Our smallholding needs your help

by Simon & Debbie at Hidden Valley Pigs in Lynton, England, United Kingdom

Our smallholding needs your help

Total raised £31,615

raised so far



We're raising money to build our off-grid, eco, wooden lodge on our land by offering amazing rewards

by Simon & Debbie at Hidden Valley Pigs in Lynton, England, United Kingdom

We're still collecting donations

On the 5th April 2021 we'd raised £31,100 with 348 supporters in 28 days. But as every pound matters, we're continuing to collect donations from supporters.

 New stretch target

To reach this stage would be incredible, an absolute dream come true and would mean we can have the timber frame erected.

However, it would only be the start. So if we should be lucky enough to achieve extra funding, it would mean we can put a slate tilled roof on - in accordance with planning permission - plus have doors and windows fitted to the timber frame. In essence, it would then be watertight.

The rest we can do piecemeal, as and when we can afford it, hand making as much as possible from the woods around us, using reclaimed materials and upcycling.  


  • Ben Fogle's New Lives in the Wild

  • BBC1's Countryfile

  • Gary Rhodes Local Food Heroes

  • The Nation's Pets

                                                             * * *


After many sleepless nights, tears and worries as big as mountains, we came up with this idea to crowdfund the build of an off-grid, eco, wooden lodge, and do so by offering the most amazing rewards for every very kind donation.

We're Simon & Debbie from Hidden Valley Pigs. If you're into smallholding you might have seen us on TV, read one of Simon's books, heard us on the radio or even been on a course with us.

The problem is, we spent 2 years getting full planning permission to build the lodge, then a further 3 years saving up to build it. In January 2020 we put a deposit down to have the timber frame erected.

Then Covid and lockdown happened. With all forms of income suddenly switched off, we had to postpone work and use our savings to keep the animals fed and cared for.

Effectively, we lost all the build money we'd saved up (not the deposit, that's safe).1615034870_img_0680_(2).jpg




It's amazing. Honestly. Just 92sq meters, off-grid, larch clad on the outside, on stilts, eco lodge. Just amazing.

The site has been excavated and the foundations dug and ready.

The timber frame will cost £30,000 to erect. We can beg, borrow and use credit cards for 10k, but we're looking for funding help with the balance.

Once the frame is up we can do the rest piecemeal, bit by bit when we have the money, and will all pretty much be done by hand using reclaimed and foraged materials wherever possible. 

Once complete the lodge will double up as a space in which we can continue teaching, sort of the ultimate in self sufficiency, lol.

                                                               * * *



We live a hard but totally rewarding life. Here on our self reliant smallholding we generate and store our own electricity, have a compost loo, collect rainwater for cleaning and showering, and coppiced wood for heating, all while looking after and caring for a motley crew of carefree animals.

Together we run life changing courses on smallholding experiences, butchery and food processing without using modern preservatives. 

Home is currently a static caravan, in which we live with Solomon and Phoebe our Great Danes. Space is a premium, especially on the sofas or in front of the log burner, lol.

Outside our 'hall of fame' of hooligans including: Senorita the not-so-micro-pig and most opinionated female in the world, Bear an agoraphobic boar, Trouble his wife of right now, Trouble's Daughter his next wife on the list, assorted piglets, chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, quail, a cat with Tourettes, George and Ellie the goats, Georgie Girl and Alfie the horses and more.

Many of them are rescues, whose backgrounds you don't even want to think about. But with us their lives are as natural, free-range and happy as we can possibly make them.1615109097_web_courses_1.jpg

Sometimes that's good, and sometimes that makes them hooligans, but one thing's for sure you've never met a happier group.


What the press say about us...


The Guardian said, 'Change your life in a weekend'

The Telegraph said, 'Top ten sustainable-living holiday courses' 

The Mirror said, 'My farm animals saved my life' 

And the Daily Mail said, 'Who needs the rat race when you can hatch a chicken in your bra?' Yes, that was honestly their headline, lol

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As things stand, that's uncertain.

With your help, if we're lucky enough to get the funding we want to secure our future by building the lodge, and then use it to do everything we can to give back by continuing to teaching all that we've learnt, pass on the life skills, and of course by taking in more fur and feathered waifs, strays and rescues.

