CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Country Smallholding today CLICK HERE

A gift for the good life

PUBLISHED: 08:11 28 March 2014 | UPDATED: 08:41 28 March 2014

Alice and a Golden Guernsey

Alice and a Golden Guernsey

Feb 19, 2014: Alice Dyer, 22, has had a passion for smallholding since childhood – and it all started with the gift of a cow

Alice Dyer, 22, has had a passion for smallholding since childhood – and it all started with the gift of a cow

Alice Dyer’s smallholding journey began when she was given a Jersey heifer when she was just 10 years old. From that moment on, she has had a passion for ‘the good life’.
Alice, now 22, says she was given the cow by a grateful farmer after her family helped him out during the foot and mouth crisis.
The family have a holding in Kent, and Alice’s mother was a keen goat breeder. Alice says it is from her that she has inherited a love of all things ‘country’.
“I was lucky enough to grow up in a house that had a bit of land and some old cattle sheds. We’d always kept horses, but when I was six my parents let the barns out to a lady keeping some cattle and I spent every spare moment helping out. I’ve been hooked on smallholding ever since, acquiring more and more animals along the way.”
Her parents recall a few years ago when they returned from a short break to find that instead of holding wild parties, Alice had spent all her time and money building a hen house. They were so relieved that a pig hadn’t taken up residence that the chickens, Marge, Ethel and Heather, were allowed to stay, and soon started to lay eggs with the brightest yolks they had ever seen. Whilst other teenagers were worrying about shoes and make-up, Alice concentrated on following her dream of her own land and smallholding.
After completeing a two-year Agriculture course at Hadlow College in Kent, Alice is now reading for a degree at the Royal Agricultural University in Cirencester.
“University has really helped, not only by educating me in livestock management but enabling me to meet many other like-minded people with the same hobbies and a love for the outdoors.
“Once I graduate in May I would love to go into journalism and I plan to buy my own land and a small flock of South Down sheep.”
Like many young people, Alice makes extensive use of social media. “There is always so much to learn, and Twitter is a great networking tool. Gaining the right followers means you can tweet a problem you’re having with one of your chickens and you get a solution in minutes.”
Alice has gained experience by helping out on a number of farms in her spare time, and has reared several young animals, including two sheep and even a week-old wild boar.
“Hobby farming has always been my absolute passion. I’ve grown up with chickens tapping on the backdoor for scraps, waking up at dawn to feed lambs in my dressing gown and popping to the vegetable patch to dig up potatoes for Sunday lunch.
“I’m not the sort of person that looks forward to a lie in every Saturday; I love to be up early and outside whatever the weather. Most people my age might think call it strange but I can’t imagine my life any other way.”
* Contact Alice on Twitter: @Alicekatemate

PHOTO: Alice with a Golden Guernsey goat

0 comments

Interact with other smallholders and post your questions

Visit our forums


More from Land

Friday, September 7, 2018

Although Britain’s record-breaking heatwave has now been broken by rain storms, the impact of the prolonged tinderbox dry summer following a longer than usual winter is likely to continue throughout this year and into next, writes Kim Stoddart

Read more
September 2018
Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Ask the experts: during the hot weather, here’s how to preserve dwindling water supplies

Read more
August 2018
Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Debbie Kingsley outlines what smallholders-in-waiting need to consider when buying their first property

Read more
August 2018
Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Liz Shankland continues her guide to improving herd productivity, this time investigating the importance

Read more
August 2018
Tuesday, August 7, 2018

The long run of sunshine and dry days of summer 2018 is impacting smallholders and their livestock and crops

Read more
August 2018
Monday, July 9, 2018

Our guide to getting your lice and mite treatment up to scratch

Read more
July 2018
Monday, July 9, 2018

Debbie Kingsley outlines the rules and regulations for smallholdings. This month: medicine records and fallen stock

Read more
July 2018
Monday, July 9, 2018

The countryside is not immune to crime - in fact, it’s increasing

Read more
July 2018
Monday, April 9, 2018

Jack Smellie looks at what to do when lambing and kidding doesn’t go to plan

Read more
April 2018
Monday, April 9, 2018

Smallholder Tim Tyne advises on the treatment of lambs which are hypothermic

Read more
April 2018

Most Read

Newsletter Sign Up

Country Smallholding monthly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

This Year’s Shows

Country Smallholding cover image

Don’t miss our comprehensive guide to rural events

Find out more

Like us on Facebook


Follow us on Twitter