Practical people help wanted for forestry, eco building and more in the Pyrenees, France



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    HI EVERYBODY. FRANCE IS NOW OPEN AGAIN You are free to come here again so let's get moving eh? We are ready for Workawayers again!!

    If you are in France or Europe it should be a lot easier to get here.
    So the other bits........................
    We are looking for good people OCTOBER NOVEMBER DECEMBER.

    Hi there. Rejoice. We have just passed a huge landmark in Workaway terms. We just received our 70th EXCELLENT feedback. We are going to open a bottle of fizz tonight !!

    Anyway, last year and this we passed great summers, autumn and winter with our volunteers and got a lot of really great healthy outdoor work completed, had a lot of fun, taught a lot of skills and made a lot of new friends.

    However back to now, we are recruiting now for autumn and winter this year.........2020/21.
    Are you 'can do', do you love outdoor physical labour. You will love it here.
    Come and spend quality time with us. Vacancy for 2 singles and a couple. You will be made most welcome.
    LOGGING...................logging NOW. Can you handle a chainsaw (want to) work hard in the forest with us? WE HAVE JUST INSTALLED A NEW MOBILE SAWMILL. Get fit, make dust !!
    BUILDERS or people with practical skills very welcome.
    In the summer months we usually have 4 or 5 volunteers with us and it has always been great fun.

    We are designing a CHILDREN'S PLAY AREA IN THE WOODS - zipwire/swings/basketball hoop etc. Also a wooden castle with all the offcuts from the mill.
    Can you help with this??

    CARPENTERs always most welcome
    PLUMBER???. Help me to create a buffer tank from Solar panels to the Heat Exchanger and other stuff. None of it difficult, just needs to be done.
    MECHANIC, always stuff to do here with our vehicles and kit.
    DECORATOR/PAINTER - always stuff to do for a good decorator.
    WELDER - (TIG) repairing the pick up truck (the back got torn off logging)!
    VIDEO EDITORS/WEB down for details

    LOOKING Further ahead to next APRIL (2021) you could spend 2 months on our BOAT in Greece helping me doing a major refit. If you have any talent in painting/varnishing/decorating, MARINE ENGINES or ships woodwork etc etc please get in touch.

    Hands on CAN DO and POSITIVE practical people always wanted.
    We had a lot of mature broadleaf trees come down in a recent storm which we have to sort out. Remember the adage:-

    A tree warms you four times!

    First when you cut it down.
    Second when you cut it up and stack it
    Third when you move it to the house.
    Fourthly when you burn it.
    Our wood normally dries naturally over a year so that all the Co2 is washed out back into the soil where it is trapped. Dried seasoned wood is one of the most eco friendly ways of heating your home.
    Thinking of wintering over 2020/21.........................Keep warm with us !
    We are building, decorating, sorting out the greenhouses for next year - planting spuds - restoring an old stone house - getting the wood in for the winter. The list goes on ! Come and feel loved and needed. We are nice and feed people properly.
    Are you practical? Are you able to get up in the morning? Do you want to have fun? Sign here!

    ALSO need help with ....chopping wood making kindling etc...... check out our pix.

    Come to us and find out why we always have a lot of applications to join our project!!
    Our FEEDBACK coming up to 9 years with Workaways is -----70 'EXCELLENT', 3 'VERY GOOD' , 1 'NEUTRAL' (can't believe anyone would call us NEUTRAL) and not forgetting the 2 'BAD'

    The two BAD were 7 years apart so not so dramatic.......and remember the old saying:-
    You can please all of the people some of the time
    You can please some of the people all of the time
    BUT You can't please all the people all the time !!

    So back to today..................

    NOW READ THE BIT ABOUT the Work Ethic and the appreciation of the natural world here. If you have never been stung by a nettle (or are frightened of being stung by a nettle) do not apply.

    Work on the land with us. Improve your muscle tone ! Save a fortune on Gym membership fees!
    Winter here is wonderful, sun and snow, log fire, great food and French red wine !!
    Lumber Jacks and Jills wanted. Remember the Monty Python sketch............. bring a kilt ( no Bagpipes) !!!
    We have to fell and process 30 trees (Douglas) and tractor down to the saw mill etc etc. Healthy outdoor work and fun fun fun. We have our own SAW MILL..
    I want to cover the sawmill with a Celtic round house shelter structure with wooden shingle roof (we make everything). Great work and great experience.

