Celebrating Smallholding UK (CSUK) is a hugely popular Facebook group with a difference. Not only does it provide advice, inspiration and support for all smallholders and wannabe smallholders but due to a very hands-on Admin Team and the group’s own self-regulation, it does so in a secure, respectful and non-judgemental way. No question is every too daft, no post too mundane. Smallholding celebration and success are welcomed with open arms. Equally, the group offers a huge collective ‘shoulder to cry on’ for those times when smallholding life isn’t quite working out as hoped (the hideously wet, then snowy winter of 2017/2018 being one example). The level of expertise amongst the members is now such that virtually no question ever goes unanswered.

Begun in September 2017 by Jack Smellie, a smallholder in North Devon, it is, for many of its members, the only smallholding group they now turn to. People come to share successes, offer and ask for information, post fabulous pictures, inspire others, promote good practice and generally share amazing smallholding stories from the length and breadth of the country. There are weekly/ fortnightly themes #ThemeOfTheWeek with the emphasis on sharing good practice and giving tips, as well as celebrating success. The group also runs a CSUK #PassionateAmbassador scheme where members of the group tell us all about their smallholdings or host weekend Q&A sessions on a smallholding topic they feel passionate about!

On Wednesdays members update everyone on on-going projects using the tag #weeklywednesdaysnapshot and on Thursdays the tag #thoroughbredthursday is used to focus on prearranged pure breed, posting pictures, tips and really ‘flying the flag’ for that particular stock. There is even a monthly book club #CSUKBookClub.

A sister group: Celebrating Smallholding UK Buy, Sell, Swaps and Wants exists for all personal/business adverts.

An accompanying website is currently being built with the exact same aims and those of the group: to celebrate, disseminate and share; and last autumn there were three local One-Year Anniversary CSUK get-togethers in Devon, Wales and Yorkshire where many online friendships became ‘real-life’ ones, and where members running smallholding businesses were able to make yet more really useful contacts. CSUK is a public group with a zero tolerance approach to being rude and disrespectful. New members are always welcome and anyone joining is offered a free listing on the soon-to-be-live CSUK website.

Celebrating Smallholding UK; it really does do what it says on the tin!!!

Jack Smellie, along with her partner David Chidgey, manages a ten-acre smallholding in North Devon and as well as running Celebrating Smallholding UK, they also offer smallholding courses and Family Learning visits.

www.relaxedsmallholdingcourses.co.uk

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