Looking for volunteers for an eco-build project on a Highland Cattle and Sheep farm in the Southern Uplands Hills of the Scottish Borders.

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  • Description


    Any volunteers out there looking for opportunities this spring or summer?

    We have plenty to do and normally several volunteers to keep you company!

    We are a 600 acre farm in the beautiful Scottish Borders, 45 minutes by train, or one hour by bus from Edinburgh. We have Highland Cows, sheep, and a straw bale eco-build project. Our location is in Stow, near Galashiels, about 25 miles southeast of Edinburgh.

    We have progressed to the insides of the straw bale house having completed the Turf roof. Recently we have added two biomass plants and we have almost phased out all fossil fuels on the farm as we now produce most of our own power and heat ! Jobs here include the eco-build, various jobs on the farm and buildings here, as well as the animals on the Farm. Work is varied.

    We will give you a bed in a farm building or cottage, and meals and food in return for your hard work. Work includes the interior completion of the straw house and cottage in May /June, gardening ( putting a new garden in for the straw house and fixing the ruts in a couple of other lawns with alluvial soil, help with animals, we lamb and in May, The last calves of the year will be born in May possibly June, clearing up areas of the farm, particularly tree guards, painting, mowing lawns. We will be taking part in the highland Show in June so helping on the stand and explaining about straw building, this will require some practice in mid/ early June. WE will also be repairing some dry stone dykes with Georges help and guidance. If you wish to find out what we have done in the past there is a volunteers page on fb called ''Stow Straw Bale Ecobuild''.

    The help here is physical and can be challenging, but if you like getting things done and seeing what you have achieved, perhaps being part of an ecofarm thats moving towards full Organic and is already essentially Zero Carbon, this is the place for you!

    We have consent for additional straw homes ( hobbit houses) for when / if we can afford to build them. So we'll be here for a while , so please plan to come when you have the time.

    We are Slow food members are MCS registered installers in renewable technologies & Architects in sustainable building with a wish to share and learn with you.

    Please only contact us through workaway as this is where we manage the spaces we have for Volunteers.

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    General Maintenance
    Help with Eco project
    Animal care

  • Help


    Prepare for quite possibly some hardwork! But a fun time too.
    It is Scotland so it might be a bit cold and most definitely muddy...but it is beautiful, and you will be well looked after.

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    English, French, some Dutch and Polish

  • Accommodation


    There is a holiday cottage situated on the farm, WHEN this is available we can accommodate volunteers here. Sometimes this is rented out to holiday makers, and there are other buildings on the farm to stay in or camping available. There will always be a bathroom available inside. You will always have accommodation inside of a building, though it may be an unheated farm building in the summer months. The vast majority of our workawayers have been happy with this arrangement. You will always have access to a kitchen and bathroom, and an outdoor shower which is heated by a fire!

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Hi Guys we're open and happy to accept new Volunteers immediately. We normally have two to three Vols here, so there is a little community of people from all over / several languages learning eco-building and about farm work. On weekends you can easily take the bus to Edinburgh, go for beautiful walks in the countryside, or visit nearby towns such as Melrose, Lauder and Galashiels.

    If you are prepared to get "stuck in" and help to the best of your ability, we will be delighted to have you here.

  • 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

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    If you want a challenge and wish to lean to speak with a Scottish accent, you cant do better than try to speak to George, he's very friendly and tall and is less than four miles from where he was born.
    He doesn't like holidays much and prefers to work at a reasonable pace , but you can learn a lot from this seasoned farmer if you can get past his set ways.

  • ...

    Volunteering hours expected

    6 hours per day 5 days per week


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