Dominic Old | Surfer and woodsman
Dorset, United Kingdom | February 2015
'Exist within nature: look deeper into it and you will understand everything better’ [Albert Einstein]
My garden is located in Dorset, UK. It comprises 250acres of land with approx. 7 acres of managed garden and 30 acres of woodland. My family have worked and gardened here for over 30 years
The amount of time I spend here largely depends on my travel schedule. When I am in the UK (approx. 5 months per annum) I spend approx. 20 hours a week working in the woods.
Much of the woodland is existing. We created the large gardens and grounds and have re-planted trees along the way. Most of my work is solo, we have excellent soil here so most things grow well. We keep quite a lot of livestock - 200 Dorset Horn Sheep, 40 British Charolais cattle, 8 chickens, between 40 and 175 ducks (varies according to time of year) and between 40 and 200 pheasants. The land and gardens require a considerable upkeep. We have a problem with foxes as well as deer that we manage with controlled herd management.
My greatest inspiration is Mother Nature. I love being outside in nature, the satisfaction of seeing the difference each and every day I am out there. My favourite time of day is early morning and early evening. Spring is a wonderful season here because life is bursting out all around and autumn is stunning with so many colours – and wild mushrooms!
The land and gardens here provide me with essential physical exercise and mental space. I enjoy sharing the space and beauty with friends.
My highest moment here on the land so far far has to be working with two of my nephews for a week, hard graft successfully clearing abandoned woodland and returning it to its former glory. My number one tip for a good life is: Don’t follow. Don’t lead. Just Be. Gratitude and acceptance in daily life.