    We are always looking for People/Pioneers with building skills (or very practically minded)!! We always need help! Be part of our family and team.......It's pioneering work and adventurous. Get out of your comfort zone, stretch yourself. Practical hands on people only. We don't do Yoga - too busy. Help with our pig sty, chicken coup, cut trees, making a road through the forest, making a fire(BBQ) pit.........Eating drinking!! Planting, building, warm fuzzy feeling.....
    Gardening, mechanics, carpenters, builders, plumbers, , PV and solar power experienced people. Lots of etceteras.........If you are a 'CAN DO' and PRO ACTIVE person you will love it here!

    Remember that when the weather gets warmer we have a lot of applications to come to us. Book early and be sure!!

    Lastly, could you help us produce a VIDEO of our activities here in the mountains for YouTube???
    Do you know anything about INTERNET MARKETING -?

    And now to the Spam !!

    Hello again, I was previously a world traveler and adventurer (still a sailor)! Now settled in the Pyrenees with Virginia my wife, we have a lovely house, farm and woodland (see pix below) We aspire to eco development, the house already is carbon neutral with power supplied by photovoltaic solar panels. I am an architect and builder with a lifelong passion in saving ancient and beautiful buildings. If one stone remains with your help I can re-build it!! We have a lot of land and forest and live at 600metres above sea level. This altitude guarantees 4 seasons, Spring is glorious and begins very early by European standards Summer is guaranteed to be lovely weather without it ever (!) becoming unbearably hot, Autumn is fabulous with all the hardwood leaves of the forests turning the whole area into an artists canvas, Winter we have usually two big dumps of snow between December to late Feb early March there is great skiing (three resorts - hour away).
    We have 2 'sheep' dogs (see photo) - , super friendly cat. In the recent past we have also kept pigs chickens goats ducks sheep etc etc. We always take care of, kill and eat our own livestock personally. Everything here gets a good life (and respectful death).
    The reason we have downsized the farm is because we have a 45' sailing ketch and we have been spending long periods on the boat in a large restoration project (she is wooden and an American classic - we sailed her across the Atlantic).
    So now the boat is almost finished and we have to get the farm running again.
    I have a tractor (massey 70hp) plough harrow etc etc., A NEW MOBILE SAWMILL, a tracked digger and a dumper, two chainsaws, two bushcutters etc etc. In fact we have all the kit.............
    What we were hoping to accomplish this winter is to clear a piece of forest about 10 acres in size. We want to bring it back to pasture and mill all the wood we take out. All told we have something like 60 acres to clear.
    In addition, we would like to build GREENHOUSE tunnels and maintain the veggy garden and restore a beautiful barn (1840) as the roof has caved in and the stone walls need restoring etc etc. SEE PIX

    Where we live abounds in fauna and bird-life, you can walk ride,ski, bike, anywhere, as far as Spain if you want, you will never come across a sign that says "Keep Out - Private Property" like in England or the US! (Horrible ! Ugh.)
    Life is rounded here, and in return for good honest work (see note below *️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️) we offer convivial company and accommodation, food is included as is wine and beer (or fizzy water if you prefer). We are considered to be a good and creative cooks (and after saying this now we will have to prove it!) and like to share cooking with any-one who is interested in learning or who already has skills. I am very happy to pass along my skills to any-one interested in every facet of the project etc.

    So, send an e-mail with a description of who you are, what you like.
    This position is open to all regardless of race, sex, religion,lactose intolerance, age, number of heads etc., Aliens however, need to send me a telepathic response!
    We are not smokers (dope or baccy) and if we have the choice we always go for non smokers! (but if we like the sound of you, pragmatism rules).

