We have been working on renovating our dream home for nearly 3 months. It is currently a derelict farmhouse in a stunningly beautiful, isolated setting in North Devon. We are a family made up of me, Jasmine, my partner, Ben, our two daughters, Keeva and Tulip and my mum, Siobhan.
Ben's a builder. He loves using traditional building techniques and is enjoying using his skills to build our home. Ben surfs at our local beaches whenever the conditions are good (which is regularly at the moment), he's getting into brewing beer, and is a laid back, easy going man to hang out with. Having said that, Ben is totally focused on our renovation project and is working on it 5 full days a week. We'd love someone to join Ben in enthusiastically getting involved with the build. Someone to help with the heavy lifting jobs, help with the less skilled tasks, unless you have experience in building - then we'd really appreciate your skills and knowledge - someone who either wants to learn traditional building techniques or already has the skills.
Siobhan is in her element in our new location; she loves walking her little dog, Hector, all around the forests, fields, Moors, beaches and rivers that surround us. Siobhan works as a relief milker on a couple of nearby dairy farms. She keeps bees too. Siobhan is also very laid back, she loves her own space, but also having us all nearby for chats, playing and company. Siobhan enjoys kayaking on the local rivers and looking after her bees.
Keeva is our 5 year old fabulous daughter; she gets very excited about a different thing every couple of weeks, currently it's Jumanji..! She is great to chat with, she's thoughtful, creative, intelligent, loves getting stuck into a good game of pretending, climbing trees, drawing, practicing writing, as well as some impressive crying performances (she is 5.. and life is tough for 5 year olds!). Tulip is our tremendous 3 year old daughter who loves carrying her blanket and a selection of teddies, toy horses and cars wherever she goes (if I let her!). She is into dinosaurs, blue, playing imaginary games, colouring in, making a hide out, stealing apples, football, being full on and she loves animals a lot. They are both wonderful and extremely challenging... Like most little kids. We home educate our children.
I love getting involved in the renovation as much as I can. Ben and I renovated two properties before buying our current dream home project. I am the chief admin person, organising people, ideas, quotes etc.. but being covered in dust, wheelbarrowing sand, knocking walls down.. that's what I love the most! I would really really love someone who could become friends with our kids and look after them for some time throughout the week so that I can get stuck in with the building work. Also, principally, someone who my kids love to be with!
We are using all natural materials to build with. Caring for the environment and ultimately making a home that is a healthy place to live in is our aim. Our plans include a renewable heating system, spring fed water system, natural insulation, stamped earth flooring, no plastic wherever possible. We also have a poly tunnel where we want to continue our passion for growing our own food. Our home is away from EVERYTHING! We pop into the local town fairly regularly, and you'd be welcome to join us. But please be aware of the (beautiful) isolation of the place.
Hilfe bei Ökoprojekten
Learn how remote areas in England function! Learn about the beauty of the forests, fields, Moors, beaches and rivers that are on our doorstep. There is so much wildlife; deers, owls, bats, mice, lizards, slow worms, birds of prey, song birds.. and many many more. We live in a dark sky reserve - the stars look phenomenal here. Go surfing with Ben. Go kayaking with Siobhan. Come to our local Climate Action Group with me. Learn to grow food, flowers, trees. How to harvest the food you grow. Learn how a renovation project works; the planning permission, sourcing environmentally friendly building materials, learn about renewable energy. Learn endless fascinating things from our children! Learn how to care for children. Learn loads about building and renovating, landscaping gardens and setting up enough veg plots and fruits growing areas to feed a family and their friends.
We aren't looking for a superhuman.. if you feel you can only offer one or a couple of things - that'd be wonderful! For example, if you only wanted to help with looking after our daughters and don't see yourself being up for any building work.. get in touch please, we need you! Or if kids are too difficult for you.. and a peaceful time mending our broken house suits you better, also perfect.
You to help us with the renovation/restoration of our farmhouse and barn extension (this will be our home).
Help around the garden; this could include helping in our poly tunnel, clearing overgrown areas, track maintenance, putting in land drains, etc.
Possibly some childcare too.
We'd love your ideas, we'd value your input and insights, and it'd be lovely to get to know you and share a bit of time together.
Hours - we'd be fairly flexible, but it seems pretty standard on workaway to ask for 4-5 hours of help a day, 5 days a week. If you wanted to explore for a few days, or go to something special in town - no worries, we would work something out that suits all of us.
We can offer you:
We'd provide you healthy, home cooked meals (we're vegetarian, but if you wanted to add some meat to your dish, we're totally fine with that).
You would be welcome to join us to eat and chat, but we'd respect your privacy always, and request some for ourselves too. But I'm sure this'd happen naturally. We're pretty chilled here.. our kids are pretty full on, funny, crazy little things.. :)
You'd be welcome to go surfing with Ben whenever he goes.
My mum, Siobhan, lives here too and she loves kayaking, so you might be able to do that too. Siobhan also keeps bees, and may need help making new bee hive things, and other bee jobs!
We live in a beautiful, isolated, peaceful spot surrounded by nature - the moors, forests, rivers, the sea.. there is so much to explore here.
I travel to Bristol most weekends to work. You'd be welcome to get a lift with me and find somewhere to stay for the weekend and catch a lift back home with me on Sunday afternoon.
Accommodation - we're thinking you would have a room in our part-converted barn. There are 2 cosy, finished bedrooms and a living room below with a woodburner. The barn doesn't yet have a bathroom or kitchen, but we are a 10 seconds walk away in our mobile home and you'd be welcome to use our fully fitted shower room and kitchen anytime you like. (We have plug-in oil filled radiators that you'd use to heat your room). PLEASE NOTE We will fit the barn with a bathroom asap.. so you're accommodation is getting better and better!
Or a bell tent in the warmer times of year is available.
Lynton is our nearest town, 5 minute car drive, 40 minute (beautiful) walk. It has food shops, a tiny cinema, tourist type shops, lovely cafes... It's a great place with lots happening for a small town.
We'd either eat together or we can provide you with food. We'd welcome you to join us for meals, walks, etc, but we also value some private family time.. or even alone time too - very important for the soul! We'd respect your privacy and your need to have company too.. if that makes sense! If you enjoy cooking, we'd love to experience different food.
During your time off you would be free to explore the beautiful local area and visit neighbouring towns and cities (Lynton, Valley of Rocks, Porlock, Dunster, Exeter, Bristol, Dartmoor and South Devon, Cornwall). Buses run from our nearest village (Barbrook) to connect with wider bus and train networks.
Road cycling is very popular in the area, as is mountain/trail biking, and walking. Surfing is big along the coast of Lynmouth, Woolacombe, Croyde and few lesser known beaches that Ben can show you. There are opportunities to coasteer and horse ride too.
Exmoor National Park and the National Trust run lots of local volunteering opportunities for anyone wanting to gain skills in conservation.
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Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week