The alternative, if we're not so lucky, we don't know.

                                                              * * *



We know life is tough for everybody right now. Covid has impacted all of us. But if you can help by glancing down the list of rewards on the right, and if anything grabs you, maybe think about pledging.

Maybe you're already coming to the area on holiday – Exmoor is stunning, and Lynton and Lynmouth are incredibly beautiful. If you are, maybe one of the local rewards might appeal?

Alternatively, there are many rewards that could be sent or emailed that would still be fun.

Either way, your help means the world to us, but more than that, much more important, we want you to be part of our gang, to enjoy and be part of our fun, exhausting, terrifying, amazing, brilliant world, and help us secure the future for our smallholding and our amazing group of animals by building the lodge. Something we can't do without you. 

Of course if you'd prefer to donate anonymously, that's totally cool too. We completely understand and are so incredibly grateful for your generosity. 

Contact us via email at [email protected]

Our website is www.hiddenvalleypigs.co.uk

Find our facebook page here 

Thank you.

Take care and stay safe.

Simon, Debbie & the mob xxx


This project offered rewards

£120 or more

Become an exclusive Hidden Valley Pigs club member

You'll receive a club membership certificate and badge, along with 12 monthly e-newsletters packed with insider gossip, videos, building updates, seasonal farmhouse recipes, special offers and giveaways NOBODY BUT CLUB MEMBERS GET. Membership lasts for one whole year. Commencing May 2021.

£5 or more

This lodge was built by friends

Any donation of any amount, with a reward or not, will have the donators name written in fire (safely, I'm not going to burn it down, don't worry) on the lodge itself as an amazing testament to everybody who believed in us and helped, because you are all amazing. Respect to each and every one of you, and thank you.

£15 or more

A smallholding bedtime story

This is a unique short story written by bestselling author Simon, bringing all the animals and characters on our farm alive and telling funny, uplifting tales from their points of view. Never seen before and never to be published elsewhere, this delightful story can be personalised to include your child's name and emailed out to you so you can easily print a copy, or simply read it from you phone. A real bedtime treat.

£20 or more

Send a celebration vid featuring Senorita the pig

Totally unique birthday/anniversary/celebration or just plain 'this is to cheer you up,' 2 minute video sent to someone special's phone on their big day. Let us know who it's for, when and why and Simon will film a conversation between him and Senorita the stroppy pig especially for them, and whatsApp it across on the day to help make the occasion extra special and just a little bit different.

£25 or more

The Self Sufficiency Bible signed

Grab a copy of Simon's latest book, The Self Sufficiency Bible - 100s of Ways to Live More Sustainably Wherever You Are. Signed and personalised just for you.

£50 or more

Sponsor a Gabion cage and become a protector

The Gabion cages surround the lodge holding back a hill. They offer protection and stability. It takes Simon weeks to fill each one by hand using rocks foraged from around-about the smallholding. It's a labor of love. What we're offering is for you to sponsor a cage and have your name written on a plaque and attached to that Gabion, thereby becoming one of our protectors, forever.

£65 or more

Reclaimed wood picture frame

There's something gorgeously tactile about repurposing wood that was once used elsewhere. Maybe a pallet that has travelled up and down the country, or part of a once much loved home. Taking this wood, Simon cuts, sands, polishes and makes striking picture frames all by hand, resulting in totally unique and one off pieces ready for you to put your fav picture in and hang on the wall. Internal picture dimensions 10" x 8"

£200 or more

A three course meal for 4, delivered to your door

Using produce from our smallholding where possible, Debbie will exclusively cook* a three course meal for four people and deliver it to your door, for you to simply heat and serve. This reward is postcode specific and must be within 40 miles of EX35 - holiday lets, tents and caravans included. Date to be agreed by both sides. *All cooking done in an approved kitchen.

£200 or more

North Devon band Dogleg to play at your event

North Devon's most popular and awesome duo Dogleg have very kindly donated a 2 hour set playing at your event (must be local to North Devon: Lynton, Lynmouth, Ifracombe, woolacombe, etc). Dogleg are electro-acoustic/acoustic duo playing self-penned songs and their own take on a wide range of covers, two voices, guitars and a fiddle. Turn your family BBQ into something you'll be talking about forever. Thank you Dogleg.

