The study announced this week that pigs kept in luxury are more likely to be receptive to new experiences is not news to the pigs at Helen Browning’s Eastbrook Farm. They have been eagerly awaiting this year’s Camping with Pigs adventure, to be held from 12th to 15th August on top of the Wiltshire Downs, near Swindon.
Visitors can expect clean straw every day, noisy piggy neighbours, pigs’ playtime, open air yoga, daily farm tours and a land rover taxi service to and from Helen’s Michelin recommended pub The Royal Oak. Pig arc bookings are filling up fast but also available are straw bale houses, each housing a maximum of six people. Tents and motor-homes are welcomed. Stay one night or more.
The novel adventure ties in with the annual Pigstock mini music festival (Saturday, August 14) featuring popular local bands and folk singer Jo Selbourne. Real ales and good food served from 6pm.
"You will wake to the sound of about 150 pigs yawning," says Helen. "And at night you will see, or hear, or feel, badgers, 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.
"This is perfect for families", says Helen, whose organic Eastbrook Farm has been running since 1986 and whose bacon graces the shelves of Sainsbury’s and Tesco’s. "This ought to be a do-nothing break-space for walking, talking, riding bikes, reading books, eating and drinking."
Adventurers need to bring essentials such as sleeping bags, pillows, towels as well as the nice things, like deck chairs, books (although the pub hosts its own library), a bike. She cannot guarantee the weather. "Up there at the top of the farm, if it’s a glorious day it’s bikinis; if it’s wild, it’s very wild. The arcs are great, sturdy shelters, so you should stay dry!"
The price per person per night is £18; £12 for children 12 and under. This covers pig arc (or tent or camper van); showers and loos; running water (standpipe); campsite/village shuttle land rover. Food available all day (not included in price). Facilities include 30 grassy acres, enough space for several simultaneous games of footballcricket. Booking essential
Phone the farm office: 01793 790460, or email email@example.com