bacon and the like. One place we had even had a tuck-shop that sold all sorts and only opened for a couple of hours either side of lunchtime.

You definitely need a proper shower and loo block. The output of two dozen randoms and myself when I've been living on crisps and Groslch all weekend ain't gonna work in a composter loo. Dig a hole and put a septic tank in and pay a proper man to take it away. Likewise need hot water and a wash-up area.

If you are really nice you can offer kids play equipment. Proper built ones from a proper company will be easy to insure. One farm we visited even had geese, pigs and stuff running around in a kind of open-air petting zoo. The kids loved it.

I would not bother with glamping, I'd just have the biggest possible space for folk to pitch tents and let them at it, £10-15 a night per tent. Allow dogs but insist they are cleaned up after and kept on a lead.

Parking and waste disposal are also issues to consider. Easy money otherwise for an plain open field you run the mower over a few times a month.
 
Location
Suffolk
I'm very pleased to hear of your planning success @Pasty :cool:

I put X 6 of our free range eggs in the fridge as a courtesy, no charge. Milk as well & a brown & white loaf. This 'little' service is much written about in the guest book as 'the little niceties' & goes down very well. I'm not a believer in charging for all & each thing as I believe I provide a 'better service' which is all in the nightly price. Some guests don't eat this stuff so we then use it so there's no loss. Main thing is happy guests who want to come again & again.
I will charge guests the going rate for another box of eggs if they want to take some home. This happens quite regularly.

Agree totally with the facilities being up to scratch. Pay attention here, no skid marks in the loo:LOL: & the chrome of the shower polished. When I did 'Bushcraft events' I spent most of my time cleaning the toilets and this kept folk very happy. This resulted in plenty of repeat business. I was using the 28 day rule then.
For me this years project is to demolish the existing os loo & rebuild a new, not damp out house with a fabulous shower! Then I can finally let out the yurt.(y)
SS
 

Pasty

Member
Location
Devon
Check out https://nearlywildcamping.org/ and there are others like this too, it'll suit if you want to minimise investment and want real campers rather than jam them in and potentially compromise a pleasant glamping operation.
Sounds good. Might fit in with the compost loos a bit better too. They are pretty posh though, made by Thunderbox. Longer term we will put in proper loos etc. but for now they work well.
 
Are you sure you can not get a caravan down your lane, do you now have a dust cart collection? If you want to maintain high end etc why not go adult only caravan/motorhome site. To start with they bring their own toilet and showers with them so no need to spend money on showers etc till you see if it’s worth doing. Just need level areas preferably hard standing to pitch on.
 

Pasty

Member
Location
Devon
Are you sure you can not get a caravan down your lane, do you now have a dust cart collection? If you want to maintain high end etc why not go adult only caravan/motorhome site. To start with they bring their own toilet and showers with them so no need to spend money on showers etc till you see if it’s worth doing. Just need level areas preferably hard standing to pitch on.
Probably want electric hook up as well?
 

Pasty

Member
Location
Devon
Not necessarily, there are a lot of people who quite like no electric as it deters those that don’t want just peace and quiet. In the winter yes more want electric but you could see how it went in the summer before committing to investment like that. Think you might be surprised.
Cheers. Will give it some thought.
 

honeyend

Member
I looked at putting electric in but to do it the investment is huge and with LED and solar batteries you have far less problems with 12volt and perhaps provide a camping stove, cooking wash area.
Have you seen this,http://www.britstops.com/aimsofbritstops.php
You do not charge for the pitch, but they expect very little, stay only one night as a rule and it may be away to test the market at little cost/disdurbance
 

Pitchup.com

Member
Location
London
We might be able to shed a bit of light on the toilet, shower and electricity questions.

Around 95% of sites listed on Pitchup.com provide toilets and showers: not only is it easier to attract guests by providing these facilities, but also they encourage longer stays and favourable reviews of your business when kept in good order. These are usually provided within either toilet blocks or portaloos.

Moveable structures on wheels or skids in connection with the use of the site, such as portable toilets, benefit from the 56 day permitted development rights. However, any day when such a temporary structure remains on site counts as one of the number of days permitted.

Electric hook-ups are increasingly popular - 56% of pitch bookings on Pitchup.com were for electric pitches in the year to January 2021. To find an electrical contractor, visit:

NICEIC 0870 013 0382 (UK)
ECA 0207 313 4800 (England and Wales)
SELECT 0131 445 5577 (Scotland)

Our FAQs have a bit more information on this as well as insurance, what you can expect to earn from a campsite and COVID-19 measures: https://www.pitchup.com/how-start-campsite-caravan-park/#FAQs
 
Location
Suffolk
What with the lockdowns this year and the now demolished outbuildings and therefore no outside 'facilities' we decided to sell the yurt. I am now looking at simple camping rather than the 'g'lamping idea. Fourteen years on our yurt area now shows as a permanent building on the satelite imagery:) so I may use this to build something circular and 'interesting' using all the remaining bricks..........There's a high probability of the new outbuildings being constructed as a shell this coming summer which is great as this will also house the intended GSHP.
SS
 
What with the lockdowns this year and the now demolished outbuildings and therefore no outside 'facilities' we decided to sell the yurt. I am now looking at simple camping rather than the 'g'lamping idea. Fourteen years on our yurt area now shows as a permanent building on the satelite imagery:) so I may use this to build something circular and 'interesting' using all the remaining bricks..........There's a high probability of the new outbuildings being constructed as a shell this coming summer which is great as this will also house the intended GSHP.
SS
How did it go with the yurt glamping over the years?
 
We keep our horses on a farm with camping, caravanning, glamping and log cabins. I think the cabins were built 20 years ago with some sort of grant.

As an observer, his biggest problems relate to keeping toilets & showers maintained and hassle free, and the sheer volume of waste that people produce and trying to sort it for recycling.

His prices are too low, which attracts a reduced calibre of visitor, especially at bank holidays. It is not uncommon for groups of yoofs to come for the weekend and leave everything behind because they bought it so cheap online and only camp once a year.

He ends up with piles of cans, bottles and food waste, which makes the place a rat & wasp magnet.

Occasionally there are genuine touring travellers walking or on bikes who would appreciate a covered communal area for charging phone and for wet weather.
 

Guide your way through spring agronomy decisions

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The incessant and extreme wet conditions are now presenting huge challenges for every farm’s spring agronomy and cropping decisions.

Plans are being urgently reevaluated and rejigged to set priorities for treatment, with a watchful eye on deadlines for timely spring crop establishment when a window allows. And all against a backdrop of potential damage to soil structure to fields from traveling in waterlogged conditions.

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Lessons learned from last year have proved invaluable, with the latest Syngenta Spring Guide giving an insight into some of the tips and ideas to help with this season’s decisions...
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