We are one of a group of four new eco smallholdings in West Wales which gained planning permission in 2016 under the new One Planet Development planning policy. We are currently in the process of completing our off-grid family home and scaling up our growing to meet more of our food needs on site. The planning permission requires that the house is “zero carbon in construction and use” and uses local, natural materials.
We are a couple (Chris and Erica) with a 4-year old who likes birds, reading, and imaginative play, and a 1-year old who likes milk, tickles, and spherical objects. Our home is a beautiful two story roundwood timber frame house, with straw bale infill walls, lime plaster on the outside and clay plaster on the inside. We have a cat but she is not allowed in the house.
We have two acres of apple orchard that we have planted and grafted ourselves, keep bees for pollination and honey, and will grow much of our own food. Our main goal for 2019 is to develop our organic veg garden to a productive smallholding scale. We have recently got chickens, ducks, geese, and a new polytunnel.
We've already had an amazing stream of volunteers and course participants who have got stuck into everything happening on site and brought all sorts of skills and ideas to our new place. There are a range of opportunities depending on the interests of visitors, but some upcoming jobs include orchard pruning, laying out new beds (we are aiming for a no-dig garden so not too much spade work!), sowing and planting out, propagating and weeding. In the summer/autumn there will be honey extraction, apple harvesting, apple juicing and preserving, and we might even try our hand at some cider making. When the weather is bad there are still some indoor jobs left to complete the house, including some flooring, carpentry, plastering, and painting. Playing with the kids is always a useful thing to do too. We also run interesting courses and meetings from our place which you'll be welcome to get involved with.
DIY and building projects
Babysitting and creative play
Help with Eco Projects
Our development is part of the new One Planet Development framework. This is a radical new planning policy which uniquely centres on the residents' 'ecological footprint'. We have to build and live in a low impact way, we must meet some of our needs directly from the land and run a land based enterprise. Visitors will gain an insight of this pioneering new policy in Wales. Our immediate three neighbours in this new eco-village are similarly self-building homes from predominantly natural materials and we are part of a wider low-impact community in West Wales.
More specifically you can learn about
- self-building with natural materials (timber, straw, clay, etc)
- design and planning of a new smallholding
- vegetable growing
- fruit tree grafting, pruning, care and maintenance (seasonal)
- beekeeping, honey processing (seasonal)
- the One Planet Development planning policy in Wales
- low impact living
There are a range of opportunities depending on the interests of visitors, but some upcoming jobs include orchard pruning, laying out new beds (we are aiming for a no-dig garden so not too much spade work!), sowing and planting out, propagating and weeding. In the summer/autumn there will be honey extraction, apple harvesting, apple juicing and preserving, and we might even try our hand at some cider making. When the weather is bad there are still some indoor jobs left to complete the house, including some flooring, carpentry, plastering, and painting. Playing with the kids is always a useful thing to do too :)
We offer a modest log cabin for accommodation. It's a single small room (2.5mx3.5m) but is warm, dry, has solar-powered electricity 24/7 and a wood burner and a double futon. There is a simple kitchen in an outbuilding next door to the cabin with table, chairs, hobs, pots and pans, clean water etc. There is a compost toilet. Internet access is available in our house and the cabin has a reasonable 4G signal.
Volunteers usually eat with us on work days but on your days off, or when your schedule does not match ours, you are welcome to cook for yourself in the kitchen.
The nearest town with reasonable public transport is Whitland, which is approximately ten minutes drive, half hour moderately hilly cycle or a very pleasant (and slightly less hilly) hour's walk. From Whitland there are buses to most nearby towns and regular rail services along the line from Carmarthen to Tenby, Fishguard and Pembroke Dock. We are well situated for a stop off on the way to or from the ferry to Ireland.
- We are close to another Ecovillage which has a tour every Saturday in the summer months
- There are many beautiful beaches within a short cycle/drive/train ride, including Amroth (closest), Saundersfoot and Tenby (accessible by train). Tenby is a lovely seaside town and Amroth has everything you could want in a beach with the bonus of a nice walk up to the Colby Woodland Gardens.
- The National Botanic Garden of Wales is just the other side of Carmarthen and has many interesting events and displays
- We are situated just off the Landsker Borderlands Trail, a long distance footpath which offers various walking opportunities, as does the Wales Coast Path which passes just a few miles away from us
We are very accessible to visitors without cars and are able to help you find lift shares to places of interest or at the very least to drop you off at the train station.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week
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