Travelling to the Cotswolds could not have been more difficult one Saturday in November. M4 closed, petrol station out of action, a hunt blocking the road (I thought that was banned?), roads closed due to flooding, and sat navs taking on a life of their own. But we made it – and on time for the start of the football match.
The only one in the world!
Would you believe there is a football club in the heart of the beautiful and peaceful Cotswolds in England that is totally vegan and carbon-neutral? Well, there is and it is the only football club in the world like this. It’s called Forest Green Rovers (FGR) and no animal products are sold at the stadium and all food and drink containers are plastic-free. The players are not vegan except when they are at the stadium themselves. FIFA recently described the club as ‘the greenest football club in the world’.
FGR sits on the edge of Nailsworth, a small Cotswold town part of which is high on a hill overlooking the valleys of Gloucestershire. Little happens in Nailsworth, apart from the football and a few select eateries. There has been a focus on Nailsworth since FGR got promoted to the National Football league and then league 2 – all whilst going vegan. Currently all hopes are on this green side getting another promotion.
The Devil’s Kitchen
The vegan food that is on sale before and during the match is absolutely delicious. The home made vegan sausage rolls, I could have eaten loads of. Alas they are not sold outside of the ground to the general public – they are especially made for FGR and other projects run by Dale Vince, the owner of FGR. Dale is a leading light in British green energy and is passionate about spreading the word.
Walking in the Cotswolds is a must if you visit the area. We took the circular Cotswold Water Park walk starting and ending in South Cerney on a rather muddy day. So flooded were the paths around the lakes, we had to divert and splosh through fields instead. Always ensure that at the end you have a pub identified or somewhere to eat. We chose The Old George Inn, an ancient coaching inn that provides good homely food along with a friendly, speedy, service.
So if you are looking for an adventurous weekend away, like a spot of football and walking, the Cotswolds is the place to go. You don’t even have to be vegan!