We are a brother (kenneth) and sister (Jenny) team that manage the family buisness of a Yurt camp site and working farm. We are in a stunning location overlooking the Moray Firth on the peninsular just north of Inverness called the Black Isle. The farm comprises 150 acres of rough grazing, native woodland cliffs and shore line as well as a couple of more productive field that we will use for hay production and possibly growing crops in the future. We have a flock of 50 Hebridean sheep, plus their lambs. We have 2 pigs that help with clearing ground. We recently purchased 5 Highland Cows that we plan to breed from in the future. We also have 2 horses that are used for riding but may also be used a bit on the farm for jobs such as timber extraction.
We started renting out yurts in 2015 but there is still a lot to be done as we gradually build and put up more yurts. We plan to have 8 yurts up by the end of the 2018 season.
Cooking / shopping
Help with Eco project
Help in the house
Looking for volunteers, preferably couple or couple of friends but singles also considered. We are looking for people who are happy to get involved with cleaning the yurts for guests as well are all the other farm related jobs we have going on through out the year.
We expect around 5 hours a day for your food and accommodation however some days it may be a bit more than this and some days it may be less depending on what jobs we are doing.
We build the yurts ourselves from locally sourced wood so this is an on going job and help with the construction of yurts may be needed at times.
We have another newly finished building that has toilets and showers for the guests. We also need to build composting loos closer to the yurts as well as platforms for the yurts to sit on.
On the farm there is a lot of gorse and bracken that needs to be controlled as well as ragwort, thistles and docks.
There are a series of foot paths on the farm that are popular with locals as well as tourists, keeping these paths clear as well as improving them is another job that is on going.
There may be some work with the the sheep. Depending on the time of year there is lambing, shearing and general care.
As a large part of the farm is covered on woodland this also needs management. This includes thinning out of trees as well as chopping and splitting fire wood. There are also areas where we want to encourage the natural regeneration of trees and increase the woodland. There will also be tree planting going on in winter months. We have not established a garden yet but it is something we plan to do.
There are a lot of wild plants, flowers, berries and mushrooms growing on the farm that we will need help to harvest and preserve through drying or making jams and chutneys.
We are looking for hard working enthusiastic people that are happy to work in a group but also on occasion be left to get on with jobs alone. Being flexible about the types you do is important and having a reasonable level of fitness. The farm is on a hill which means a fair amount of walking up and down plus a lot of the jobs are physical!
Volunteers will have the opportunity to stay in the highlands of Scotland. Meeting local people, eating food from the area as well as gaining a greater understanding of the area that you would never achieve by simply staying in a backpackers or passing through as a 'tourist'. We have travelled a lot ourselves and have used similar organisations to work and travel in different countries. Now we have our own place it is great to be the host and get to meet people from all over the world, share stories and experiences as well as learn skills from one another.
English and French
Accommodation is basic as we have no residential building or house at the farm. You will be staying at the farm in a static caravan or a yurt, helpers are also welcome to camp if they so wish. There are cooking facilities in the caravan, some times we will cook and eat together and other times food will be available for you to make your own meals. The static caravan does have an electrical connection and there is a compost loo on site. Helpers may also use the showers and washing machine at the yurt campsite.
We are meat eater, however we are happy to host vegetarians and vegans although they may have to cook for themselves a bit more often when we run out of inspiration! We produce our own meat on the farm so have a freezer full of Lamb and pork from the farm. Beef, venison and Pheasant all sourced locally from friends farms. I try where possible not to buy supermarket meat. We also have an local organic vegetables delivered to us as we do not yet have a garden. Anyone who likes to get creative in the kitchen is always welcome.
If you are very reliant on your home comforts then this may not be the place for you however if you like to get back to basics and live more in nature then we are sure you will get on well!
In your spare time there is lots to see and do in the local area. Spending time at the beach and swimming in the sea for the brave! We have a canoe you can borrow if you'd like to explore the coast or bicycles for exploring the Black Isle. There are lots of walks locally and plenty of wild life from dolphins, seals and otters to deer, badgers and birds of prey.
There is also access to mountain bike tracks right next to the farm. For experienced horse riders there may be the chance of some riding on our horses. For those inexperienced there is a local horse riding centre that takes rides out and explore the local countryside. We are about 5 miles from the nearest village where there are a variety of small shops, restaurants and pubs. If you have your own transport that would be an advantage but otherwise you can walk, bike, or hitch to the nearest village where there is a public bus that takes you to Inverness. We will also help out where possible to give you lifts.
There will be the opportunity to join up on trips and outings we may organise and there may also be occasions where we are away and you could be asked to look after the farm. From the Black Isle there is good access to the rest of the Highlands and Islands where there is fantastic scenery and lots of history to explore.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week