Springtime help in the garden, woodlands and home in rural Messac, France



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  • Description


    Coronavirus update:
    We understand how difficult it must have been for some Workawayers caught up in the Coronavirus situation - we had one lovely young lady who came for 3 weeks and ended up stuck with us for nearly three months! Luckily she has now been able to return home - and in fact we all had a pretty nice ‘confinement‘ all together! So we are now happy to invite enquiries from Workawayers who would like to help us out.

    We would be able to receive Workawayers on a self-sufficient basis - living and catering for yourself in the gîte next door in order to maintain self distancing rules, which are still in place in France. Since we are very rural, with no shops etc within 10km, this could be a little more lonely than a usual Workaway where we would take our meals etc together! Please keep this in mind before applying. Your own transport/car would be a definite bonus for you.

    We are a British couple living in rural SW France with our horses and cats who would love to share our peaceful space in return for help with the spring jobs that come with an old country house and large garden. In fact we will probably need help forever, not just the spring! Jobs include weeding, pruning, more weeding... help with lime mortar building and roofing, sanding, painting and decorating. Also must be prepared to help with cleaning and tidying.

    We are also looking for someone to help improve our French language skills. This person may not be someone who can do the heavy work, but just help out as an extra pair of hands with lighter work.

    Although we are in France, our French is not great yet, we’ve only been here a year or so and were in the Austrian Alps for five years before we moved here, so we speak a little German. Prior to that we lived between central London and a rather remote Scottish hill moor village so we are pretty versatile in our lifestyle and we enjoy interacting with people from different cultures and social backgrounds.

    We would be very grateful for help with our French and we both have tefl english qualifications so very happy to help with your English.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Language practice
    DIY and building projects
    Animal Care
    Help around the house
    General Maintenance

  • Projects involving children

    Projects involving children

    This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    We are lucky to live in a very beautiful and tranquil area, surrounded by woodlands, vineyards and open countryside. If you enjoy walking or cycling then you will love it!

    We practise Tai chi, a little yoga and walk a lot and you are welcome to join us.

    Also perfect for fitness enthusiasts who want to combine functional strength and conditioning into their routine! Seriously, if you are training for cycling, running or triathlon, this would be your heaven!

    You may have the opportunity to learn about pruning trees, building and repointing walls, repairing roofs, house maintenance including painting and wood repair, building log piles, horse behaviour & management, mowing grass, pushing wheelbarrows (lol, much of our life seems to involve pushing a wheelbarrow!), woodland management... basically learning about living in the countryside!

  • Help


    Spring jobs e.g. gardening, woodland management, spring cleaning, building repairs and maintenance, horse pasture management including muck spreading and weeding fields. Some jobs are heavy work and so you must be used to, for example, heavy gardening - if you can dig a garden and push a full wheelbarrow you should be ok! Wet weather work includes spring cleaning house, cleaning floors, windows, dusting etc.

    We are currently renovating buildings so if you are interested in learning skills like lime mortar building and pointing or roofing then please apply!

    We are also looking for someone to help us improve our French speaking skills. You would not need to do the heavy work as well, although a little help with the lighter jobs would be useful.

  • Languages

    Languages spoken
    German: Fluent
    English: Fluent
    French: Intermediate

    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.

  • Accommodation


    We have a variety of accommodation available, depending on individual circumstances. All rooms have their own wc/shower room.

    You are expected to keep home and work areas clean and tidy - to clear up after yourself!

    We have an outdoor, unheated pool (11m) which you are welcome to use (NB unheated means it is cold!)

    Please note that our internet connection is only via 4G mobile and our data is limited so there is no connection for Netflix etc., although of course you can use your own mobile data plan.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    We do not actually leave home very much - we only go to the shops two or three times a month. And we tend to find our visitors just lose themselves here too!

    The nearest city is Bordeaux, around an hour away. However, there are no local buses or public transport. It may be possible for us to give a lift to the nearest train station at our nearest town, Montendre (train directions to Bordeaux and La Rochelle) or there is quite an active Blabla/car sharing network in France.

    It is a very rural area so you need to be someone who truly enjoys peace and quiet and living with nature, interspersed with the occasional rather noisy French hunting/shooting in the woods. We are surrounded by wildlife - birds, owls, deer, boar and the skies are very dark at night so wonderful for birdwatchers and stargazers (we have a telescope you can use).

    Weather: February/March can be cold. We tend to have a few beautiful, warm, spring days interspersed with some very cold and wet days.

  • 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

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    This host can provide space for campervans.

  • Can possibly accept pets

    Can possibly accept pets

    Well behaved pets are very welcome. Must be ok with cats and horses. Please ask for more information.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week

Host ref number: 175315316536