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Volunteer with a self suffcient family in rural Devon

Country: United Kingdom

Workaway Host rating
Last Activity


An organic (though not registered) 8 acre smallholding in rural Devon. We have goats, make cheese, grow vegetables, fruit, pigs, chickens, geese, ducks, generate some of our own electricity with our wind turbine and photovoltaic panels, solar hot water and produce some of our own firewood. We aim to be as self sufficient as we can and are always starting new projects to make this more possible.
Mick and Ann have lived communally a lot in the past in a housing co-op in London and then in an intentional community in Devon until 18 years ago finding and falling in love with our home where we still live
We are a family of four Mick has a full time job teaching at university, Ann runs the smallholding , Rowan is 18 and in his gap year, he has a dog called Charlie, Declan is 16 also busy at school and his passion is music especially drumming.
The smallholding is in a beautiful and quiet area though only 15 miles from the city of Exeter. We are near to a bus route so visitors can be met from and taken to catch busess so that you can visit more of the area. The landscape is small fields and lanes with hedges and woodlands--typical mid devon landscape. We are about 11/2 hours from the stunning north Devon coast and midway between the two National Parks of Exmoor and Dartmoor.

NB: We have recently scaled down the size of the goat herd as Ann is no longer making cheese to sell. This means that we will only need occasional help for specific tasks during the year eg.hedge laying and fencing in the winter months, more gardening and harvesting/preserving type work in the warmer months.
Of course daily animal care is always 'on the menu'. Workakwayers with plenty of animal care experience(including milking) could maybe look after the smallholding so we can go away all together!!
Please get in touch to find out what we are up to and when



Type of help

Cooking / shopping,
General Maintenance,
Help with Eco project,
Help in the house,
Animal care,
Help with Computers / internet


In the winter the work becomes more manual with mucking out barns, fencing, hedging, wood chopping etc. Wet weather jobs would include defrosting and cleaning freezers, thorough cleaning of cheesemaking room, occasional decorating ,cooking/preserving.
Most of the work is on the smallholding ,looking after and feeding the animals, milking goats, mucking out animal housing, growing vegetables,harvesting and processing/preserving, chopping wood, fencing,hedge maintenance.
Help with computers/internet always welcome as only semi-computer literate!
If you enjoy cooking then that would also be helpful ,not only meals but jams and chutneys,cordials and juices. Cleaning and general maintenance of the house and farm buildings also welcome

Languages spoken

English, some German,some French and Arabic


Accommodation is the guest room in the house and you will live in with the family. It has a double sofa bed so is fine for one person or a couple. You will eat and live with the family, We will provide all your food (so on your day off you can take a picnic) Breakfast is a serve yourself meal. Lunch is usually a light meal and preparation of this is shared (often left overs) and dinner is the main meal of the day in the evening. Occasional help with daily cooking much welcomed .

What else ...

there are local busses but not too many and you would need to be driven to the bus stop -- we are very happy to do this when we are able to. Mick has to go to Exeter most weeks and is ahappy to give lifts there. But if you are a city/town dweller and used to easily getting to places you should be warned that trips out do require a bit of planning.
There are so many beautiful places in Devon that it is well worth the effort

Some more information

Internet access
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers

Volunteering hours expected

5 hours 5 days a week but some flexibility is needed because of the nature of looking after animals


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Host ref number: 16165167244d

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