FOR Alex and Clare Crowe a move to France with their two young children was encapsulated in the phrase the Big Green Idea.
The idea was to set up a small collection of yurts in the Dordogne countryside to offer summer holidays that promised a return to a simpler, greener way of life.
But the Big Green Idea soon became a rock to cling to as they were buffeted by a rising tide of bureaucracy and official opposition that threatened to scupper their plans.
Having got through the other side, the family is now running the écovallée yurt camp, and Alex has written an ebook offering up his family's experiences, as well as advice and tips on taking an idea from a piece of paper to reality.
Here he tells how life in Brighton, and the busy advertising world, left the couple between two stools and looking for a way out:
Alex Crowe - écovallée, part one
The yurts sit on the side of the valley, with woods running around both sides, and visitors are able to look across a gently sloping field, and while not overlooked the camp is half a kilometre away from the busy Dordogne town of Lalinde.
For many people it is the first time they have spent any time in a yurt, which are off grid and have solar powered fairy lights and showers.
Alex will often find guests sat looking across the valley as many are amazed at the space in front of them, taking some time to get used to the countryside after spending their working days in busy cities.
Now though with écovallée beginning to establish itself, and no plans to expand beyond one additional smaller yurt, Alex has a little more time to reflect on the project and see the benefits for both his waistline and the family.
Website: écovallée yurt camp
Ebook: écovallée - behind the seams part one
If you found this useful...
+ Stay up-to-date: Get your free This French Life newsletter