Glamping, a portmanteau of "glamorous camping," is a growing trend in the world of outdoor recreation. It is a luxurious form of camping that combines the experience of being in nature with the comfort of modern amenities. Glamping provides a unique and immersive experience that allows travelers to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of city life and enjoy the beauty of nature without sacrificing comfort.
Glamping accommodations vary widely, from luxurious safari tents and yurts to treehouses and geodesic domes. They offer all the comforts of home, including comfortable bedding, heating and cooling systems, electricity, and sometimes even WiFi. Many glamping sites also offer additional amenities like hot tubs, private bathrooms, and gourmet meals prepared on-site. You can find all the details of Meon Springs Shepherd's Huts and Yurt Village on this website.
One of the biggest advantages of glamping is that it allows travelers to experience the great outdoors without the hassle of setting up camp. Unlike traditional camping, where campers must bring their own gear and set up camp themselves, glamping accommodations are already fully furnished and ready for occupancy upon arrival. This makes it an ideal option for those who want to experience the beauty of nature without having to invest in expensive camping gear or spend hours setting up a tent.
Glamping also provides a unique opportunity to connect with nature in a way that traditional camping often doesn't. Many glamping sites are located in remote, pristine natural settings, offering guests the chance to immerse themselves in the beauty of their surroundings. Guests can explore walking trails, go fishing, or simply relax and enjoy the stunning views.
Glamping is not only a luxurious way to experience the outdoors; it is also an eco-friendly option. Many glamping sites are designed with sustainability in mind, utilizing renewable energy sources like solar power and minimizing waste through composting and recycling programs. This means that glampers can enjoy their vacation while minimizing their impact on the environment.
In conclusion, glamping offers a unique and luxurious way to experience the great outdoors. It provides all the comforts of home while allowing travelers to disconnect from the stresses of everyday life and reconnect with nature. With a wide range of accommodations and locations available, glamping is an ideal option for anyone looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and immerse themselves in the beauty of nature.
Teambuilding comes in all shapes and sizes. In our view the two most important aims are to improve connection and understanding within the team. Only once that process is done are you in a position for people to receive any kind of meaningful information or education.
So how can better connection and understanding be achieved at a teambuilding event? Well, it is not impossible to develop the beginnings of connection online. Before doing an in person event (particularly for people who have not previously met), I would suggest creating a WhatsApp or Facebook group to enable "virtual introductions" and build some excitement about meeting up.
If you are going Off-Site, consider first whether you wish to build teambuilding events around indoor or outdoor activities. Both can be fun and different people will have different views on this. One thing I would say is that an Off-Site is a time where a little bit of discomfort in the beginning leads to a huge sense of satisfaction (as problems and difficulties are overcome) in the end - We have definitely found that when teams join us for a two day event staying at our Yurt Village.
One thing to remember is always to ensure that activities are fun and contain an element of improving communication and trust within the team.
Setting problem solving exercises, where people have to work together to achieve their objectives is always good. Perhaps they could be relevant to your work - or maybe not. Either way, the satisfaction of solving the problem and overcoming the frustrations on the journey is always worthwhile.
Looking at how different personalities work together and helping people to gain an understanding of the language around personality is also good. One of my favourite personality profile tools is DISC, which looks at whether a person is task or people orientated in a certain situation. And whether they are extroverted or introverted.
In very simple terms, somebody who is task orientated and extrovert can come across as quite arrogant or be overly demanding. Whereas someone who is people orientated and introvert will often be very inclusive and caring. Both types of personality are useful in different situations and the more flexibility you have around understanding and being the different types, the easier you will find it to navigate through life.
How often should you do something different together as a team? There are no real rules around this however it is often good at times of change - perhaps when a new member has joined the team or two departments are merging - Or you have a specific team issue that you wish to unravel - Or, quite simply, you might decide that it is just time to have a bit of fun together.
art in the barn
Twice yearly, we host a Creative Arts Week in The Long Barn, run by Blooming Designs, owned by Alison Butler.
Each time they fill the workshops, with a variety of different people and people attend for all different reasons. Some people come to learn a new skill or to add diversity to their skills and knowledge. Some come along for a day out to simply to enjoy being creative with no particular plans or agenda. Others treat it as an opportunity to do something with an old friend.
In Alison's words...
"If the last two years has taught us anything , it is that being creative with like minded people is really important for mental well being, losing yourself in a creative process takes you away from worrying about what is going on day to day in your "normal" life.
One thing I always find most heart warming is the way the groups form and develop over the day. If it is a larger group, by lunchtime or just after, the energy and the atmosphere can be so uplifting that the creativity becomes secondary. And by the end of the day, it is great to see everyone going away happy and inspired to continue their creativity at home."
