We have a 20 acre smallholding in north Northumberland, about an hour north of Newcastle and an hour and a half to Edinburgh. My husband and I have rebuilt a cottage which is now finished and Some of the time , our daughter Nicola, stays here with her 7 year old son and 5 year old daughter
We really need help straight away with taking down and rebuilding a pole barn as we are going to build a small one bedroom annex on the site of the pole barn. If anyone is available now and wants experience of building ( and gardening/ growing veg and fruit and keeping hens and sheep) please contact us. We don't mind a stay of a few days or a few weeks. We are keen to make this project as eco friendly as possible .
I am a retired primary school teacher and Nicola teaches in a High School. My husband, Dave, is a retired teacher and has done most of the building/renovation work on the cottage. We have some sheep and hens as well as 2 cats. There are lambs due in April and May. We have a polytunnel where we grow lots of our vegetables and fruit bushes and more vegetable areas outside. We have been making a garden as when we came here there was no garden at all but obviously plenty of space for one.
We have been spending most of our time on building and getting the fields into shape during the past couple of years, but we also enjoy cycling, mountain biking, walking. I work in a charity shop for one day a week and am also learning Spanish. My daughter and I also do basketry as a hobby and my husband would be very pleased to show anyone how to do car maintenance, welding, carpentry etc etc! We make our own bread and all enjoy cooking and using as much of our own produce as possible.
We are now starting to enlarge our garden and have been planting lots of trees this winter. We need help to work with us on the garden, make new vegetable and flower areas and also help looking after the children aswell as other jobs around our smallholding.
Babysitting / child care
Cooking / shopping
Help in the house
Learning, improving and speaking English is the main benefit. Also learning about gardening and growing vegetables and fruit and using them to make delicious meals! Looking after and playing with young children. Exploring the area with us or using our bikes, going by bus/train to Newcastle, Edinburgh. Lots of beautiful countryside, beaches and hills. Playing local ceilidh music with us.
We are developing a new garden area this year and would like help with designing the garden, making paths, areas for vegetables, flowers and fruit bushes and trees.
We would like someone (or two) to help with gardening and grass cutting around the cottage and bungalow and in the polytunnel. Also, some help with child minding would be useful and maybe a bit of cooking/housework.
We also have our son and family living near Morpeth ( in between here and Newcastle) and they need help with gardening and childcare.
Our woodland area (10 acres) could do with some care and management - coppicing, cutting up wood, clearing bracken and thistles in the fields. The animals are not much trouble in the summer but if we could go away and leave them with a responsible workawayer for a few days occasionally that would be a bonus. Something else that we would all like is language lessons / practice (especially French and Spanish as I have also been learning Spanish this year).
English, some French
A double bedroom in the cottage or tent in the garden if you prefer.
Shielhope is about 2km from the village of Chatton where there is a small shop and a pub.The countryside around here is very beautiful and quite wild. The Cheviots are about 5 miles away to the west and the coast with its long sandy beaches and castles about 10 miles to the east. It is ideal country for cycling, walking, mountain biking and climbing (there are several crags nearby) so if you like the outdoors and don't mind being away from the city this is the ideal spot. The nearest towns with more shops, swimming pools etc are Alnwick (14 miles) or Berwick (16 miles). There is public transport from the village to Wooler and we are quite happy to take you to Belford or Wooler where you can get buses to Berwick or Newcastle. Nicola works in Berwick so can give you a lift there and catch a train to Newcastle/Edinburgh.
We have bikes that you can use too. and possible you could use our car.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
25 hours maximum