“When I was in publishing, I produced quite a lot of books on the environment,” Kindersley says. “The first one was called The Complete Book of Self Sufficiency. That really set me off. I then produced books with a number of environmentalists and we had some very successful ones but it really alerted me to the whole business of industrial farming.”
The centre, which was built and is run with sustainability and the environment in mind, hosts a range of events from conferences to concerts. Big companies such as Vodafone and Pepsi have used the venue in the past. Kindersley explains: “What we’re interested in is getting people onto the farm where the centre’s based and making them go away with a feeling that perhaps natural systems work after all.”
Kindersley is expanding Sheepdrove and seeing turnover rise as a result (it currently stands at £500,000). He says the fact sustainability is on “everyone’s agenda” is helping the centre’s cause.
Customers usually hear about the site through word-of-mouth although Kindersley goes to some trade shows. “Once people get here, they love it,” he says. “We have a 99 per cent conversion rate – nearly everyone books once we show them around.”