In the current climate it is no surprise that businesses are focusing on the benefits and healing powers of the natural world where they can.
But for one rural Dorset enterprise this approach has been at the heart of its philosophy long before the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic.
Hollis Mead in West Dorset is an organic dairy farm whose ethos is to produce high quality organic milk and food whilst enhancing the environment for wildlife.
Nature is allowed to take its course and no pesticides, insecticides, herbicides or artificial fertilisers are used.
The dairy herd is only milked once a day and pasture-fed only, allowing the cattle to graze, relax and produce the very best, natural milk.
The man behind this environment project based on wellbeing and wildlife is Oliver Hemsley.
The 57-year-old had a long and successful career in the city before deciding on a complete change just over a year ago.
His farm had been let to a tenant in recent years but Oliver and wife Charlotte decided to take it over themselves and convert it to organic.
“You could definitely say I was late to the party but I am not lacking enthusiasm,” said Oliver.
“That enthusiasm is all about showing that you can run a successful farming business while at the same time making room for wildlife. This is absolutely my passion.”
Oliver added: “My whole ethos is about nature being able to do its thing while we enjoy the benefits of the land and ensure we look after and care for it.”
The extensive pastures are full of wildflowers and 17km of hedges have been planted in the last 20 years and left to grow naturally, allowing birds, insect life and indeed all the creatures of the countryside to flourish.
The farm has 200 cattle of which around 75 are currently being milked, producing 1,000 litres day. Some of this goes for sale and the rest is used to rear the calves.
Oliver is hugely proud of the milk produced at Hollis Mead.
“It is gently pasteurised but not homogenised for a superior taste. It is a totally different taste from what you would buy in the shops. And when people buy a litre of milk from us they know nature really is benefitting.”
The milk (which costs £1.50 a litre) is distributed through various vending machines in West Dorset (including one at the farm) and Yeovil and Oliver aims to expand in due course.
And plans are well underway to produce a range of other dairy products including organic butter and cheese.
Oliver wants to build a visitor centre and encourage schoolchildren and other people to come and see how the farm works and experience the countryside, see it and touch it.
He said: “I hope they will appreciate just how important the countryside is and how central it is to our wellbeing both as individuals and society as a whole. I have a feeling after everything the world has been going through, they will.”
We are pleased to announce the opening of a new vending machine, which you can find at:
Unit 1, The Old Feed Mill
Grab a chance for a free taster of our delicious organic milk at Maiden Newton service station.
We will be there from 10-2pm tomorrow . Hope to see you there!!
We are really pleased to announce the opening of 2 new locations where you can go to buy deliciously fresh organic milk.
Maiden Newton Service Station
17 Dorchester Rd
Bailey and Sons
1 Broadwindsor Road
Our vending machine at Grenville Farm, Corscombe, DT2 0NP, is now open for you to come and buy our deliciously fresh organic milk.
You can purchase our milk in a glass 1 litre milk bottle or bring your own receptacle. The vending machines are re-filled daily to ensure that the milk is deliciously fresh.
We hope to see you very soon!
Use the map below to find us...