    PS We speak English and French. Because we have so many people from International backgrounds ENGLISH is the common language in the house.
    PPS We are omnivores but are happy to accommodate veggies if they are tolerant.
    Sorry but we find accommodating Vegan lifestyles too difficult.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    DIY and building projects
    General Maintenance
    Farmstay help
    Help with Eco Projects
    Help around the house
    Animal Care
    Help with Computers/ Internet

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    You will learn what you want to. My experience in many many fields will be available to you to learn and practice. We like pro-active people who are looking for life and life's experience. If you want it, it's here.

  • Help


    We have an ECO plan to harness/harvest the power from 'our' river, turn it into electricity to heat tunnels in the winter. CAn you help with this? We also intend at some point to restore a beautiful barn (1840) as the roof has caved in and the stone walls need restoring etc etc.

    *️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️Note. Flexible hours to us doesn't mean working when you wake up, we want reliable people to help us, not wait for! A strong WORK ETHIC is important to us. We think that a fulfilled and fit body is a happy body....the mind of course always becomes stronger with a fit and healthy body. 99% of people who have worked here normally put in a full day and then take time off in days (if that makes sense)>
    2011/12/13/15/16/17/18/19/20 were great years for us and our Workaway volunteers, we gained some great feedbacks

    70 EXCELLENTS means it can't be a fluke !
    Read the (2) one stars I got...........If you identify with those 'Work' aways please don't come.......

    Most people who came to us came actually to enjoy the work we are doing. This is the buzz!
    At any time people could take whatever time off they wanted, planned in advance. We always run people to the rail station or town and also pick them up again when they return.
    Keeping flexible is the key
    One Workawayer who applied to us quoted us as being 'The Workaway' host opportunity - with balls' I think that is pretty close to what we are. Honest, straight, integer, ecological, friendly and with enthusiasm and guts. If you don't see yourself in this situation, if you can't get up in the morning or are not reliable, please do not apply.

    Last Note. The area surrounding us is in a national park and it is one of the few areas of the world where forestry is increasing. We do not fell trees without considerable thought and planning.
    Whatever outdoor sport or pastime you want to do is here! Skiing, snowboarding, skating, thermal baths, climbing, cycling, hiking, canoeing, climbing, hanging out(?) etc.

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent
    French: Fluent

  • Accommodation


    We have 4 Rooms in the main house (two doubles with en suite for couples and two singles) or you can be independent (some prefer it) in the summer months a caravan within 10 metres of the house (with mains electric etc). You 'live' in the house but sleep in the caravan! Beautiful views are all around us.
    Tenting in the summer is also an option.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Best to e-mail us as we almost always log on in the evenings.
    In the light of recent experiences with some 'Workawayers' we are looking for people to stay a minimum of one month. Whilst it is difficult to make this commitment and nothing is set in stone, what we don't want is to make a considerable emotional and time investment with some-one only to find out that they are actually 'Couch Surfing' and only staying for a minimum period (one girl stayed just 2 days ) just enough to get them on their way again. So, sorry but NO 'couch surfers' on our project. If you think a month is too long, then look at our feedback. We can't be that bad to live with!! We have had four people stay here for A YEAR and longer!
    We are usually booked out in the summer so if you think you will fit in, book early!
    Thanks, come and have an experience to remember.

    AND FINALLY, sorry if this info site may be slightly inaccurate as we have just come back from sailing and some things have changed at the 'ranch' ie my beloved beloved dog Kiltie and her daughter Jingle are no longer with us. We do however have a daughter Molly who is adorable as well, so please forgive some minor inaccuracies but the bulk of everything written above is correct.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 4-5 hours, 5 days a week (maximum 25 a week)

Local waterfall
Try this slide?
River in January 2018
Autumn bounty
Sailing the Greek islands now
Sea Pixie, no self steering, no roller reefing, no gadgets, real sailing!!
Pro active people wanted for forestry, building restoration, carpentry, Mechanics etc !!
Kirstie from Canada and Emil from Sweden, now French loggers !!
Carly with Tess one of our dogs (the mad one). This scene is available 3 hour walk from the house.
Our Eco House
Restoration of the barn
'Our" forest in autumn
'Our" river

These are extra optional ratings when members leave feedback. The average rating left for each option is displayed.

Accuracy of profile: (4.8)

Cultural exchange: (4.5)

Communication: (4.5)

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