Permaculture regeneration project looking for some enthusiastic helpers in Portugal




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 Min stay requested: at least 1 month

  • Description


    We are expecting a new born and are looking for experienced people to help with building work. Most of the time you will be working along skilled craftsmen! Great opportunity to get involved with natural building. There are several projects on the go so get in touch to find out more.

    Please get in touch if you’re interested in the other roles too!

    Bush Retreat and Holistic Sanctuary

    Hi, our name's are Millo & Lucy. We're regenerating this once abandoned rural farm into a holistic sanctuary and nature conservation area where we'll be inviting protectors, guardians and ecosystem restoration campers wanting to help build a community of people who wish to work for the conservation of nature where domesticated animals are used collaboratively using holistic management techniques and where the role of wild animals is respected and understood in terms of maintaining ecological balance.

    The land is located in the heart region of Portugal. The Serra da Estrela area. Our dream is for this land to become an Ecosystem Restoration Camp & Regenerative Agriculture Collective with creative space as a hub.

    Easy going, kind and straightforward people are invited to volunteer and participate. Empathy and kindness are essential.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Art Projects
    Language practice
    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

    I have a strong connection with a growing community of permaculture projects around here so if you are interested in meeting more people where potentially you could also visit on a work exchange basis then I could be a bridge to that.

    I believe in fair exchange, so when it comes to communication I expect a fair and equal exchange based on honest sharing and empathy. If you like to talk or preach a lot then this might not be the place for you.

  • Help


    We're looking for easy going people with a good sense of awareness regarding personal boundaries and full circle living. There is no fixed schedule here, and once we've agreed on your assigned tasks/projects then you can work to a schedule that suits you. We ask for 4-5 hours a day in exchange for food and accommodation or 2-3 hours a day in exchange for accommodation/camping only and if they would like to join in meals then we would ask for a weekly contribution towards food expenses.


    Building work
    If you are interested in participating /learning skills pertaining to natural building then the following projects may interest you. There will be different areas of work available depending on what point you get involved. If you have carpentry or building skills this is a real plus, however genuine interest and desire to learn about natural building is definitely an advantage.

    Communal area
    We are currently building a structure that will become the communal kitchen and hangout area. This space will also function as a café and area to host events in the future!
    This timber frame structure may incorporate some cob and/or straw bale work.

    Outdoor toilet and shower
    Another project we have on the go is the dual vault natural build toilet and outdoor shower. It has an adobe style base and we are planning to build a timber frame structure over the top of it.

    Caravan fitout
    We need someone with ability and skills at transforming our run down caravan into a cosy palace :-) ... and once the project is finished, if you decide you wish to stay long term then it can be your accommodation for the time that you're here.


    Garden helper
    Paul (our resident gardener) has done an amazing job transforming the garden, this has been no mean feat but we hope to one day see the landscape transformed.
    Regenerating the land and building soil is a top priority and there are always jobs to help with on the land!
    This ranges from watering, bush clearing, mulching, harvesting, planting and making compost/biochar.

    Animal lover
    If you love to care for animals then this is the place for you! One role is being responsible for feeding and caring for our animal family. We have 2 donkeys (Linda and Olive). Olive is two months old and they are both very peaceful and a joy to be around! We work with the donkeys to create natural fire breaks. 7 pigs (Bhagi, Rosie and 5 piglets!). The piglets are only two weeks old and love to play with each other, although they can be a bit shy around humans. 4 dogs (Tai, Blu, Willi and Kori). Lots of chickens, chicks, pigeons and 1 cat!

    Kitchen maestro:
    Do you love to cook? Me and Lucy are preparing for the coming of our new born and right now we are full on. It would be a great benefit for us to have someone that can help take care of preparing healthy lunch and dinner meals for us and the crew here.

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent
    Spanish: Fluent
    Portuguese: Fluent
    Italian: Intermediate

  • Accommodation


    This project is still in its infancy and therefore quite basic. Because of this it may not accommodate all tastes.

    There are several options when it comes to accommodation:

    1. You can pitch up a tent under the mimosas. It's a cool spot in summer and often includes a hammock very close by. There are also other areas around if you prefer somewhere more private.

    2. We have a van which has a comfortable bed, wood burner, kitchen stove, storage compartments, some shelves and a small desk. Clean and comfortable.


    Until we get our proper shower built (see building projects above) ...

    We have a simple earth built outdoor shower that uses a bucket shower system and where we can heat water during the colder months.

    There is a shower cubicle in the house for simple (but warm) bucket and cup showers.

    During the summer months we also like to keep cool and shower using the water from the tank too.


    Until we get our proper composting toilet built (see building projects above) ...

    There is currently a composting toilet in the basement of the house.


    Regarding the running of the house, especially the kitchen. It's a shared space, and so it's up to everyone to maintain good habits with regards to order and cleanliness. This, along with helping to keep this area litter free is always highly appreciated.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    I have a good working bike that you can use to go out and explore the area. There are also plenty of cafes in the surrounding villages where you could hang out, have a coffee, play cards and learn the Portuguese ways with the locals.

    If you prefer peaceful and quiet activities then there are plenty of places around here to meditate, read a book or just relax. If you are interested in yoga then you can find a quiet space where you can practice yoga.

    In summer we often have regular community events so you will be welcome to join in on those events when they happen. Millo also likes to do some reggae nights, either at a venue, or on the farm, just to keep himself sane.

    A note on some things you could consider bringing with you:

    - torch
    - sleeping bag
    - wet weather gear / waterproof jacket
    - work boots
    - work clothes that you don't mind getting muddy or stained
    - warm clothes for evenings and for sleeping in when it gets cold
    - hat for sunny weather
    - towel - a small quick drying one is good

    Please do not bring any toiletries/soaps that contain harmful chemicals or are not biodegradable.

    We have work gloves you can borrow if needed, and wellies can be bought cheaply or we may have some your size.

    We can appreciate that people may want to enjoy a drink from time to time but this is not the place for heavy drinkers.

  • 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

    Not entirely, but in the village which is 20 minute walk away there is an Inatel Hotel (4 star) that has quite spaces like a TV room, billiard room and library where they will allow quiet and well dressed people to sit down, have a coffee and get online ...

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    If you have your own campervan or motorhome then this would be ideal as accommodation here (especially in winter) is limited.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week (food) or 2-3 hours a day (+ food contribution)

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Accuracy of profile: (5.0)

Cultural exchange: (4.0)

Communication: (4.7)

Host ref number: 442354995433