My husband and I live in an 18th century farmhouse surrounded by vines in the south-west corner of France, and are full-time employees running a gite business. We have a huge vegetable garden and orchards, and use only natural processes like home made fertilisers and treatments and some permaculture methods. Along side running the business there are projects like restoring a humid prairie and spring field, generally planting and maintaining the various hectares of grassland to encourage the greatest potential of reptiles, insect, and bird life. We are passionate about nature but, although we have the authority to develop these areas, with just the 2 of us we do not have the time to transform them more than the occasional cut, and tree planting. We would welcome anyone with expertise in these areas, although we have gained some ourselves over the years with the input of various local nature groups. The above mentioned areas are becoming rare, even here in rural France, so we are very keen to help preserve what remains with your help.
Hilfe bei Ökoprojekten
Betreuung von Tieren
We have ourselves acquired a great deal of knowledge over the years about the local wildlife and have had many wonderful experiences relating to this. We have resident bats and many species of birds living and nesting here, along with various mammals like deer, wild boar, stone martins, badgers, foxes and various rodents.
Many of the surrounding towns and villages are very old and beautiful, often with a weekly market, making fantastic day trips. We have excellent cheese, Armagnac and wine producers in the area. The local people are friendly and helpful as long as you attempt to speak French. They usually enjoy the chance of an exchange with visitors to the region. The region is steeped in history and there are many bastide towns dating from the 100 years war era.
We are looking for anyone who can help us with general prairie management and restoration in order to have the maximum of diversity for all plant and animal wildlife on this site. In order to restore the humid prairies we need to remove a great deal of young Ash trees and saplings, and restore the grass areas to a even surface (which have become very bumpy from wild Boar foraging) to make it possible to cut it annually. There are other areas where we can plant more trees. We have a great number of insects, birds and reptiles, including many species of wild bees, all of which have improved in numbers since the 11 years of us managing this estate. There are 2 ponds and a reservoir providing breeding places for all amphibian life. We would like to improve the lake surroundings and plant life to encourage more versatility in these areas so would be grateful of any help relating to these areas too. We would also potentially be very interested in developing skills like scything, and fencing for animal grazing in the future.
As part of our job we live in a large stone farmhouse. There is one additional bedroom accommodating 1 person or a couple. Bathroom facilities would be shared. We mainly live in a large kitchen and food preparation can be shared. We enjoy cooking using our own grown produce as much as possible. Anything bought in is obtained from local organic sources if possible.
We have limited experience with strangers living with us but look forward to the cultural exchange of ideas. We are both involved in music, playing in a folk group performing monthly locally, and regularly host music practices. We consider ourselves sociable and enjoy the company of many various and varied friends from different backgrounds and cultures.
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Wir besitzen Tiere
Wir sind Raucher
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week