The townie pigs
PUBLISHED: 15:52 29 April 2014 | UPDATED: 10:16 30 April 2014
MAR 11, 2014: LIZ SHANKLAND discovers how urban pig keeping can work – even in the garden of a des-res in a sought-after location
When Kristi and Clive Riches set eyes on a smart, detached bungalow with a pretty cottage garden backing onto a woodland nature reserve, they know it would be the perfect family home.
The property, in Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex, ticked all the boxes location-wise, situated in a nicely-secluded spot away from the road, and the house itself had all the space the couple needed to suit the needs of their disabled son, Oscar. There was plenty of space to grow fruit and vegetables for the family, and the generous 90ft-long garden was big enough for two lively dogs – a great dane and a cocker spaniel, to stretch their legs. When they moved in, neighbours watched the couple throwing themselves into growing their own produce, so they weren’t too surprised when, soon afterwards, a few hens appeared. But there were a few raised eyebrows when the pigs arrived – in the front garden!
“Our neighbours call us the Tom and Barbara Good of the village,” Kristi laughs. “Most of the family and friends were really excited and supportive and were not surprised at all when we stepped up from veg to chickens and then to pigs. We have been looking to buy some land for quite a while and we were getting really despondent not being able to find a pocket of land. One day, we just thought of how the families lived many years ago. They raised as much of their own food at their home as they could - during the war years, even more so. All this was forgotten and supermarkets became the norm.
“Having the pigs here has brought our neighbourhood closer, we have had most of them in the garden meeting the pigs at one time or another. We have had people drive down and park outside and sneak a peek. If we saw them, we invited them in to say hello. Our neighbours opposite say it has been a source of amusement for them, watching people through their kitchen window pulling up to take a look.”
Read Liz's full feature in our April issue. You can buy single issues of the magazine at www.buyamag.co.uk
Photo: Clive in the garden with their pigs