Enjoy the castles, waterfalls, lovely mountains in the heart of the Brecon Beacons National Park, UK and help us!

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United Kingdom

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  • last activity

    Last activity

    13/07/2019

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    within 6 days

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  2019 

 Min stay requested: at least 2 weeks

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  • Description

    Description

    Hello!

    We are now looking for volunteers to join us from the beginning of June 2019. If you are interested contact us.

    The focus remains on woodwork, building work and gardening. See below for more detail.
    We live on a small holding, set in the heart of the Brecon Beacons National Park. We are lucky to live in such a beautiful location, with its own history and heritage, cuisine, traditions, myths and culture.
    We live in a medieval farmhouse with lots of interesting and unique features, undergoing renovation. Our home is on the outskirts of a small village, and has spectacular views of the surrounding landscape! The village has around 110 houses in total, a small cafe, village pub, church and village hall where various events take place.
    Currently living in our house is myself (retired man), my wife (working with me), and some of the time one of our daughters (in her mid twenties). We have about 30 chickens, 2 outdoor cats, and are visited by lots of wildlife.
    Our land has several different varieties of native fruit trees, which we harvest and process into juice (from August/September). We also grow seasonal vegetables and various flowers. Our eggs are taken to a local market and sold. Although we are not registered Organic, we do not use any harmful chemicals or pesticides.
    Our house is heated by radiators, underfloor heating, and a wood burning stove in the living room.
    We are passionate about our home and the work we are doing and would love to share it with you!
    I am 68 and started learning woodwork when I was 12! I've worked as a professional carpenter and builder, and am patient and willing to share my knowledge/skills. My wife enjoys gardening, and speaks fluent English & Dutch, as well as small amounts of other languages. We are all happy to teach or help with learning English.

    In the last few yeasr we hosted about 40 volunteers, who helped us more or less finish a ground floor room including installing underfloor heating, a limescreed and flag stones, restoring old oak beams, making a stair case from oak with 2 turns as well as many other projects and helping to process vast quantities of fruit and produce from our orchard and garden. Our pictures show various volunteers helping us.

    This year we plan to complete some of the projects started last year, and continue work on restoring the oldest part of our house. We will be:
    - installing oak flooring on two floors and finishing ceilings
    -making oak doors and window frames
    - making and restoring traditional oak screens
    - finishing stone work in earth lime mortar on the house and workshop
    - continuing dry stone walling outside
    - underpinning an exterior wall
    as well as other projects.

    There will also be work in the orchard, greenhouse, polytunnel and garden throughout the year, sowing, planting, weeding and harvesting.
    If you are interested please contact us. We ALWAYS reply, but we particularly look for people with some relevant skills all ready and will help you develop new ones. We like to hear about what you can offer us and what you would like to learn
    We always try to leave feedback for those who have visited us, and welcome you to do the same.

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    Gardening
    Building
    General Maintenance
    Cooking / shopping
    Other
    Help with Eco project
    Help in the house

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    We are integrated into the local community and take part in various enviromental projects in the local area. This provides an opportunity to meet other local people. You can learn about the local Welsh culture.
    Whilst hosting workayers over the past 4 years we have becoming experienced at helping volunteers whose first language is not English to improve their language skills.
    We welcome you to cook your traditional dishes for us provided they are vegetarian or fish based. We will help you to learn about ways of preparing non meat based meals.
    We have taught many volunteers traditional jam making, preserving fruit and vegetables and the making and preserving of friut juices.
    We sometimes travel to our new family holiday cottage in Scotland, where we are also working to make improvements.

  • Help

    Help

    We live in and are working on our medieval house using traditional building materials. Some of the help will involve helping in our garage/workshop, which is a hybrid of modern and traditional materials, including lime mortar stone facing. It is a fully equiped wood workshop. In the house we would be working on restoring first floor and second floor rooms using traditional lime materials and oak for woodwork.
    This is a good chance for someone to learn about traditional building materials and woodwork.
    We also have a poly tunnel, green house, raised beds, and 1 acre of land with chickens. There will be an option to get involved with our organic gardening and mowing. Fruit picking and juicing activities from July onwards depending on crop.
    We are flexible about hours, but we aim to start about 9am and expect 5hrs a day to a maximum of 25 hrs per week. You're not required to help on the other two days, unless you would like to.
    We would prefer volunteers to come for a minimum of 4 weeks commitment, but are willing to consider shorter periods of at least two weeks.
    There may also be the chance to get involved in village activities, like woodland management, litter picks etc. if desired.

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    English, Dutch, some French. Small understanding of Italian, Spanish, Welsh.

  • Accommodation

    Accommodation

    We can provide a bedroom with a comfy double bed (couples preferred), and ensuite private bathroom with power shower. We can also accommodate up to two more volunteers in a twin/double bedroom, with a shared bathroom.
    Meals will be included, but we are a fish eating vegetarian household and we do not cook any meat dishes in our kitchen. We like to eat a lot of our home grown vegetables.
    Internet access is available. Mobile coverage is patchy in this area, but landline calls within the UK are free at evenings/weekends.
    Please note: We do not have live television in our home, but have plenty of DVDs and board games for entertainment.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Public transport in our area is quite limited - there are buses from Bwlch about 45 minutes walk away. The nearest train station is a 25 minute drive away, and we are willing to collect/drop you off. Train links are also great to get to other parts of the UK, though they will involve changing trains to get out of Wales!
    There are many beautiful castles, waterfalls, lovely mountain walks around us that we are willing to provide you with information/help you get there to see them.
    We try to live an organic, environmentally friendly life style. We are involved in a number of environment projects eg. local community woodland, hedge laying, dry stone walling, tree planting, building bird/bat boxes etc.
    Evenings tend to be spent quietly as a family, sometimes with board games or watching a film. We are very happy to welcome people into our household, and there may be other guests during your stay.
    Volunteers need to be self-motivating and able to live in a quiet rural environment.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    5 hours a day, 5 days a week (Max. 25 hours/week)

And after!
Before....
Digging out the floor ready to underpin the walls and make a new floor
Javier with one of the doors and frame he made and installed
Pressing fruit to make juice.
Fitting solar-thermal panels on the house
Cutting concrete blocks for the workshop/garage
Some of our chickens
Slating the garage roof later that summer
Relaxing by the wood burning stove
Here I am working with a volunteer
The workshop/garage roof in 2012
Working in the garden
The view of the mountain opposite our home





































Host ref number: 278633446374