I'm a 35 year old Forester from Hertfordshire, England. The woodland is located near Berkhamsted which is around 30-40 mins from London Euston by train.
I've owned and managed this woodland for the past 6 years after nearly 12 years of high paced London life. This is not a business but a passion project that is ever evolving with a mission to improve biodiversity alongside creating an edible food forest and space to enjoy nature. With many projects ongoing or still to start it will be many years in the making, a lifetime perhaps!
The woodland itself is broadleaf deciduous and is ancient, meaning it's been a woodland for over 400 years. In an area of outstanding natural beauty nestled in 'The Chiltern Hills' near the towns of Tring, Berkhamsted and Wendover it's a pretty beauty part of England.
I don't live at the woodland but do stay over when there and hosting. I've built a small cabin on an old farming trailer which has a simple kitchen, sofa and log burner.
We've created a few different areas around the woodland so you'll find a hammock or chill spot to enjoy the sunshine and soak up some nature during your time off.
- Electricity is very limited and can only support 12v USB devices.
- No WiFi. Only limited tethering from my phone.
- There is no running water so I collect this from off site for drinking and washing.
- Water and food are heated over open fire, gas or on the log burner.
- Indoor/outdoor kitchen.
- Cooking will be veggie/flexi.
- Outdoor shower.
- Composting eco toilet.
- Shed with log burner and sofa.
- Dog friendly but must be well behaved!
- Naturist/Clothing optional.
Help with Eco Projects
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
Whether you're looking to learn more about the off grid lifestyle, woodland management, naturism, or simply want to reconnect with nature. I hope to offer a calm safe space amongst the trees to share life experiences, learn and create in nature.
I've had many life experiences and worked in a variety of industries but ultimately keep finding my way back to the trees and dirt. I think it's time to share this journey and experience with others. Perhaps like-minded, perhaps not. Learning is an essential eternal process uniquely created for each of us and comes in many forms.
The woodland is within walking distance of civilization and shops so not completely isolated. The area also has a rich history with a selection of interesting places to see or visit on days off and London is less than an hour away.
The activities will be predominantly gardening, weeding and woodland management. So far it's been mostly tree felling or new planting. Lots of axing and building log walls along with all sorts of DIY, painting and building projects, so anyone wanting to come will require physical strength as well as good hand/eye coordination. Any previous experience with tools, building, chainsawing or axing a big plus and will receive preferential. Right now trying to keep the brambles at bay and clear the remaining trees that were felled.
Meals are usually prepared, cooked and shared communally along with all the general facility maintenance to keep the place clean, tidy and running smoothly.
Cooking is done outside over open fire in a number of techniques. If raining I have gas hob indoors. Food is vegetable heavy with the option of meat a couple times a week. Personally don't like fish and have a couple nut allergies but other than that I try to eat a healthy balanced Flexi diet. I ask that you provide your own sweets, chocolate, alcohol etc. Supermarket is not far and also weekly markets in local towns on different days we can visit. There is no fridge or freezer!
Days and hours are flexible. Often weather will dictate which activities will be possible.
A positive can do attitude is essential. Open and accepting to have a go is key.
We only speak English so it is essential that you can too as all instructions and woodland safety must be understood! Sometimes we work with chainsaws, power tools and heavy machinery so must ensure the safety of everyone!!
You'll be living a simple life here. Everything is done by hand, outside and with fire surround by trees and wildlife. This type of living is not for everyone and may seem primitive.
This WorkAway experience is not simply having jobs to do and finding people to do them. Yes there are some key practical skill sets I hope to find within volunteers but this is and will always be a human experience of learning and creating. I guess I'm hoping to find some earthy like-minded souls with an interest in simple outdoor living with fire and nature at the core to help me with my life's work.
2 bedroom chamber tent provided with adjoining internal space. This tent will sometimes be shared with another WorkAway but please feel free to bring your own if you'd prefer. Bedding provided or you can bring your own sleeping bag.
I have a 1 year old black Labrador who will always be here. Also my partner Tim dips in and out depending on other commitments around the country.
We both practice naturism, especially during the hotter months so please be mindful.
Flexi eaters with meat a couple times a week.
Happy to host smokers.
Days off can be spent in the woods or out and about. Loads of amazing walks and trails in the area. Town is walking distance or can cycle and has plenty of history and architecture to entertain. Or I can drop you at a station if you want to go explore somewhere further.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Perfect for VanLife. Plenty of parking space! No mains water or electricity connection.
Dogs welcome but must be well behaved! Other dogs will be here also. The woodland is not securely fenced.
Maximum 5 hours a day, 5 days a week