This month we chat to three generations of the Wall family; Dave, Andy and Colin who run the award-winning Wall Eden Holiday Park near Burnham-on-Sea

Dave (age 33): The farm originally was a dairy one. My Great Grandad bought it in 1927 and then my Grandad took it over in the 60s and we had a dairy herd here until the late 90s. Then unfortunately with milk quotas and various other things we couldn’t keep the business going. So, 2004 saw my Dad put the first log cabin in and then the next year we got another one, 2008 two more and then we added the other accommodation. I joined Dad in 2014, after gaining a business and management degree at Bournemouth University and spending two and a half years at Leonardo Helicopters, as part of their graduate programme.

It's now been ten years, and we've gone from just six lodges to now having 19 units of accommodation, a bar and cafe, farm shop and adventure centre. As well as the day-to-day operation, I manage the company growth through new corporate partnerships, including a range of leading holiday and experiential companies. We've created great relationships over the years, helping to continue growth as well as adding new facilities year on year.

Grandad still has some beef cattle on the moors, he keeps between 50-80 depending on the year. He’s still doing that every day in the summer. Me and my dad are more concerned about the business now. I run it day to day, I’m more of the managing director and he’s more of the executive, making new contacts and working on projects. The final say, that will be with me, overall I’m in charge of the staff and operations. There are eight employees over the winter then going up to 15 or 20 during the summer months. Our business was very summer focussed but now we have built the bar, the café and the farm shop we get a lot more winter trade and we also introduced hot tubs in 2021. The hot tubs have been a real success, you have to have them in because that’s what people are looking for - it’s quite a competitive market now.

Sports wise there’s fishing, kayaking, canoeing and paddle boarding, they’re very popular between May and September, good for getting people in from the local area, they like to take part in the adventure activities. We’ve also got target sports; we’ve got shooting, archery and axe throwing as well. That’s different but very popular. Food wise we’re looking to offer proper lunches. At the moment we do pasties and sausage rolls but we’re hoping to do proper plated food as well as fried breakfasts in the morning. So that’s on the cards for this year and that’s exciting. We’re also hopefully reintroducing massage therapies. We used to do it prior to Covid, but the pandemic made that part of the business difficult so we closed it down. Now we are looking to bring it back because we can.

Winning the Gold as the Holiday Park of the Year was quite a boost for us all. We thought we would give it a go, put in an application and see what happens. So then it was quite a shock to win that category. Hopefully now we might go through to the South West |Regional Awards. We’re proud that our little holiday farm has managed to beat the big boys. There’s other family connections too. My wife, Sami, does all the accounting and payroll; her Dad provides the apple juice and cider; not forgetting our three year old son, Luke, who likes to feed the sheep!

Andy (aged 59): Working with your family can at times be very stressful and it can offer up a number of challenges. But when those challenges have arisen in the past we have been able to work through them and come out better and stronger from those experiences. Certainly I think I would encourage people who are in a family business to work things through together should anything arise. My son is very operational in his approach and in the style of the way he works and I am very strategic. Though those two ways of operating might clash you actually need those two strengths in order to grow the business. My role is to help establish the vision and continue the growth and development of the business with interested parties such as charitable organisations, the army rehabilitation centre often use us. We look to work with local schools and to support children who require additional support outside traditional learning, mainstream schooling. We are wanting to offer people an experience to take away rather than just being somewhere to go on holiday. We’ve done corporate team building for a number of years that has attracted companies. Anything that we think can add value. I’m looking to create links with businesses and people who would want to use our site and bring their staff to us as a workplace training experience. Training here on site but mixed up with some adventure activities - team building for better relationships but also for staff retention. When I was a kid growing up on the farm it was an idyllic life; as a seven-year-old I was driving tractors, picking up hay bales, feeding calves and lambs; doing all the things I possibly shouldn’t have been doing. But times have changed and we’ve all moved on. Idyllic at the time.

Colin (aged 81): In a way I’m really the odd job man, I help out when I am needed. I’ve got a tractor still so if they want things moved around, then I do. Generally busy and generally keeping the site tidy.

The Holiday Park has done a brilliant job really. It’s a piece of land that wasn’t suiting anything else really unless you built houses on it and I don’t think that was going to happen. Diversification was necessary so that we could get a living out of it.

I definitely enjoy my role, it gives me something to get up for, I wouldn’t want to be sat around.

Great British Life: The Three Generations of the Wall familyThe Three Generations of the Wall family (Image: Dave Wall)

Between you and me…

Dave on Andy: Dad is always off swimming outdoor even when it’s freezing. He’s a bit crazy like that. Doesn’t matter about the weather he will be out there in his budgie smugglers

Dave on Colin: He likes to drop by for a coffee…and occasionally, a whisky

Colin on Dave: He goes to the gym every morning

Andy on Dave: Dave has an attention to detail and perfectionism - the glue that makes a successful business

Andy on Colin: Wherever Dad goes, his dog Towzer goes there too

Company Stats

Established: 2004

Address: Wall Eden Farm – Rural Holiday Retreat, New Road, East Huntspill, TA9 3PU

Next events:

New menu in the spring

Live music events in the spring and summer


Facebook: Wall Eden Farm Holidays

Instagram: walledenfarm

X : @WallEden