Help us restoring our not-for-profit smallholding back to its former glory in in north Nottinghamshire, UK


United Kingdom

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    within 2 days

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 Min stay requested: at least 3 weeks

  • Description


    We are a couple living on a smallholding in north Nottinghamshire.
    We are new to Workaway, but have been using HelpX for the past 3 years and have lots of wonderful experiences.

    6 years ago, we bought a derelict smallholding with the aim to do it up and restore it back to its former glory. A few hiccups have happened along the way, making this a rather longer project than initially thought. With the help of my father and volunteers, we have been doing the house up and gradually making it more and more of a home. Outside, we are redesigning outbuildings, demolishing some, modifying others, fixing up more and building new ones.
    We have a small flock of sheep of Portlands and Blue-faced Leicesters. We have a small herd of alpacas that we do walks with and take into schools and nursing homes. We also have around 200 chickens, plus ducks and peafowl. Other animals include dogs, cats, rabbits, and a pair of emus - who are the jewel of my eye.

    A bit more about the people: Dani works from home doing alpaca walks and care home visits with some of her alpacas. She also does the day-to-day care of the animals. Simon works full time. Gemma is our house-hen and runs a tight ship.

    A bit more about the accommodation: The accommodation is somewhat rustic, but that is only because we haven't yet finished renovating the bungalow. You will be given an upstairs room and will share our downstairs shower room. We currently sleep in the living room. Upstairs is very much unfinished; it is completely insulated and nearly plasterboarded. We hope to get it finished in 2021. The guest rooms are nearly finished; they are plastered and decorated - a world apart from what they were at the beginning of the year. They are just missing some finishing touches, but as time goes on, every visitor who stays with us gets a slightly more completed room. We have made them as comfortable as possible and they are furnished. They're bright, warm and you can use our wifi. In the Spring, you will have views across the fields with cattle.

    A bit more about the area: We are in a very quiet village, but only 30 minutes from Lincoln, an hour from Sheffield and Nottingham, and 90 minutes from York and Leicester. There is a bus every two hours to Retford and a train station to pretty much anywhere in Retford. Even London is only an hour and a half away. Quite a few of our volunteers have gone to Edinburgh for a few days - we are happy for people to take extra days off to visit places and even encourage it. The Peak District is - in my opinion - one of the most beautiful places and isn't far. Then there's Sherwood Forest, Clumber Park and many other places to go if you feel so inclined.

    What you need: Outdoor/old clothes, strong footwear, a sense of humour. We are looking for hard working, friendly people who are able to help independently.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Charity Work
    DIY and building projects
    Farmstay help
    Help around the house
    General Maintenance

  • UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN goals
    No poverty
    Zero hunger
    Good health and well-being
    Quality education
    Gender equality
    Clean water and sanitation
    Affordable and clean energy
    Decent work and economic growth
    Industries, innovation and infrastructure
    Reduce inequality
    Sustainable cities and communities
    Responsible consumption and production
    Climate action
    Life below water
    Life on land
    Peace, justice and strong institutions
    Partnerships for the goals
  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    I am fluent in French, so happy to provide English lessons to someone who requests them.
    We love our little soggy island and will get you trying different British foods, from jelly to yorkshire puddings, fish and chips to haggis. Depending on how long you're with us, we will also take you for a day out in York or a walk through the Peak District. We are happy to drop you off at the train station if you'd like to go anywhere by train, or there is a bus into the nearest town Retford.
    We enjoy board games and have a pool table.

  • Help


    We mostly need help with DIY and the renovation in the house and outbuildings. We would love to finish the renovation works in the house in 2021, so any decorating, joinery or general DIY skills would be fab! However there is also a lot to do outside! We have a dilapidated brick and wood greenhouse, for example, that would be a fantastic project to someone staying for a couple of months.
    If you enjoy gardening, we would also love getting our garden area looking good. We enjoy barbecues in the Summer and only started using the garden in 2019, so there's still a bit of work to create flowerbeds, level and dig over some areas, reseed, etc

    There will be the occasional time where I need a hand with the animals, whether it's mucking out or rounding sheep up.

    I would also appreciate help with keeping the house clean, just by vacuuming and mopping common areas once a week (don't worry, it's a small house).

  • Languages

    Languages spoken
    English: Fluent
    French: Fluent

    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


    As described above, you will have your own room in the house. The room is newly plastered and decorated, but still unfinished, but it is comfortable, warm and has plenty of bright, airy windows. We have put rugs on the floor for you.
    Due to the lockdown, we have been struggling a bit financially. As a result, we have decided to change our offering to guests to fewer hours, but you must purchase your own breakfast and lunch food. We will provide evening meals, which are a full, cooked meal. We also ask that any sweets, alcohol, pop, or other luxuries be bought by yourself.
    You will have your own shelf in the fridge and 1-2 shelves in a cupboard.
    There is wifi in the house, that you can use. We'd just ask for you to be considerate in your use of it as it isn't high-speed, so downloads tend to clog the bandwidth for others. No worries downloading during the night though, or while others aren't using the internet.
    You can use the microwave, washing machine and dryer.

    Please note, we cannot accept anyone with children or pets, sorry.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    We are happy to tailor your stay to your needs. Please send a message to start chatting!

  • 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

  • Can host digital nomads

    Can host digital nomads

    We have had fibre broadband fitted and would be happy to tailor your stay to suit your needs. For example, if you just wanted accommodation, then we'd offer fewer hours etc.

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    We feel we have the space to cater for a single campervan and potentially an electric hook-up. There would be no wifi, though, until we can get extenders fitted.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?


  • ...

    Hours expected

    25 hours a week, distributed as you wish

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Accuracy of profile: (5.0)

Cultural exchange: (5.0)

Communication: (4.5)

Host ref number: 235812983335