Hello, I am a marine conservationist living in a bungalow by the sea shore on the Isle of Arran, one of Scotland's most beautiful islands. The sea around the south of Arran is a Marine Protected Area and a great place to look out for otters and seals and learn about Arran's cultural and natural heritage.
The bungalow renovation, garden and helping around the house are the main activities. There are lots of practical renovation jobs to be done as well as general house work and enjoying island life. I am looking for enthusiastic, practical Workawayers with a fun outlook on life and a real interest in Scotland's wild west.
I have been a volunteer myself and have spent quite a few years abroad volunteering with community and environmental groups. I understand volunteering has to work for everyone, be creative and make the most of individual skills. I speak English, and a bit of French, Indonesian and Melanesian Pidgin English learned during three years volunteering in Papua New Guinea.
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
Help with Computers/ Internet
Arran is a fascinating island, with abundant wildlife and a strong community feel. It's possible to see Golden Eagles, Basking Sharks, Otters, Seals, Red Squirrels and much more and learn a lot about practical conservation. There are quite a few active conservation groups on the island. It's about 2 hours by train and boat from the city of Glasgow, where I grew up. My house is on the shore of Lamlash Bay looking out at the Holy Isle, a Tibetan Buddhist retreat which you can visit by boat and learn about Buddism. The shore is at the bottom of the garden with lots of wading birds and sand flats. The village of Lamlash, is about 10 minutes walk away, has three pubs, hotels a small co-op, a golf club, tennis courts and a bowling green. It also has an old pier and a chandlers near the yacht club. There is a coastal rowing boat crew and a mountain biking group. The bay is good for kayaking and swimming (in summer).
There are wonderful walks at all levels, from a circular coastal route to high mountain ridges with views of Ireland on a clear day as well as many shorter walks. I am a keen walker and cyclist and always delighted to show visitors Arran's best routes. Arran has a good cultural life, there are bands on most Saturdays in a local pub and occasional visits from Scottish Opera. You can also get to hear traditional music and attend Ceilidh dances in the summer, perhaps after a visit to the Whisky distillery in Lochranza. Learn how to country dance! If you are into history there is an excellent community run museum in Brodick, a short bus ride away. So a lot to do and learn about, especially if you are keen on the outdoors and wildlife. For my part I hope to pick up new skills from you and to learn about your country and culture. N.b. Social distancing means that some activities are still not allowed at the moment, though things are beginning to improve. (Aug 2021)
I am looking for volunteers with good practical skills and enthusiasm. Experience of maintenance or any trade would be an advantage but not essential, if you let me know your skills and interests I can be flexible. You might have a trade, technical skills or loads of gardening experience, or like cooking and house painting. At the moment I am working on a new bathroom, refitting a kitchen, painting various parts of the house and establishing a small veg garden. There are also routine jobs such as daily cooking, shopping, house keeping and lawn mowing - the garden is big. I sometimes have guests renting my place but you would not be asked to help with any work relating to this. I expect about 5 hours of help per day, normally mornings, 5 days per week but this is flexible depending on weather and what's going on.
This host offers a language exchange
This host has indicated that they are interested in sharing their own language or learning a new language.
You can contact them directly for more information.
You will have your own room looking out over the garden and a shared yellow bathroom (welcome to 1975!). The bathroom may be shared at times with Air BandB guests. There is a kitchen, large living room and loads of space in the garden to relax in. I don't eat red meat but do eat fish sometimes. There is internet, a TV in the living room and limited mobile reception at the front of the house. It is a strictly non smoking household and garden.
I will try to answer everyone within three days. Please let me know how you think you can assist with the jobs outlined above in a couple of short paragraphs. I try not to spend too much time in front of a computer screen so my apologies in advance for being brief- I prefer chatting person to person and getting to know people in the real world.
There are regular buses (about 1 per hour on the East side, less often on the West side) of the island, going round the island in both directions. The buses meet the ferry at Brodick which sails to Ardrossan on the mainland (55mins) and a train from there to Glasgow (45 mins). I don't drive a car but do have a bike you can borrow. Lamlash is about a 15 mins bus ride from Brodick so easy to get to.
Weather and clothing
This is the West of Scotland so expect sun, rain, wind and sometimes even snow on the mountain tops in summer (all in one day). It's essential to have good outdoor waterproof clothing for all seasons and have layers to put on. Avoid jeans as they will get you wet and cold if it rains and do bring water proof trousers and walking boots. If it's sunny a sun hat and cream are also recommended.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Reasonable wifi for an island.
Large garden with space to park
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week