Help us with our nature-based, off-grid healing retreat on the Blackdown Hills, East Devon/Somerset UK


United Kingdom


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 Min stay requested: at least 2 weeks

  • Description


    Hi, I hope you are keeping safe and well in these crazy Covid times.

    I'm looking for inspired and enthusiastic people to help me with tasks on the land. The place is quite remote and you might spend a good deal of time alone communing with unless you are comfortable with your own company...might be ideal for a couple.

    If you think you can help...ideally I'm wanting those who can commit for a minimum of two weeks, possibly longer. To start you'd be staying on the land as a trial period as well as to 'isolate' (covid), following that, possibly staying with me in my caravan not far from the land, or maybe continue staying on the land...

    *** I would like to clarify that I am evolving this retreat and there may be times that paying guests stay. If this is the case, then unless you particularly would like to, or you have chosen to stay in one of the two accommodations rather than with me at home, I do not expect you to help me with the turn-arounds and getting guest accommodation ready.

    So, my name is Emma. For 7 years now I've looked after 22acres of enchanted land on the beautiful Blackdown Hills. I'm gently evolving the land in to an off-grid Nature Based Healing Retreat. I teach basket making, host regular monthly volunteer days for local people and have a passion for wild food foraging which I also teach on workshops (although this has all slowed down somewhat because of covid).

    I'd really like your help!...I am looking for genuine, motivated, honest, English speaking, happy, fun and inspired individuals. You will need to be ok doing doing tasks on your own as well as helping with me and others.

    The accommodation at home is simple....I live on a nearby farm surrounded by stunning rural a static caravan among a small independent community. The spare room is small but ample. There is a shared living room, kitchen and bathroom. There is no wifi, any internet connection is via your own phone. There is a regular bus which goes from Taunton to Seaton. Your own transport is helpful but not essential. We are near the villages of Dunkeswell and Hemyock which have a post office/shop/doctors, social club, a pub - both a good walk from here. There are also bikes for you to use.

    The accommodation on the land is either the yurt or little hut. Both have woodburners and are very comfortable. The hut has solar so has lights, a place to charge your phone and use your laptop; the yurt is totally off-grid so once the sun goes down it's time to rest! Both have cooking facilities (the yurt kitchen is outside), but the wood buring shower and compost toilet are shared.

    Most meals are shared in the open sided barn, which has the feel of an outside kitchen....and no solar, so no lights....there are mobile solar lights that can be charged up from the hut, but a head-torch makes life much easier!

    I eat an almost vegan diet, and eat well...mostly organic. We share cooking and keeping our home tidy with things like washing up and hoovering (this is in addition to your 25 working hours).

    There are stunning footpaths to explore locally. The seaside is near and it is worth exploring some of the historic Jurassic coast.

    Please only get in touch if you are serious about staying (I've had a few people cancel at the last minute which has caused a few set-backs).

    That's about it for now. If you are interested do get in touch. I look forward to hearing from you! Blessings :-) Emma

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Art Projects
    Help with Eco Projects
    DIY and building projects
    Animal Care
    Farmstay help
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    Help around the house
    General Maintenance
    Help with Computers/ Internet

  • 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

    The Blackdown Hills in Devon is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Most of the land here has been held in the same family for many generations. Because of the many natural springs and wooded valleys the land has escaped intensive farming so retains a touch of Old England, supporting a diverse array of flora and fauna, some of it quite rare. Beautiful walking opportunities are extensive.

    There are many small villages with enthusiastic villagers who create activities for those that live here such as film showings, farmers' markets and table top sales....there are historic interests such as Hembury Hill Fort, Blackbury Camp and the Wellington Monument, the sea is not far either - the number 20 bus will take you from home right to the sea in Seaton!

    The AONB regularly put on interesting walks and talks to help rediscover the landscape, rural skills etc...

    The ancient and historic city of Exeter is a short distance away and there is all medley of things to do there such as the underground passage tour which takes you through a network of ancient tunnels, some of them chest height, where they used to channel water under the city!

    There's loads to do.

  • Help


    On the land there is an evolving list of things that need doing: bracken pulling; weeding; ... a gentle mix of building projects and gardening depending on life and the weather! I am passionate about recycle and reuse where possible and use what I can from the natural environment. If you come up with good ideas for a project which will fit in then I'm open to suggestions.

    You will need to be hard working, able to carry out physical tasks, be flexible in mind and happy to adapt.
    I have office work to do too when I'm home, so it's important that you are happy to occupy yourself at times.

    The 25 hours over 5days per week is ideal, we might do longer some days and less on others....
    At home there is a garden which I also need help keeping tidy by weeding and cutting the grass.

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent

  • Accommodation


    After the initial 2 week isolation, simple, clean, shared accommodation with me and my boyfriend stays sometimes too... in our static caravan. Or staying on the land if avaialable and you'd like that....

    With me, you will have your own room, which has a comfortable bed with an electric blanket, small wardrobe and chest of drawers. There are lots of books in there on plants, herbs, anatomy, psychology, reflexology.... There is a woodburner in the sitting room ...shared shower, flushing toilet and a washing machine for laundry.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    I am hard working and passionate about nature and bringing my dreams alive. I always seem to be doing something, but love my life immensely despite the business challenges of evolving a retreat.
    It would be ideal to have volunteers who are independent, happy to get on with their own things and go off for adventures at times, as well as someone who likes to share.
    I love to spend time with people, friends, go walking, read, learn about wild flowers, weave, spend time with my family....

    I am passionate about basket making as a rural craft and learning about the wild foods we can eat. When you come to volunteer here, as we share time together I am happy to pass on my knowledge of the wild foods on an informal basis as and when we meet those plants. For example, I encourage people to eat or drink 'something wild every day' I will share with you what I am including each day; or teach you about making natural deodorants or tinctures (etc.) if that needs to happen during your stay.
    Depending on how long your stay is and if you are interested in learning more...maybe you'd like to weave a basket; or join one of my sensory based wild food walks?
    If I am running one of these workshops when you are here, you could either pay to join in or, I am open to exchanging some pre-agreed volunteer time but this may be in addition to your Workaway 25 working hours.
    If you'd like to 'retreat' on the land, again you are welcome to do so but if you wanted to exchange volunteer time for this then this would also need to be pre-arranged in addition to your Workaway stay....this said, the feedback I've been getting from those volunteers that have stayed on the land is that 'it's like a retreat anyway!!'

    Things to look up, interesting avenues:
    Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
    East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
    Blackdown Hills Hedging Association
    Towns & Villages: Seaton; Sidmouth; Exmouth; Taunton; Hemyock; Culmstock; Churchingford; Otterford Lakes; Hartridge Monastery; Exeter; Dartmoor & Exmoor; Dunkeswell Aerodrome; Smeatharpe Stadium; name just a few....

  • 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

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?


  • ...

    Hours expected

    minimum 25 working hours per week

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Host ref number: 379444556328