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We are Alicia and James, a young couple that moved to Wales from Brighton four years ago. We live in a 200 year old stone cottage surrounded by Brechfa forest. We have almost finished renovating the house using eco and traditional methods. We are now working on improving the land, creating habitats, growing more organic vegetables, planting trees, making ponds etc. On top of that we are raising our kids and working part time. (Please check the help section below for the current projects we need help with)
James (34) is a tree surgeon and musician, Alicia (28) is setting up a forest school at the moment. We are both veggie ( and gluten free), and like: nature, traveling, yoga and meditation, music, painting, walking in the mountains. We have a dog called Bronwen, and 2 cats called Buddha and Theo and 4 chickens! We like board games and watching movies, playing music in the evenings. We have an 12 year old foster son, and a baby who is now 6 months old
We have set up an organic no dig vegetable garden here, and are in the process of setting it up as a community interest group. We are setting up a seed saving group locally, and hope to be able to teach adults and children how to grow vegetables, save seeds, and learn some woodland skills in the coming year. We are also hoping to transform the barn into a yoga/ music/ art studio.
Because we are foster carers, we cannot accept anyone who takes drugs, has serious mental health problems, or has a reliance on alcohol. Please let us know any experience you may have in the caring profession, or experience with children, as this is very useful. Although you will not ever be alone with our foster children, we may ask you to do a DBS check if you are staying for any length of time. We will be happy to answer any questions about this over the phone as we usually have a phone call or zoom with you before you arrive.
Help with Eco Projects
DIY and building projects
Babysitting and creative play
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
This part of wales is really beautiful, there are loads of awesome walks from our house, we are right on the edge of the woods. There are so many amazing birds you can see from our garden! Including Goshawks, buzzards, owls, woodpeckers, swallows, etc! If you need a bit of peace and quiet and time for self reflection this is the place for you.
things we like to do on our days off: go to seaside towns, drink a cider and play cards by the beach, do coastal walks, or go for a walk somewhere new. You are welcome to join us on your day off or take the bus and go somewhere that interests you more. We can give you a lift to the train station and pick you up if you have a day trip in mind.
covid/ indoor things you can learn. alicia can teach you woodwork and how to make spoons and spatulas and other small wood items. james can teach you to use large tools such as chainsaws, angle grinders, strimmers, etc
The only thing to mention is if you need super nightlife and going out, this probably isn't the place for you, we are 20 mins drive from the nearest town, if you don't have a car theres not much you can walk or cycle too, (you might just about be able to cycle to the nearest pub in 1 hour, or walk to Brechfa village in 2 hours. The bus into town is a 30 minute walk away). But obviously you can come to town with us when we go, as and when!
Because of the house being in the middle of nowhere, it may suit couples or groups of friends better than individuals, but this is a personal preference !
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
We are currently looking for a volunteer/s to stay with us during autumn/ winter to help with 60% garden jobs and 40% household help/ childcare
garden jobs such as: chopping + stacking firewood, strimming, growing and weeding veg*, clearing paths into the woods,, smashing cement render of the side of the building to make paths in the garden, looking after the chickens, clearing metal and plastic from the land,
General help around the house such as cooking , washing up, tidying and cleaning , walking the dog, light diy, entertaining the baby
As we have our 12 year old foster son and a 6 month old baby, so please include any experience you may have with children and babies. Please also let us know if you have a DBS, ideal but not essential.
Someone who is happy working independently would suit us, as we have a mix of jobs we do together, and some days you will be working alone on tasks. Accommodation will be in the annex at the back of the house
future projects we may be doing at this time include - building/ designing a wooden house -renovating the barn, designing the front garden, taking cement render off the house and using lime, making a wood fired hot tub, outdoor shower, making outdoor furniture, making a greenhouse from second hand glass, growing mushrooms from logs and, building green wood roundhouse type thing on the land
(*we are doing the no-dig method of organic vegetables. You don't need tonnes of experience in growing veg, but a basic understanding of veg growing would be great, we can teach you about no dig if this is new to you.)
We can offer a room in the annex at the back of the house.
Our house is on a well system, so we have lovely spring water with no chemicals in it. in summer we usually have to ration showers to make sure we don't run out of water in the dry months, we have a membership to the local swimming pool for a good long shower! or we have been known to wash in the local river! james is building a rainwater shower and compost toilet soon to help with this issue.
We will provide 3 meals a day including weekends, the cooking is done on a rota so its shared between all that are eating. We cook veggie or vegan whatever people prefer.
Please note- no cooking meat in the house or caravan please.
also, we usually don't provide alcohol, but we can take you to the shops so you can buy whatever you need :)
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
we have very good wifi- fibre optic
This host can provide space for campervans.
friendly dog allowed as long as it gets on well with our dog
4 hours a day, 5 days a week / or 5 hours a day 4 days a week.
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