Smallholding Experience Day 


Dairy Goat Keeping Workshop

The Kitchen Garden Workshop

All courses to start in 2021. Please message us for more information

This is our home, 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 still has no central heating, we have an Aga and open fires to heat our home. And whilst in the 1970s a kitchen was finally installed into the house it still functions off its own spring water piped 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 community doing so. They are beautiful and intelligent creatures, 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 across the mountain range of Snowdonia or the sea view to the west. Should the weather be good for the day we serve lunch in the gardens. 

If you find yourself on holiday in the area and you'd like to come visit us for a course 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.

Emma & Steven



We are a husband and wife team, we were both holding down full time careers where, as time went on they felt every day was just another one ticked off the calendar. They felt deeply that they had nothing to show for it at the end of each day. They both decided, on that fact, and other influences that they needed to do something else. First they built and opened a small plant nursery in Hale Barns, Emma operating part time to design gardens, using her skills as a previously employed designer and her passion for plants. They got a few chickens to start with, then ducks and some geese. Driving to and from the site was frustrating for them and they wanted to make the leap, jumping in with both feet.

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 know as the 'pallet queen'. They can show you 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 previously. Emma is 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.

All images taken are strictly the property of Emma & Steven Bennett.

© 2020 by Emma & Steven @thebluecottageplantnursery. Proudly created with

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