In contrast to the wide-open, cow-inhabited, sloped fields we scoped out last week, this week, in our search for a site to build the dream house, we viewed 8 acres of flat, densely overgrown forest.
The site wasn’t easy to access but after clambering through a stream, a high ditch, a thick hedgerow and a barbed wire fence, we found ourselves in among the trees.
A beautiful stream runs among the pine, birch, ash and holly trees. The undergrowth is thick with ferns, pinecones and autumn’s fallen leaves. As we negotiated our way through the forest, we were struck by how fresh the air seemed. The scents of damp leaves, pine cones and bark mixed in to a rich natural fragrance.
To put it simply, we fell in love with this site. We walked the length of it to the other side to see what would be next door. When we reached the boundary line we were met by acres of grazing fields that stretched back to a rolling hill. Perfect.
I thought about how building in a forest would compare to building on a field like the site we saw last week. Living on the 5 acres we viewed last week would mean living on a height with sweeping views of the valley. There would be an enormous sense of space but the lack of trees would mean limited privacy and shelter. In contrast, the view in the forested site would be of surrounding trees and the dense woodland surrounding the house would give ample privacy. There are pros and cons of both, but for me the forest wins.
This property is the first property we’ve been really excited about since the 200-year old stone house. But naturally we have a few concerns:
- Price – 8 acres comes with a heavy price tag so we might have to see if we can buy a portion of it rather than the whole plot
- Drainage – a little stream looks pretty but what happens to that stream if we get two months of heavy rain?
- Clearing – the trees seem young and thin so felling a clearing for a property is possible but it’s a potentially dangerous and time-consuming job.
Despite those concerns, this site is a real possibility. Typing those words instills so much excitement and so much fear in me all at once.
P.S. I’d appreciate any advice on building on a site like this – if you have any experience of this please get in touch.