Shepherd’s hut enables return for village store

Becky Bagnall in The Shepherds Hut at Vyner Park In Swarland.
Becky Bagnall in The Shepherds Hut at Vyner Park In Swarland.

A north Northumberland village now has a local shop again, thanks to a resident who came up with a novel and cost-effective solution.

The Shepherd’s Hut, based at Vyner Park, in Swarland, officially opened yesterday and is fully stocked with fresh fruit, vegetables, plants, flowers, store-cupboard items and gifts.

During the winter months, the opening times will be 10am to 5pm, Wednesdays to Saturdays, but it will be open longer in the spring and summer.

As reported by the Gazette in September, Becky Bagnall proposed setting up a new store in a shepherd’s hut – a wooden cabin on wheels.

There are no utility costs for the parish council or park charity committee to worry about as the electricity is provided by battery, heating by a log burner and water by bottle.

Becky said: “The overall response has been so positive and Vyner Park is a great location, thus bringing the community of Swarland together and getting residents to use local facilities.

“My aim is to progress the business with the possibility of a veg-box scheme and working with local businesses to help promote each other.”

For more, search for The Shepherd’s Hut on Facebook.

The Vyner Park Charity, set up in March 2014, is responsible for two dedicated tennis courts, an all-weather bowling green, a children’s play area and a multi-purpose court, with the sports facilities free to use until April 2016.

Nelson’s at the Park, the new community café, which is providing a real focal point at the heart of the village, opened at the start of July. It is located in the pavilion in the park and is being run by three local women as a not-for-profit social enterprise, with the aim of pumping funds back into the park area.