Wraxall Yard is a not-for-profit organisation, run by father and daughter team, Nick and Katie Read.
WHAT IS WRAXALL YARD?
We have restored a dilapidated dairy on our Organic family farm. The site is in Lower Wraxall, a small village in the heart of the west country and the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The barns have been refurbished and adapted into disabled-accessible self-catered holiday accommodation. The five cottages surround a shared courtyard garden, which has been thoughtfully designed to provide peace and privacy for guests.
The original farmyard and barn have been restored to enable guests to take part in farming activities and meet some of our animals. There is also a community space and kitchen on site, which is available to guests as well as local people for meetings, workshops, and classes.
From the courtyard, there is a beautiful route out through our newly planted orchard and down to the riverbank via a wheelchair-accessible boardwalk. This takes visitors to a picnic spot on a small island in the stream, perfect for studying and enjoying the local wildlife.
The village sits around a small chalk stream and features a Grade 1 listed building, St Mary’s Church. There is a long and rich history of farming in Lower Wraxall and archeological evidence of medieval farms can still be seen today.
The wider area has many attractions, whatever your interests. Wraxall Yard is within 10 minutes driving time of 3 amazing nature reserves, including the Kingcombe Centre. The beautiful beaches of Dorset’s famous Jurassic Coast, and historic features like the Cerne Giant and Hardy’s birthplace are also nearby.
WHO WE ARE
Wraxall Yard is run by father-daughter team, Nick and Katie Read. We are very lucky to also work with Ali and Charlie, who have done incredible work to bring the site to life.
After acquiring the buildings in 2018, we wanted to find a use for them that served a social good. We have long been aware of the need for better accessibility in rural settings and saw the potential in the buildings for inclusive getaways.
Community Interest Companies (CICs) are not-for-profit businesses with social objectives. This means that we have no shareholders, and all surplus funds will be reinvested in meeting our stated aims:
To provide accessible holiday accommodation designed to meet the needs of disabled people, as well as their families and carers
To provide a range of activities associated with the farm in which the accommodation sits, including petting and caring for animals and experiencing the surrounding environment and wildlife
To provide full and part-time employment to local people.
We believe that access to the countryside is a right and that everyone should have the opportunity to engage with farming and wildlife. We see ourselves as custodians rather than landowners and want to invite anyone with an interest to share in our love for the work we do, the animals we care for and the land we look after.
We advocate the social model of disability and believe that poor design is much more disabling than a person's differences. Our primary objective is to provide access to the disabled community but we recognise that many groups face discrimination in rural settings. We will always be willing to improve and adjust our services wherever we can.
Wraxall Yard was designed with accessibility as its core principle. The entire site is single-storey and step-free, so that every visitor has the same experiences available to them. We were also conscious that disabled people often have to put up with more hospital-like or institutional environments, and so great care has been taken by the designers to avoid a features that feel clinical, while also ensuring that guests' safety and comfort is a priority.