Coming up in March is this Spring's "Art in The Barn" series of workshops. They are taking place between 16th March and 22nd March 2023. If you wish to attend, head to our website for more details. This year we have workshops on Block Printing, Batik on Fabric, Mono Printing, Lino Cutting, Drawing, Print and Collage and Wire Sculptures. Currently there are spaces on all of these workshops and if you wish to book, you can do so online at www.bloomingdesigns/booking.
UPCOMING COURSES IN THE NEW YEAR (See website for full details)
Floral Still Life Tuesday 21st February 2023
Art in The Barn - 16th to 21st March 2023
ART IN THE BARN - March 2023DATE
16th March 2023
It's Only Natural
17th March 2023
Explore 1 or 2 Colour Lino Cutting and Printing
18th March 2023
Drawing, Print and Collage
Explore Drawing, Print and Collage
19th March 2023
Block Printing on Fabric
20th March 2023
Beautiful Batik on Fabric
21st March 2023
Kitchen Table Printing - Exploring Mono Print
do We want to catch fish when we go fishing?
When we go fishing, do we want to catch fish or just go fishing? In our experience the answer is both. What we see is that anglers go through five stages in their angling journey and often revert back through them all, sometimes many times.
1 ) "We want to catch a fish..."
Whether your six or sixty, the first desire of any aspiring angler is to catch a fish. And the first fish caught by anyone will always be a memorable experience. My first fishing experience (Jamie) is mackerel fishing on an estuary in Brittany, France. The tide in these waters is ridiculous and we're in a wooden dinghy, with a pair of oars. For the first couple of hours - nothing. And then we find the school (the school of mackerel that is). All we do drift downstream over the school and then row like mad upstream hooking over twenty fish in an hour. Amazing day and a memory forever.
2) "We want to catch lots of fish..."
We find, at Meon Springs that certain people get "hooked" on the sport. At this stage, all they want to do is catch lots of fish (expensive though that can be). If they're lucky, they have lots of fish loving relatives or a local pub that will put trout on the menu. (nothing better than getting paid for your hobby!!).
3) "We want to catch a Big Fish..."
And then - there's the stage of hunting a big fish. Quite often, at Meon Springs, we won't see anglers at this stage as they head to the Big Fish waters such as Dever Springs or Avington. That said, some anglers will appreciate the value in stalking the bigger fish amongst the smaller ones, rather than taking an over fed monster from among many.
4) "We want to catch lots of Big Fish..."
We definitely don't see anglers in this bracket - as their focus is very different to what we offer...
5) "We like to fish. No matter what..."
Once an angler has been through the above four stages of the angler's life, they can often become quite relaxed and are happy to fish no matter whether they are catching big fish, small fish, no fish, lots of fish. It just comes to enjoying the sport in beautiful surroundings, with comaradie and companionship. Fly fishing really is a sport of life.
Through my years of being at Meon Springs (Greg), I have noticed many anglers go through these stages and - they are not linear. Many anglers will go through these stages many times through out their fishing life.
Here at Meon Springs you will find help to get through the first two stages, with Experience Days and Taster Sessions, as well as helping you with the stalking skills to pick a big fish out from the crowd. (the third stage, that we can support with a One to One). And when you've been round the stages a couple of times, we are also here as a beautiful water with challenging catch and release lakes to enjoy as part of your fishing repetoire, alongside perhaps exploring new avenues of fishing like the sea anglers mentioned above or some of the renowned fly fishers who venture onto the great rivers, such as The River Test.
We are always keen to learn of your fishing experiences and would love to hear any stories of your first fishing experience, or a memorable moment where you perhaps moved from one stage to another - please leave a note in the comments below.
Henry Ford once said “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” I would suggest that he is absolutely right and it is a beautiful moment when one observes a team working together in a fully functioning way.
Regretfully, we all know that this is not always the reality in a business for many reasons such as unclear direction, limited support, poor organisation. As well as isolation, disconnection, bullying and power struggles. And on an individual level, poor self esteem, imposter syndrome, anxiety and lethargy.
Quite often the logical solution for the business is clear as day to the outsider and also those in the business often know what needs to happen, yet these human problems and issues prevent what needs to happen from actually happening.
So what's the solution. -IMHO, I would suggest that the first step is complete acceptance that these issues are all very human and extremely common in many companies. For as long as we see each other as separate, different and we are in a competitive environment, there will always be conflict.
Secondly, I would look at the structure and leadership of the company. Are the goals clear and well communicated? Is there good organisation and feedback? What is the level of tolerance to poor behaviours and how are poor behaviours dealt with. These kind of actions will at least help everybody to pull in the same direction.
Thirdly, I would find a way to bring people together in a different environment, where they can have some fun together and see each other in a different light. Very often the problems arise because of false stories that people make up about each other. If these can be gently surfaced and released and whole new lease of energy and engagement can arise.
Building a team is an ongoing and ever changing process. If you're a leader focusing on and facing up to the human issues, you will be 99% more successful than most. And as you will know, it isn't always easy.
