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Currently building Base for Yurt, wood store, Compost Toilet and....carpentry skills would be helpful but not essential!...lots of harvesting and processing too...drying apples, making jams & chutneys ...
My name is Emma. For nearly 5 years now I've looked after 22acres of enchanted land on the beautiful Blackdown Hills in Devon. I'm gently evolving the land in to an off-grid Nature Based Healing Retreat. There is weeding, planting, building gateways, compost loos that need creating....the list goes on!! I teach basket making, host regular volunteer days for local people and have a passion for wild food foraging which I also teach on workshops - I encourage wild foods to be included in the diet daily to help keep our connection with the land.
I'd really like your help!...working on the land and with the computer side of things....I am looking for genuine, hard working, motivated, honest, English speaking, happy, fun and inspired individuals to assist me. You will need to be ok working on your own as well as working with me and others.
The minimum stay I'd ask from you is one week. I'm also looking for someone with experience to stay for 2 months (possibly longer), after a trial period of 2 or 3 weeks.
My accommodation is simple....I live with my beloved cat, 6 miles from the land on a farm surrounded by stunning rural vistas...in 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 good walks from here. There is also a bike for you to borrow.
Alternatively, you could stay in a tent at home in the garden, or wild camp on the land.
I eat a vegetarian diet, almost vegan, 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 me 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
Cooking / shopping
Help with Eco project
Help in the house
Help with Computers / internet
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.
There is an evolving list of things that need doing: bracken pulling; weeding; I'm planning a small permaculture area so that needs fencing to stop the deer; I'm putting in a Ram-pump water system so need to create a concrete slab and build a small wall around it to house the pump; there are several pedestrian gates need building; and of course the compost toilet... etc...
So, a gentle mix of building 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 able to carry out physical work, 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.
I'm also rather archaic regarding IT, so help with this would be great.
A minimum 25 working hours over 5days per week is ideal, we might work 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.
If you want to stay for an extended time...I am open to this following a provisional trial of 2 weeks - if we get on together and the work goes well then I am definitely open for you to stay for longer.
Simple, clean, shared accommodation with me, my cat and my boyfriend stays sometimes too... in our static caravan which is 6 miles from the retreat project.
Unless you opt for the tent, 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 ...we share the shower, flushing toilet and a washing machine for laundry.
You need to provide your own internet connection as I do NOT have wifi.
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 challenges of evolving a retreat.
It would be ideal to have a volunteer who is 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'...so I will share with you what I am including each day; or teach you about making natural deodorants or tinctures (etc.) if that happens 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 during your stay. 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.
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; Clayhidon...to name just a few....
minimum 25 working hours per week
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