Just off Croyde Beach, an ideal coastal campsite sits. Freshwell Camping is a glamorous space for friends and family to either pitch a tent, sleep under the stars, or have a real ‘glamping’ experience. A place to unplug, slow down, and enjoy some incredible views of nature. The two behind Freshwell plant trees with TreeEra annually, making sustainability a part of their campsite’s mission.
Tell us a bit about Freshwell Camping.
Freshwell camping is all about getting away from a hectic ‘plugged-in’ lifestyle and just taking a step back with your family, slowing down and looking at nature around you. Our campsite resides in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) not far from Exmoor National Park. The view from the campsite overlooking stunning Croyde Beach and only being meters from it’s entrance attracts families who want to enjoy sun, sea, sand and of course surf which the area is particularly famous for.
We are open for the UK school summer holidays and aspire to offer a camping experience that is stress-free and peaceful so families can relax and create fond memories of a holiday in a beautiful location. We run the site very flexibly so people can just choose a location to pitch of their choice. If people wish to stay an extra night they can.
We work collaboratively with our friends in the area to turn ideas into physical reality. Our recent Getaway Glamping Hut for example which is inspired by the old shepherd huts lived in by shepherds over a century ago – was a shared project with several friends with different skills. Similarly the food and drink we offer is served by friends with their own mini like-minded business projects.
What was your reason for signing up for a TreeEra membership? How do trees fit into Freshwell Camping’s mission?
We wanted to do something environmental that everybody can relate to – and trees are that! They are all around us; from our rural villages to our towns and even in the middle of our biggest cities giving us the air we breathe to live every day. Families come on holiday to Freshwell from those same rural villages, towns and cities and planting trees is a great talking point that parents and children can very easily relate to as a positive act. We hope those conversations mean more people join TreeEra or if not, just give trees, wildlife and the natural environment the respect it deserves through other means.
What does climate change mean to you?
It’s the big one isn’t it – so large that everything we do links to it or stems from it. Personally I think the term ‘Climate Change’ has unfortunately been distorted by a challenging stream of media campaigns that are backed up with science that deliberately counters evidence of it, confusing people about it and consequently preventing change on the political level it desperately needs. Outside of the politics, it is undoubtedly the biggest cause and the biggest effect we face on so many levels – however I am a big believer in if we are the problem, we are also the solution which is where organisations like TreeEra come into play. When seen simply as a reason to do the right thing for the benefit of the environment, breaking climate change into human actions and decisions we make on a daily basis, it becomes easier to palette and process. The price of a coffee for example compared to the price of a tree – micro reasoning with a macro result.
Here is a great quote/extract from the Philosopher Timothy Morton that summarises it well:
“Every time we do something as mundane as chat about the weather, pick up a plastic bag at the supermarket or water the lawn, we think of impending climate change. We live in a world with a moral calculus that didn’t exist before. Now, doing just about anything is an environmental question. Tragically, it is only by despoiling the planet that we have realised just how much a part of it we are. This constitutes a revolution in our understanding of our place in the universe on par with those formented by Copernicus, Darwin and Freud.”
If we are the problem, we are also the solution.
What’s something about the Freshwell Camping team that most people wouldn’t know?
Ha, well when you say ‘Team’ there is really only two of us, myself and my brother Mike. I like cider and my brother likes beer – we will happily accept these in exchange for local secrets such as best fishing spots, best surf spots, best places to eat, ha ha, nah only joking.
One thing that lots of people are unlikely to know is right in the middle of our season between August 11th-13th every year like clockwork is a major shooting star show as earth passes through the tail of debris left behind by a comet. And because the skies around our location are clear of artificial light, it produces a great display – but you just need a clear sky!
You’re based out of Croyde, UK – what are some of your favourite spots to eat in town?
We offer on the campsite a tasty healthy Sri Lankan street food stall that is run by our friend Tessa. She makes these awesome ‘hoppers’ using free range eggs and fresh vegetables. You can see the pics on our website.
For something more high calibre, a short 10min drive away is the amazing Riverside restaurant! The food and service here is off-the-scale awesome and food critics have given these guys many stars. The head chef David Charlesworth comes up with the most incredible, surprising combinations of ingredients and flavours, all locally sourced and seasonal!
For a classic Pub-Grub experience, The Rock Inn in Georgeham is the place to go! The atmosphere is warm and inviting, the food is hearty and great with a pint!