At Meon Springs, we offer the opportunity to bring teams together for meetings and other activities that help build teams. Our environment is quite unique and not necessarily 100% comfortable. Our meeting room is in an 18th Century barn, which is spacious and quite airy. Many of our corporate activities (fishing, shooting, bushcraft, axe throwing, archery) are mainly outside, which can be challenging for some, particularly if the weather is inclement.
Interestingly, what we often find is that the more inclement the weather the stronger the team comes together and the more memorable the day.
We do also offer indoor options such as art courses and wellbeing sessions like yoga. This gives helps teams develop their creative abilities and learn how to relax and be comfortable in each other's company.
One of the best activities we offer is the Team Camp or Yurting Experience. This is where the whole team come and stay in our Yurt Village for 24 hours. On the first day, they might have a meeting and do some teambuilding activities after which they have an evening of campfires, barbecues and fun. The shared accommodation might not feel comfortable at first - however by the end of the experience, this has generally been overcome and many close friendships have been developed.
For many reasons, we of course know that our Yurt Village or Shepherd's Huts will not be suitable to meet the needs of everyone's glamping holiday. For one, we might not be in the right area and also there may not be opportunities to do the activities that you would like to do (we are in the Hampshire countryside, which is great for walking, with nice views and country pubs but really wouldn't be so good if you want to go mountain climbing).
So, how is best to choose your Glamping break? Firstly, as with all decisions, it is good to zone out a little and consider the context of what you are looking for. Is it, for example, a family holiday? A getaway with your partner? A sporting or activity break that rocks your boat (talking about boats, maybe it's more of a sailing holiday that you are looking for). And when you're doing this - don't be selfish. Consider what your partner or children want. Perhaps your partner is a keen angler - in which case a break in one of our Shepherd's Huts by Meon Springs Fly Fishery would rate highly in your consideration. Although it might be that your partner really prefers luxury comforts - in which case, you would probably fare better to take them on a spa holiday.
When it comes to Glamping, there are many shapes and structures to choose from. Each with there advantages and disadvantages. Below is a list of some of them, with a few comments, which you may or may not have considered.
Fishing Tip: Not Catching - Wait for the second knock...
This is an interesting tip this week. A lot of people have being saying they are getting knocks on their fly but when they strike there is no fish on the end.
Why is this?
Well there are a few reasons and we will cover a number of them over the next few weeks. However we want to talk about only one this week.
The Double Knock
You're fishing, You're retrieving your fly through the water. You feel a knock on your fly. you strike and don't connect.
One of the reasons will be the fish will be knocking the fly first, to then follow up on the take. They're doing this because they are trying to immobilise the prey to make it easier to catch before eating it.
So if you're being knocked and not connecting. Don't keep striking. Instead, keep retrieving and wait for the second hit. you might well find it's the fish on the line the second time.
too many fish in the freezer?
Too many fish in the freezer
If you have a number of fish in the freezer and you're getting a thick ear about it, one of the best things you can do is to get them cooked up and freeze the cooked fish.
You can then use them for any recipe you wish and one of my favourites is to make delicious fish cakes.
One thing I've noticed about preparing this recipe is that children love fish cakes and having them help you catch the fish, take them home and prepare them is a great way of getting them involved in the whole process from taking fish from the lake to getting them on the plate.
For some years now LEADER funding has been available for farmers to undertake improvements in productivity and diversification.
At Meon Springs we are thrilled to have recently been awarded a grant to install Welfare Enhancing Milk Meters in our milking parlour.
The milk meters are being installed late February to early March 2019 and will enable us to have much more information about our cows in terms of their health and productivity. This means that we can identify problems earlier and therefore improve the cows overall wellbeing.
Thank you to Fieldfare LAG and Leader funding for this support.
Embers Bushcraft is holding two bushcraft weekends at Meon Springs in November for those interested in learning more about outdoor skills.
On Saturday 17 November bushcraft expert Ian Gosling will be running his ‘Fur, Feathers and Fin’ day, which is designed to give people the practical skills in preparing and cooking a variety of locally sourced game and fish including venison.
Visitors will learn how to cook trout over an open fire using a wooden frame, prepare seasonal game birds for an evening stew before skinning and butchering a whole dear.
The following day (Sunday 18 November), Ian’s holding a “Woodland Weaponry Day” where people will be given the opportunity to use longbows, catapults, throwing axes, knives and air rifles. This day is designed to offer a fun and engaging day giving people rare access to variety of weapons in a safe and free environment.
And for those who want to make a weekend of it, people can stay overnight in the wooded camp sleeping in bell tents.
The weekend of events will also be repeated the following weekend 24/25 November.
Both bushcraft experience weekends are to be held in Meon Springs’ bushcraft camp built in a wood overlooking the South Downs.
The cost of the ‘Fur, feather and fin’ day is £145 per person and includes people taking away all the game they prepare.
The ‘Woodland weaponry day’ costs £85 per person.
To book your place or to find out more email Ian at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him on 07814 567640.