We are a couple (Jan and Rupert) living in a beautiful location in South Shropshire, about 7 miles from the historic town of Ludlow. Our cottage is on the side of a valley with stunning sunsets and views over the surrounding countryside. We have a large, partly wild garden with vegetables, a small orchard, fruit bushes and a small woodland area. There is no public transport here, so helpers will either need their own transport or be content to spend a lot of time in a quiet rural location almost a mile from the nearest lane. We have three horses and two very friendly spaniels. This is an ideal location for anyone who loves animals, wildlife and the countryside and who doesn't mind working physically hard and getting muddy!
We usually take helpers for two weeks initially, but if we get along well and your skills fit in with what we need at the time then it may be possible to extend your stay to a month if we don't have another helper booked in.
Please contact us if you are interested and you have gardening and/or outdoor construction skills. You must be willing to work physically hard outdoors whether it's sunny or raining and you will need to have a reasonable level of competence in spoken English. We would be particularly interested to hear from you if you have the skills to help us build paths in the garden and/or dig our and weed heavy clay soil to create new borders and vegetable beds.
Cooking / shopping
Help with Eco project
Help in the house
Help with Computers / internet
We're looking for people to help us with various projects around the garden, woodland, house and field. The exact tasks we'll ask you to do will depend upon the time of year, the weather, what projects we have on the go and your skills/experience. Examples might include weeding, digging and planting, chopping logs, poo picking in the horse paddock and yard, helping to build paths, walls and raised vegetable beds, and/or helping around the house with cooking, maintenance or cleaning tasks. There might also be the opportunity to help me (Jan) with my work projects - I am an environmental consultant specialising in ecology. We could also use someone with computer/IT skills to help in the office.
We try to live in harmony with the environment and wildlife here by using organic and permaculture techniques wherever we can and exploring ways of keeping our horses in a more natural and holistic way.
We generally ask all helpers to assist with the animals for an hour or so early in the morning each day. This includes poo picking in the field/yard and maybe walking the dogs some days. After that, we eat breakfast and then start our main projects for the day. You need to be prepared to work independently as we are often busy on independent projects or work, so we may need to show you a task and leave you to get on with it. At other times though, you'll be working alongside one or both of us on a bigger project and there will be plenty of time for socialising at meal times etc.
We would be particularly interested to hear from you if you have specific gardening, landscaping or construction skills and/or if you can help us to construct some paths. You need to be fit and strong as our garden is steeply sloping with heavy clay soil, and everything is uphill from the muck heap!
You MUST be over 20 years old and you need to like dogs and be comfortable around horses. Also, while we are happy to help you improve your English you MUST already have a moderate to good fluency in spoken English.
We have a cosy 2 berth caravan which can accommodate a single person or a couple/two good friends. It is comfortable and warm and is parked right outside the house. It has a small bathroom but you are welcome to use the house bathroom and you will eat your meals with us in the house (or barbecue if the weather is nice!). We also have a sofa bed in the lounge for busy times when we have more than one helper. Helpers who sleep on the sofa bed will need to put everything away in the daytime as the lounge doubles up as our family sitting area.
Ludlow is a beautiful and interesting small market town, located about 7 miles away. It's famous for good food and has lots to interest visitors, including a beautiful medieval castle. Please note there is NO public transport between here and Ludlow and there are no shops within walking distance so you will either need your own transport or we may be able to give you a lift into town once or twice a week. We are in the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty which is a lovely area for walking, hiking and other outdoor activities, and we also have a bicycle which you are welcome to borrow. Shrewsbury and Hereford are the nearest cities, both about one hour's drive away or you can catch a train from Ludlow. Birmingham is about 2 hours. We do encourage helpers to get out and about on their days off to explore the countryside or local towns and cities and we do ask that at least one day per week you go out all day so that we can have a quiet day to ourselves.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
5 hours a day, 5 days a week on average