After 35 years of hard graft and saving every penny, Ray Marzec is close to realising his dream to open an educational farm in the Vale.
Green Dragon Rare Breeds Park and Eco Centre will open at Hogshaw near Quainton in spring next year.
Mr Marzec, 57, said: “My background is in graphic design. I don’t come from a rich family or an agricultural family.
“I have had to buy, do up and sell properties to raise the cash for this.
“I like lots of variety and have done a lot of the work on the properties myself.
“I’ve had five houses and I’ve changed a pub into old people’s flats.
“This is like a religious calling to me without the religion bit in it.”
Mr Marzec says he is never going to retire and his work on the 43 acre farm will be a way of life. He is currently working to prepare the land and buildings for a fully accessible environmental and educational visitor centre and rural farm park.
The centre will be accessible to all, with slopes and a lift in the cafe, and raised beds by the walled garden.
He intends to have a wide variety of creatures from bees, small pets and poultry to farm animals including goats, sheep, pigs, ponies and cattle.
There will be an eco cafe, play area and nature trail.
The unusual name for the centre was chosen because he says green is an eco friendly colour and a dragon is a bit different.
He said: “We will have a landscaped dragon made from the soil which is currently being dug and moved.
“It will provide a windbreak and kids can run up it and play around the sleeping dragon.”
The farm, like all farms, will be very labour intensive and Mr Marzec admits he will need a lot of staff, mainly part time, to help him with the project – he intends to start recruiting in the spring.
He said: “It is not a money making project but it must stand on its own two feet.”