Tapeley Park in Instow, North Devon, is turning over a new leaf for 2017, according to owner Hector Christie.The house has been through many phases, but whether its remembered for hosting medieval jousting battles, or its time as a new age spiritual centre, one thing is for sure Tapeley is entering 2017 in a fresh new light. The grounds have had significant improvements, for example, the restoration of the lake, to establish it on the visitor map. You can take in the breath-taking colours of the gardens - four-legged friends and picnics are always welcome - and enjoy the vistas of Instow and the mouth of the Taw and Torridge Estuary beyond. I have never been happier than I am now, and neither has Tapeley, said Hector. He may be better known for his protests against GM farming, or heckling former Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair, but underneath that is a farmer who has a deep-rooted passion for the world we live in. A farmer by trade, Hector has always been ahead of the times often completely by accident, he added when it comes to ethical and healthy eating. Long-ridiculed for his environmentally-conscious methods of farming, the ethos he practises at Tapeley is now somewhat in vogue. And its what the fresh new face of the venue is depending on. Im a huge believer in taking risks and that if you feel something in your heart, I believe you should just go for it, says Hector. I have always talked of the benefits of grass-fed meat, or of organic farming, and only now is it suddenly all the rage. But here, it is just what weve always done. Tapeley has a thriving permaculture garden, established 25 years ago, and a herd of grass-fed Highland cattle. I feel weve got a really exciting future, says Hector. Read a full interview with Hector in the January issue of Devon Life magazine, out now.