A Few Words About Us
We are Adrian and Nicole Doyle.
We have both worked in corporate life and left to become self employed. In 2013, we thought it wood be good to become more self sufficient so we looked around for a smallholding. We found a small converted barn with 1.5 acres and duly moved in. There was a lot of work to do and over time, we tamed the 1.5 acres (6 foot nettles and so on), set up a large vegetable patch and got some hens settled in.
However, we found cutting large areas of grass to be something of a chore and so decided to get some sheep. We chose Coloured Ryelands, on old breed that are both hardy and also friendly and bought three. Ironically, we then had to buy a small tractor and topper to keep the grass short enough for the sheep to eat.
Not long after, we saw that the flock from which our three came was up for sale and in a moment of impulse, we bought them. Our sheep numbers had increased to eleven – we needed more space.
Serendipitously, a field nearby came up for sale and we managed to purchase it increasing our smallholding to about 5 acres. Then we bred the sheep and ended with even more. We needed somewhere bigger.
In March 2017, we moved north the Auchenstroan Cottage, a smallholding of 27 acres in Dumfries and Galloway (South West Scotland).
As well as sheep, chickens and dogs, we have now also kept pigs and highland cows for a while.
Nicole runs a gardening business and is very busy with that. Adrian teaches guitar and also tutors maths. In between working to pay the bills, we keep our veggie patch going, look after our animals and try to keep our garden under control.
In Auchenstroan, we have woodland, a small loch as well as excellent pasture for our sheep. It’s also in the hills which is something we both like a lot.
We love working with the land.