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Camp site


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I used to live near a camp site in France and I made a few observations from memory that may/may not help you a little.

Vehicle access/parking.

Do you want cars/vans/campers parked on theland or is there plenty of off road parking nearby oris the access road restricted in space?

Water supply.

Can yopu readily supply fresh water to the are? How about showers and washroom? Are you thinking of supplying laundry room too?

Local information.

What''s on, where to go, what to do.. you'll need flyers and info booklets for first time visitors to the area.


Check out what you might have to be insured for.

Squatters, Gypsies, Roma etc...

Learn where you stand if. heaven forbid, it should ever happen..



Good luck.

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Proxima - very helpful - actually we're planning something a "little" different from your usual camp site and I don't know exactly what category as regards French law it would come under. Basically we're thinking of a kind of retreat centre where people can go for a stress detox - they's stay in tents which we would provide and there would be a mediatation hall cum cinema, Yoga, storytelling and various courses such as North American initiation rites, dances etc. All a bit ambitious but we think it is sorely needed. Of course you're right - we mustn't forget the toilets!

Thanks for the warning Katie!



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Cool... just my style too..  hehehehe

I'm on the same page as you with this. I am able to do a rather unique relaxation method...but anyway...

From the impression I get, you've just got an open field at the moment. Bit of a quandry that idea.. it's more of a natural health spa rather than a camp site.

The 'Back to the roots retreat'.

May I suggest that those wishing to stay bring their own tents unless they specifically ask to be supplied one. Otherwise if you take out the emphasis of it being a camp site, you may find you'll have to provide food and other services too, way before you even get around to what you have planned for the rest of the day.. Not only that, but you'll have to fork out for a load of tents that might get damaged, plus any cooking untensils and camp/gas stoves etc etc.. all depends on what else you got going on in your plans.

As to the layout of the site itself, I feel that each tent pitch area could be sectioned off by flowers, plants, bushes, small trees and even seating areas that are open to the view, but offer a small bit of privacy for enjoying the setting sun etc.. Make the whole place tranquil. Give it the mood you're trying to achieve. Maybe have some trikling water to help calm the air...

But i do like your idea. I remember talking to a couple from a few years back who were doing a similar retreat. They were, ummm, into the female-Earth-goddess-getting-back-to-nature-and-in-touch-with-each-other (only other way to describe it is like some of the scenes from the film the whicker man with Edward Woodward) anyway, they wanted me to build a web site for them, which I did, and the last i heard of them was they were all off to run through the woods somewhere.. up in Normandy area if I recall correctly.

Which gave me another idea for you.. a nature trail.. if you're situated away from the cities and towns and have access to woodlands etc, then maybe you can expand your reach, with neighbours kind permission of course. Might be a good thing to help keep any kids entertained.. a ramble through the undergrowth, truffle hunting..berry picking.. just be careful of certain mushrooms. although there are loads of others that are great eating  :)

Well, hope that helps a bit more and maybe got your brain cells working over a bit.. and if you need any help, I'm available from August :)

Good luck with it though..sounds good.

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You've given me a lot of interesting things to think about - very much obliged Proxima.  Good point especially about the tents, I think people would actually pefer that. Re walks, actually we're situated near a large walking wood (not in the hunting season!) and that could well be incorporated. Main thing is to create something different that is inexpensive and gives people a different and memorable time out. It's more than just a field, there's trees, shaded avenues etc. as well as the field which is gradually becoming civilised - next big question is which tractor to buy to really get to grips with it.

Again, many thanks


I take it you design web sites?

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It's not so much which tractor to buy. it's more to do with the equipment you can fit onto it.

If you want a tractr just to pull large logs around, then anything will do. There's even a fitting that splits logs for fire wood...

There are no shortage of tractors in France and some old ones that are actually worth a lot of money.

As for grass cutting, then one of those small 'sit-on' lawnmowers might be enough. Depends on what workload you foresee.

I'll send you a PM now...

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  • 3 weeks later...

May I give my impartial and considered knowledge and experience of camping sites, having run one for nigh on 25 years in the wilds of Wales (granted!! it is not France but the problems will be the same).

FIRST OF ALL SEEK OUT planning permission from the local municipality or any do's and dont's that you could sensibly get away with. We were first refused to set up for being on the edge of a national park and "being a nuisance to their visual aminities" so the letter sent to us quoted... Search me as in this bit of the valley where we are, there is but not a single soul living on the national park side of the valley to whom we could have been a visual nuisance to. We appealed and were granted planning because neighbours couldn't cope with 'wild' campers all over the place so the planners thought it best to have visitors onto one dedicated site.

Invest in a very good sturdy LandRover or similar 4x4 with a flat bed at the back. This to pull caravans/dormobiles and cars that are driven by townies onto grass. You will be surprised at the number of people who have taken their caravans out of their front drive for a summer hols and are incapable of setting it up on to a pitch properly i.e. without too much forward/reverse manoeuvering to the point of creating ruts and ruining your grass! Such 4x4 vehicle will be a god send gift on bin days i.e. as and when your local refuse collection is. Some bin lorries may be instructed to not go on to sites to collect refuses so you need to set a collection point for them in a way of a large shed near the entrance gate. That shed must be 'cast iron' vermin proof or you'll end up with squirrels, foxes, magpies, crows dispersing the rubbish all over the site and neighbourhood and create hell with your neighbours as well as attracting rats.

Have a massive fosse sceptique installed and make sure you have it well maintained and don't be amazed that some people never flush the loos! or that they flush but not only pee/poo/paper. Ablution block to be big enough for the number you think you will cater for. Several bins well anchored and chained lids. They have a tendency to get into cars for a hol back to towny land you'll be surprised...

Road access and the extra traffic created may be a nuisance to your neighbours and the general highway provisions of the local area so checked that out.

If you have your own water supply from a bore hole or a stream you will have to have it checked annually for health reasons. You don't want to be shut down for ever because there is a bug in your water supply making every visitor sick possibly sueing you on medical grounds. It is best to have mains water put in. 

Insurance must be carried for public liability. Have always at hand numbers for doctors/dentists/hospitals and don't worry to be woken up in the deep of the night for someone sick on site. Clear map/plan/directions to nearest doctor/dentist surgery or A&E hospital.

Do not be taken in by sop stories of people beeing unemployed or whatever and they can't afford the charges that you have set up. I got taken in once by that melarky and found these very same people wooping it up in the local pub buying a round to all the local unemployed 'bretheren' and not the cheapest beer on tap either!! never again. Also make them pay ON ARRIVAL!! some are crafty enough to spend the night, use all the facilities and tell you that they need to get back into town to the cash machine and you never see them again. 

Local info what's on etc... be in good communication with your local tourist office.

Squatters/gypsies/new age travellers are a real risk so make sure you have a good solicitor/lawyer and help from the local constabulary to evict unwanted. Legal battles with these unwanted are protracted affairs. Arm yourself with whatever mean you can to ward them off your land!

A cast iron sense of humour and own personal mental health. Some visitors could/would send you to the loony bin otherwise !

Good luck [:D] I hope I haven't frightened you 

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