A night in a Swindon pig pen

Camping with the pigs

Camping with the pigs

First published in News

FEW campers awake to the sound of a thousand pigs yawning, but an organic farm near Bishopstone wants to give us all the chance to try it.

The latest Camping with Pigs Weekend at Helen Browning’s Eastbrook Farm runs from Thursday to Sunday, August 16 to 19.

It coincides with another popular attraction at the farm, the annual Pigstock mini music and beer festival, which will be held on the Saturday.

The headliner will be bluesy singer/songwriter Caitlin Bowles, with other acts drawn from the cream of local rock and soul bands. Real ales and food will be served from 6pm in the garden of The Royal Oak.

Entry will be free to campers, who can bring tents or motorhomes, and there will also be several cosy pig arcs available.

Helen Browning, who farms Eastbrook, said: “You will wake to the sound of about 1,000 pigs yawning, and at night you will see, or hear, or feel, badgers, bats, deer, rabbits, foxes, mice, weasels, stoats – and livestock.

“If the sky is clear, the stars will amaze you. And it’s actually very relaxing to watch the pigs. They run around all day, then sleep, then escape, then go home. Bring a deckchair, just sit and watch them.

“This is perfect for families and ought to be a do-nothing break – space for walking, talking, riding bikes, reading books, lying around, eating and drinking.”

Tim Finney, who describes himself as the farm’s camping supremo, added: “Not glamping as you would recognise it, but campers can expect the luxury of huge space and sky, some of the best countryside in England with Britain’s oldest road – The Ridgeway – running through the farm, daily farm tours, clean straw every day, noisy piggy neighbours, pigs’ playtime, and an easy walk to and from Helen’s Michelin recommended pub, The Royal Oak, in the heart of the village.”

Camping costs £12 per person per night for adults and £6 for children. The site has toilets and a standpipe.

Further information is available on 01793 790460 and at www.helenbrowningorganics.co.uk The Royal Oak, in the middle of the farm, is listed by Michelin in their top 500 food pubs of 2012 and in countless other guides.

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