Family living a low impact life welcomes help to build a strawbale chicken palace in Scotland, UK


United Kingdom


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  • Description


    We are a warm and welcoming family who live in Speyside, Moray NE Scotland in an idyllic and tranquil valley at the foot of Ben Rinnes, Moray's highest mountain. We are surrounded by wildlife and natural beauty and have spectacular views of the dark night sky.

    We have 5 daughters, 1 still at home, 2 dogs, 2 cats and the beginnings of a chicken community!

    We are vegetarian, love permaculture, no-dig gardening and living a simple life! We work from home as foster carers and have our own small business - a quirky holiday home, built using the local, plentiful and renewable materials of wood, straw, stone, earth, lime and clay. We designed and built it with love, to evoke a real sense of healing and inner peace.

    I run a small charity that promotes natural-build as a means to get a home of your own. We were researching the effects of the natural home on mental health and wellbeing until the lockdown meant we needed to postpone participants' visits. Now we are planning a quirky straw-bale hen house and will document the process, in photo stories, as an example of a simple build.

    We love our space, it's pretty special. We would like to invite Workaway volunteers to join us to make it even more special. Each Workaway we have hosted has left their legacy!

    We take volunteers from March to October. Next year it may be later as we hope to replace the static caravan with a wooden yurt. Next year's project is an outdoor kitchen built naturally, course!

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    DIY and building projects
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    General Maintenance
    Help with Eco Projects
    Help around the house
    Animal Care
    Charity Work
    Art Projects

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    We are a Scottish family living a low impact life and would be happy to share our passion for eco/heritage building, low impact living, local food and Scottish culture with volunteers. I like to listen to our volunteers and find out what they would like to learn and share, then work up a schedule from there. I have many years of experience in networking and ethical business development and would happily support a charity or new business development. As a networker, I have networks within the third sector and would be delighted to enable any volunteers to make further connections to develop their interests if needed.

  • Help


    We would love to host people who would enjoy helping us to build an outdoor kitchen using wood, stone and clay. We alos need help in our no-dig permaculture garden. We welcome creative ideas to make our space even more magical with fairy houses and hidden wonders! We also welcome help with the shared home cooking, breadmaking, art and crafts, chicken care, and if interested, we would be open to input within the research project we are conducting into the natural home and its effects on mental health and wellbeing.

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent
    German: Beginner
    Spanish: Beginner
    French: Beginner

  • Accommodation


    We intend to replace the static caravan with a wooden yurt or similar next year so we will be much later accepting volunteers. It will be off-grid with a wood-burning stove and simple cooking facilities. The toilet and shower facilities will be in the house, a very short distance from your accommodation. There's laundry facilities onsite and we are approx 5 miles from the nearest shops. We have bicycles available to use.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Moray Speyside has lots to see and do from hills to coast, walks, outdoor activities, whisky trails, beautiful beaches, stunning countryside and an abundance of wildlife on your doorsteps. The nearest city is Elgin with Aviemore, Inverness and Aberdeen our closest neighbours.

  • 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.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?


  • ...

    Hours expected

    Minimum expectation is 5 hours a day, 5 days a week. Flexible with days and hours.

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Host ref number: 193436977655