Community Spirit - May 2020

In times like this its community spirit that really holds everyone together - and Herefordshire is certainly full of that.

With Herefordshire currently having relatively low cases and deaths of those effected by the dreaded "C-word", i think our community has every right to feel they have played (and continue to play) their part in protecting our most vulnerable from this terrible virus. Of course, we have our fantastic health care workers to thank too - in all their forms - for their brilliant, persistent and dedicated work; as well as all the other front-line workers doing their bit; not to mention the seemingly endless work load for delivery drivers – as everyone turns to retail therapy to feel a sense of “normality”. We have seen all the villages rapidly creating support groups, organising/delivering food and supplies to those advised to isolate; and those who are isolating have even been receiving calls from mental health support workers for a friendly chat; which has been very unexpected (given the work load of the health service at the moment), but certainly an appreciated and welcomed service by those we have spoken to (sometimes a friendly voice and a conversation can really be of great benefit).

Of course it has not gone unnoticed that the countryside has become a "haven of sanity" for those looking to escape their four walls for a moment with a brisk walk or bike ride, and whilst I’m sure there have been a few pushing the boundaries of the "one exercise session per day", we have only noted good behaviour from everyone here in Herefordshire. We are very lucky to enjoy endless miles of public footpaths and safe walks, and even when we have come across another fresh air seeking being, they simply shared a friendly smile, gave the appropriate space and continued on their way. Walking around the estate is even more peaceful, as it’s a good few miles from our nearest towns and villages (Kington, Eardisland, Pembridge, Lyonshall, Leominster), and so people have to be on a fairly lengthy walk to get to the estate, so for as and when our guests can return to us, you can expect to roam our footpaths, and enjoy our Herefordshire views all to yourselves.

We have seen a huge change in our food and essentials suppliers way of working. All of our little independent shops are thriving and it’s so lovely to see (in a not so lovely climate), providing "click and collect" services or delivery. Other Herefordshire businesses are also getting their thinking caps on, to find way to bring their businesses to the public safely. Its certain to say that this will change the public way of shopping and socialising for a long time to come, and so businesses must adapt; and boy have they done that! We can only congratulate those business on their grit and determination to support their communities and look after their businesses. We’ve seen alcohol producers switch to making antibacterial hand gel, PPE being produced by those companies with the materials to do so, Furloughed staff support the farming industry and much more - may this community spirit continue indefinitely!

Whilst here at White Heron Properties, our self-catering holiday cottages may be on pause as holidays lets; that doesn’t mean we are. Here on the farm, it has created time and space for some much-needed TLC to the properties (usually, being so busy with incoming guests, we are hard pushed for time to carry out maintenance or refurbishment works); from paintwork to new flooring, deep cleaning and restocking of inventory (follow us on our social media pages to keep up to date with all things White Heron). Of course, like you, we are unsure when we will be able to welcome guests here again, but we can’t wait to show you all the things we have been up to. Once we are able to welcome guests again, we believe that our properties will offer one of the safest ways to holiday; as a result of the heavenly combination of our rural location and isolated properties (and of course much safer than taking a flight or staying in a hotel). Whilst you may not be able to dine at your favourite eatery, most of them are offering take away options so you will most certainly still be able to indulge in their deliciousness. We have implemented safe guarding procedures – if you will, that ensure our guests can still enjoy the outdoor heated pool; but there will of course be procedures in place to support its safe use; and maintain social distancing.

In summary, Herefordshire really feels the best place to be right now, with the ability to enjoy the countryside at its best and not see another sole whilst on an exploratory ramble, fresh country air in abundance, fab local suppliers keeping us all cheery and our bellies full, the most incredible and unbreakable community spirit and the untold benefit of all this madness -that is more time with family and loved ones; and the ability to appreciate what really is important in life.