Nearly Wild Camping is a new organisation, set up to create new opportunities for people to camp in wilder places than traditional campsites. It is a membership co-operative, where campers and location owners are equal members. The purpose is to provide a small income to the landowner as a ‘thank you’ (as a minimum) for hosting wilder camping experiences (though some owners are starting to provide wilder camping as a market niche and gaining good rates). The owners often gain new volunteers to help their work, sales for countryside products or experiences, and /or provide an informal fun learning opportunity for the campers to learn more about the countryside.
In the session the covered the background to the organisation and its ethos; the set up period; early lessons; how we are trying to work with the market for social and environmental goals and how the organisation functions. They took participants through the pros and cons for both campers and camp location owners. Finally they discussed some of our exciting emerging future plans, building on the successful recruitment of their first overseas location!
Participants gained insights into establishing market financed organisation which can still hold true to its values and environmental mission. They understood the nature of Nearly Wild Camping and its value to both camper and the landowner. This included:
- What makes NWC work? – Creating a market and selling directly into it; building in longer term engagement; the social aspect of using the market; social media and choosing what works for the product,
- What do landowners need to understand and how can it work positively for them, including: product sales, volunteers; creating an environment for real countryside experiences; as well as dealing with the basics of sanitation etc?
- How can the NWC camper experience be enhanced and how can this link to other offers in the area?
- The link between NWC and a wider offer
- How to ensure you stay on mission and message and don’t just become market driven.
Briefing Speaker: Steve Evison, Nearly Wild Camping