We have a smallholding in South Devon, seven acres (3 hectares) of woodland, meadow and vegetable gardens, surrounded by bigger woods. We are trying to test green ideas in practice, so we grow willow as fuel for our biomass boiler, we have solar panels, a unique heating system and our own water supply. We grow as much of our own food as we can.
Help with Eco project
You will see how renewable energy works in practice and learn about wildlife habitats, woodland management and organic gardening. You will see something of British culture and, if English is not your first language, have a chance to improve it. It will also be fun!
We have planted willow trees to provide fuel for our renewable-energy heating system. We coppice one-third of our trees (cut them close to the ground) each winter and stack up the wood to dry. This has to be done while the trees are dormant, which means between December and the end of February. All the work is done with hand tools, except that we put smaller branches through a chipping machine (petrol-driven).
In July or August, we cut the hay in the meadow (we use a petrol-driven mower) and collect it, some to use as mulch, some to dry and bale. The main objective is to encourage wild flowers in the meadow. In general, we are trying to develop good habitats for wildlife.
There are always other jobs to do: in early 2018 making rabbit fences and repairing the roof of our stables.
We find that most people like to work as part of a team, so we try to get several people to visit us at the same time. I am available to work with you most of the time as well.
French, some German, Spanish, Italian and Russian.
You would have your own comfortable bedroom in our house, or the adjoining cottage. We provide and cook all meals (unless you want to cook!), and vegetarian or vegan is no problem. We ourselves eat meat and fish, but not wheat or other foods containing gluten.
We live ten minutes by car from the sea and twenty minutes from Dartmoor National Park. We're happy to give you lifts at weekends, and we have bicycles for you to borrow. You can walk into the woods straight from our front door.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week