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YellowWood's spiritual headquarters can be found here at Westerlands working farm in the South Downs National Park, West Sussex, UK.
In 1981 David and Pam Jamison designed the enlargement of a 16th Century farmhouse on the 1000 acres of farmland and accompanying buildings of the active horseracing stud farm ‘Westerlands’ they had purchased in Graffham, West Sussex, in the hear of the national park. David’s motivations were simple – a tremendous and ambitious love of polo – of which one of the UK’s epicentres can be found a 15-minute drive away at the legendary grounds of Cowdray Park in Midhurst. His plan worked out, as by rigorous training of prized polo ponies on the farm and partnering with some of the best polo players of the time including Mexican-born Carlos and Memo Gracida, David and his team were able to win the most prestigious tournament in the sport; The Gold Cup over four successive years.
David and Pam have three daughters; Antonia, Melanie and Emma, who also continue to live on the farm, and have now opened it to the public, converting the traditional stud into a centre for rewilding. Westerlands offers an array of charming accommodation options to suit all budgets, with a multitude of activities such as pony trekking through the South Downs National Park, delicious gastro cuisine served at the Woodfire Campsite and a Horsebox Café stocking locally produced wines and fresh coffee; even boasting its own brand of English Hedgerow Vermouth ‘Ostara’.
Melanie began growing wilder patches of grass to preserve and encourage the biodiversity of insects and small animals on the farm long before this was a popular notion (and often clashed with the more traditional farmers in the area because of it). Now Westerlands has created ‘edible hedgerows’ for nesting birds and other animals as a food source, also utilising the hawthorn leaves for medicinal purposes and sloe berries for gin. The estate also hosts farmers and landowners from across the county who are working together to maintain the natural corridors that allow wild animals free passage of movement.
Basking in nature at the foot of the South Downs, Westerlands continues to be a flourishing community, with many people living on the farm itself, corporate teams on company away-days down from London hosted by Antonia, and a constant stream of visitors staying in the prestigious five bedroom Lower Barn House, or one of the cabins with outdoor hot baths under the stars, the Shepherd’s Hut gently puffing smoke from its wood stove, or in the yurt pitched close to the main house which Emma built herself; steaming the wood to get the curve just right for each pole.
Art can be found in every corner of the estate, which also boasts its own studio, with paintings of the forested landscape by Pam and Emma being sold in surrounding galleries. Bees help to pollinate the plentiful wildflowers and the farm has begun selling its own natural honey from these industrious inhabitants. Other wildlife abounds with herds of wild deer serenely grazing alongside the badger sheep and their new-born lambs, Dexter Cows, and of course an array of horses, which often belong to the surrounding polo farms, who prize the lush grasslands of Westerlands. Antonia’s husband Oliver oversees the day to day running of the active farm, as well as many of the activities for guests and continuing sustainability projects.
The surrounding area has a Shire-like quality to it with stone built thatched-roof pubs serving hearty roast dinners with local ales and ciders, with a crisscross network of footpaths leading to them. The Roman Villa at neighbouring Bignor has impeccably preserved elaborate mosaics, with Neolithic and Bronze Age ringed tumuli on the downs themselves, where ancient ancestors continue to overlook the villages and towns in the vales of West Sussex. Westerlands welcomes you to come and experience a richness of life that preserves the traditions of the past alongside promoting wellness, sustainability and a return to nature.
Carbon Compensation is not the perfect solution, and it is important to first reduce our carbon emissions as much as we can, yet trees remain an excellent natural technology to sequester carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to slow global warming.
For every client and guide who attends a YellowWood Adventure, we donate £30 to our partner charity WeForest to plant 15 trees to (over) compensate for the carbon footprint of the tour.
We also invite our clients to match this with an optional additional £30 for another 15 trees to be planted to help compensate for the carbon footprint of their international flights.
WeForest run many tree planting and tree maintenance projects such as this seedling nursery in the Amhara region of Ethiopia, the Amazon Rainforest in Brazil and many other projects in other countries including Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania & India.
Click Here to find out more about their amazing projects around the world.
All adventures can be tailored as private bespoke trips.
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To help you choose the right adventure for you, we have given each itinerary a grading that relates to the level of Walking / Trekking you will experience during the trip. This grading can be found on the Yellow map on the adventure page of the website.
All of our trips involve a level of general activity so are designed for people who are in good health, enjoy the outdoors, and have a taste for adventure and some level of fitness. As will be clear from our destinations, the climate (and altitude) may be different to that which you are used to, so please take this into consideration when choosing the most suitable holiday.
Please read our Adventure Itinerary & Essential Information for more information and don't hesitate to contact us if you would like to chat through whether you have found a suitable adventure for you.
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