Your Good Lives A fam­ily en­ter­prise

Ben and An­gelina Watson were de­ter­mined to help her wid­owed mother stay on at her smallholding – so they moved in. Deb­bie Kings­ley lis­tened to their story.

Country Smallholding - - News -

A ngelina Watson grew up on the Isle of Shep­pey in Kent where her mum Janet had a fish and chip shop. Her step­fa­ther kept a few sheep nearby and in the late ’90s they moved west to a smallholding in Devon to make a home to­gether. Ben, An­gelina and their chil­dren lived fairly close to Janet, in the nearby town of Tav­i­s­tock, where they kept a few chick­ens and grew veg­eta­bles in the back gar­den, but they had no direct ex­pe­ri­ence of smallholding.

An­gelina picks up the story: “When my step­dad died, my mum sold all of the sheep and pigs on her smallholding, but was really sad not to have any an­i­mals on the farm, and didn’t want to be there on her own. So we de­cided to ex­tend her home to ac­com­mo­date us all, while Mum would move into an an­nexe and we could all live a more self suf­fi­cient life­style.”

This sounds eas­ier than it was. First of all, the an­nexe didn’t ex­ist. Over the past year Ben has built a smart two­s­torey an­nexe mostly on his own but with oc­ca­sional and much ap­pre­ci­ated help from fam­ily and friends. At the be­gin­ning of 2016 Ben is about to fit the kitchen and then move onto the new bath­room, and they can fi­nally see an end in sight. An­gelina and Ben have four chil­dren: Hannah, 16, Elena, 11, and six-year-old twins Daniel and Katie, so they really need the ex­tra space and Janet is look­ing for­ward to hav­ing her own home again. Mean­while, Ben’s own engi­neer­ing busi­ness has been on hold while he’s been build­ing – he’s as keen as any­one to get fin­ished and for them all to move on with their plans.

The chil­dren enjoy the ‘good life’ too!

Hannah Watson, 16, with one of the lambs

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