Hi there!

I'm Emma, and once upon a time I had a dream where I had my own little farm where I could live a more simple life growing my own vegetables, keeping a few livestock and having more space to garden. Now I can look out of my windows and see all that and more and I want to share what's been created here, the ups and the downs, mistakes and successes. So welcome to my home The Blue Cottage, I'm very glad you're here.

                                                                           About us



Smallholding Experience Day


Dairy Goat Keeping Workshop

The Kitchen Garden Workshop

All courses are due to go ahead this year 2021, please message us for more information

Click on the link to create a log in for yourself on our website. We will be sending out holiday listings and course dates to members first, plus as the good weather comes adding some more content for you to enjoy on the members only pages. You can also sign up for online courses this way, get the blog straight to your inbox and make comments on them.

What we do here

This is our real life and our home, come on in.

Our house is an original Grade II listed welsh mountain dwelling, sitting on a slight slope of 5 acres within the Nantlle Valley of North Wales. With its blue painted windows and its original door dating back to the 1840s it carries with it a number of changes by the previous owners to its current form. It sits within the landscape and its white walls and blue painted windows and still has its original door dating back to the 1840's, we even still have the key! Although some changes have taken place by the previous owners it still has no central heating, but we do have an Aga and open fires to heat our home. In the 1970s a kitchen was finally installed into the house it still functions off its own spring water was piped from our own spring water and pumped into the house.  We hope one day to add solar and wind power to our home and take it off grid all together.

We run workshops on all aspects of smallholding, livestock and growing your own vegetables. Goats, sheep, pigs, various poultry, two ponies and a horse all call this place home. We have a small plant nursery on site whilst not open to the public you are able to purchase plants when attending workshops or alternatively you might see Emma at local fairs during the summer months.

We breed Anglo Nubian goats and we are very proud to be part of the livestock community doing so. They are beautiful and intelligent creatures, and if you would like more information about joining our waiting list for breeding or pets goats get in touch from the livestock page.

Anyone attending a workshop here at Maes Mawr, you will be able to sit back in our cabin and take in the views to the east across the mountain range of Snowdonia or the sea view to the west. Should the weather be good for the day we will serve lunch in the gardens.

If you are on  holiday in the area and you would like to come visit us for a workshop please email us. We can arrange for smaller groups or families only to attend at short notice, so email us to see what we can do for you.

We hope you'd like to visit us, get a taster for running the smallholding and our lifestyle. Read a little bit About Us below.


About us


Husband and wife team, they were both holding down full time careers where, as time went on, they felt every day was just another one to be ticked off the calendar. and they felt that they had nothing to show for it at the end of each day. They both decided that they needed to do something else.


First they built and opened a small plant nursery in Hale Barns, with Emma operating part time to design gardens, using her skills she gained from a pervious Graphic Design position and her passion for plants. They obtained a few chickens to start with, then ducks and some geese. travelling  to and from the site was frustrating for both them and they felt they wanted to make the big leap, jumping in with both feet and move.

They started the search for a new home with land. After finding Maes Mawr in a beautiful part of Wales for which they were both very comfortable visiting they decided to make it their home.

They know that Maes Mawr is a long term project. however they have already transformed the land from a boggy un-managed little plot into a thriving little smallholding. They have a lot of information to share from basic land management, site analysis, layout considerations and building from scratch. Drainage issues, wind breaks and creating vegetable gardens from  terrible pasture. It has all been done on a budget. At one point Emma was known as the 'pallet queen' using what was available to build animal shelters. They can show you too how you can create whatever you dream of with any budget.

Both Emma and Steven have been used to training individuals in a professional service based job previously. Emma is completing the Level 2 and 3 RHS Horticulture courses rounding off 10 years of working on gardens and garden design and is also a trained Graphic Designer.

This smallholding revolves around their pedigree herd of goats and gardening, with specific focus on The Kitchen Garden. Emma raises plants which she sells locally and together they hand make their unique goats milk soap. They use the milk from their herd and breed them on the smallholding.

Please visit our other site for more information about our goats milk soap.

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