£250 or more

Come and have a tour and enjoy a Devon cream tea

You've seen us on TV, now come and meet everyone for real. Let us show you around and introduce you to all the animal characters, then settle down with a traditional Devon cream tea (cream first, jam on top, lol) for up to 6 people. Date to be agreed by both parties and is dependent on Covid restrictions.

£300 or more

An evening of fun and laughter around the fire

Stories, chat, gossip and laughter around an outdoor fire. Come and spend an evening with us on the smallholding sitting on straw bales and warming your hands and toasting marshmallows. For up to 6 people, bring your own drinks, date to be agreed with both sides and Covid restrictions apply. Soft drinks and bbq'd sausages supplied. 6pm-10pm.

£500 or more

Pasta & bread making masterclass

Perfect the skills of making bread and pasta, and you will never look back! In this exclusive hands on masterclass for up to 10 people, you will learn the secrets, tips and tricks to making world class breads and pasta. Take your bread, rolls and pasta home with you along with your very own sour dough starter. This is a life skill nobody should miss. To take place in the hamlet of Barbrook or if you are within 50 miles radius of us, your own home

£1,200 or more

Learn how to make sausages!

Bring 11 of your friends and family (12 in total) to a day you will never forget. Arrive to bucks fizz, fresh coffee and breakfast muffins before getting into the nitty-gritty of how sausages are made. Then in groups of 3 you can choose from a massive table of fabulous ingredients and design and make your very own sausages. Everyone gets to take 1kg of their own sausages home. Loads and loads of fun.

£10 or more

Get some Hidden Valley spice in your life

A bag of Hidden Valley Farm grown chilies. Grown right here on the farm from plants sitting in, well, pig manure and watered with rain and river water, these chili plants thrive, look stunning and the chilis pack a punch.

£12 or more

Treat the most important family member, your dog

Homemade right here using farm produce where possible, this bag of mixed dog treats will have your pup sitting, staying and dabbling with calculus just to impress you into handing over a morsel. Official taste tests have taken place with Solomon and Phoebe. And Phoebe again. And again. And again, alright Phoebe we've got to leave some to give away!

£35 or more

Package of porky products

Totally yummy! 2 x pork pies, 4 x scotch eggs and 6 faggots, home made and baked by Debbie using up to 100% ingredients from the smallholding, and mailed out to you by overnight courier (UK mainland only)

£100 or more

Receive a fab farm box

You know when your granny said, 'It used to taste better in my day.' Well this is what she meant! This fab farm box contains a glorious selection of homemade seasonal goodies, including some of our own home grown meat, charcuterie and deli-type produce. To be delivered by overnight courier.

£400 or more

2 nights B&B for 2 in Lynmouth, plus a farm tour

Relax and enjoy two nights bed and breakfast for 2 people at The Village Inn in the stunning Exmoor coastal village of Lynmouth, plus a personal farm tour and a chance to meet all the characters right here on the farm, followed by a Devon cream tea. Covid restrictions apply, and dates to be agreed with all parties.

£400 or more

2 nights B&B for 2 in Lynmouth, plus a farm tour

Relax and enjoy two nights bed and breakfast for 2 people at Riverside B&B in the stunning Exmoor coastal village of Lynmouth, plus a personal farm tour and a chance to meet all the characters right here on the farm, followed by a Devon cream tea. Dates to be agreed.

£3,500 or more

Have your memoir written

Everyone has a story to tell, what's yours? With 6 traditionally published bestselling books under his belt, three of them his own memoirs, Simon will sit down with you and listen to your life story before ghost writing an 80,000 word manuscript for you to self publish, or just share with friends and family, so the story of your life can be handed down and will never be forgotten.

£5,000 or more

Complete mentorship

Absolutely unique for you, this year long mentorship will aim to cover every aspect of setting up and running your own smallholding, including weekly zoom chats, emails and 2 courses with us. We'll cover animal husbandry, fruit and veg growing, cooking and preserving, butchery, finances, legalities and do's and don'ts to make you a success. Also includes full club membership and one x 2 night B & B stay at the Village Inn Lynmouth.

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