I am a single parent mother living on a beautiful fifteenth century farm just outside St Albans, Hertfordshire (approximately 25 minutes on the train from central London) with a small collection of beautiful Arabian horses and ponies. I believe in a natural horsemanship way of caring for them: every horse has its individual traits and needs an intelligent and appropriate form of care. The horses have been my passion for many years and offer a unique lifestyle with fabulous individuals in an idyllic beautiful and tranquil setting. It is hard work but incredibly rewarding.
We are nature loving family with education in Maths, Finance and law who enjoy travelling, meeting people and music.
DIY and building projects
Babysitting and creative play
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
Help with Computers/ Internet
Overview of some the tasks and projects that volunteer help is needed for
Grooming (brushing and combing manes, helping to bath), handling horses (holding and leading), cleaning stables (encompasses water drinkers, bedding, sweeping yard, emptying wheelbarrows). Please do not assume this will be a riding holiday, we mostly have small ponies and retired horses.
Mending fencing, cutting down weeds, painting, clearing/tidying up inside and outside spaces, cleaning vehicles etc using a pressure washer, insulating mobile home.
Weeding, planting, mowing grass, collecting fruit (we have some apple trees, plums greengages and cherries)
Decorating, help with maintaining house and general chores, help with preparing dinners. Moving furniture and help upgrading furniture and house generally. Helping with my two children.
Pls do not book flights to Stansted because a little cheaper than Luton. Stansted is too far for us to collect and there are no direct routes from here to the farm and due to having to go into London and then back out can be quite expensive for you, it seems to be the least desirable option. Luton is no problem for picking up and by far the best option. The same applies to Heathrow though it is more possible to pick up from here but can't be guaranteed, I would still say Heathrow is better than Stansted. Gatwick is really quite a long way but it does have a direct train to St Albans which is easier to manage than that from Stansted.
At the bottom of our lane (1km) there is approximately 1 bus per hour which goes to St Albans, but not on Sundays.
We really hope people can enjoy sharing our beautiful farm: despite the work we are incredibly fortunate to live here. In return for the chance to stay here and experience the farm our expectations are that you do approx. five hours work a day, treat accommodation the farm and all animals with care and respect and to leave all accommodation and services in a clean and tidy manner.
We are happy to provide food and some shared mealtimes. We provide food storage, refrigeration and cooking facilities in the shared accommodation.
If your spoken English language is a particular struggle, this placement probably wouldn’t be suitable for you as it is very important that we are able to communicate specifics of individual tasks clearly with you, both for the safety of you and the animals or other things you are working with.
Obviously with our location near to london we are getting a large number of responses so please bear with us while we respond to you!
We have a decent sized static mobile home/caravan on the farm for volunteer use, comprising two separate bedrooms and good size living room/kitchen/dining area. We have had people living in it over the winter who have found it to be fine when heated but we do have plans to improve the insulation in the walls and underneath to improve matters.
The mobile home accommodation will be shared with other workwayers. At any one time we can generally accommodate either two individuals or one individual and one couple.
St Albans is a historic cathedral city dating back to Roman times. There is plenty to do and see around, but we have the benefit of having very good access to central London.
Travel: there is a good bus service within a pleasant half a mile’s walk of the farm, which will take you both into St Albans and to St Albans City train station which runs Thameslink services direct to St Pancras International in London in around 20 mins where you can connect with services to many other destinations including Eurostar. St Albans also has a train and shuttle bus service to Luton Airport. We are accessible for Heathrow airport.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
On average we would expect you to help five hours a day... but varies depending on how quickly jobs get done!