Help us with the garden and to practice our French and Spanish near Chatton, UK


United Kingdom

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  • Description


    We have a 20 acre smallholding in north Northumberland, about an hour north of Newcastle and an hour and a half to Edinburgh. From September there will just be 2 of us here, myself, husband (Dave) but at weekends , our daughter Nicola usually stays here with her 8 year old son and 6 year old daughter.

    I am a retired primary school teacher and Nicola teaches in a High School. My husband, Dave, is a retired teacher and together we have done a lot of building/renovation work on the cottage where we now live. It had not been lived in for 40 years but now we have a lovely home here although a bit noisy sometimes with grandchildren living here. We have some sheep and hens as well as 2 cats. The lambs are born in April and May. We have a polytunnel where we grow lots of our vegetables and fruit bushes and more vegetable areas outside. We have been making a garden as when we came here there was no garden at all but obviously plenty of space for one.

    We Spend most of our time outside in the summer working on the garden, fields and woodland but we also enjoy cycling, mountain biking, walking and going to the local beaches. I work in a charity shop for one day a week and am also learning Spanish and trying to improve my French. I also do basketry as a hobby and my husband would be very pleased to show anyone how to do car maintenance, welding, carpentry etc etc! We make our own bread and all enjoy cooking and using as much of our own produce as possible.

    Our garden is work in progress and we have been planting lots of trees over the past 3 winters. We need help to work with us on the garden, make new vegetable and flower areas and moving a large shed this autumn, planting more trees and bushes and generally helping with tasks mainly outside but inside if weather is too bad.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

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

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Learning, improving and speaking English is the main benefit. Also learning about gardening and growing vegetables and fruit and using them to make delicious meals! Looking after and playing with young children. Exploring the area with us or using our bikes, going by bus/train to Newcastle, Edinburgh. Lots of beautiful countryside, beaches and hills. Playing local ceilidh music with us. We have a piano too.

  • Help


    We are developing a new garden area this year and would like help with designing the garden, making paths, areas for vegetables, flowers and fruit bushes and trees.

    We would like someone (or two) to help with gardening and grass cutting around the cottage and in the polytunnel. Also, some help with child minding at a weekend would be useful and maybe a bit of cooking/housework.
    We also have our son and family living near Morpeth ( in between here and Newcastle) and they need help with gardening and childcare.

    Our woodland area (10 acres) could do with some care and management - coppicing, cutting up wood, clearing bracken and thistles in the fields. The animals are not much trouble in the summer but if we could go away and leave them with a responsible workawayer for a few days occasionally that would be a bonus. Something else that we would all like is language lessons / practice (especially French and Spanish as I have also been learning Spanish this year).

  • Languages

    Languages spoken
    English: Fluent
    French: Intermediate

    This host offers a language exchange
    We are interested in learning any foreign languages but would be especially pleased to practise our French !

  • Accommodation


    A double bedroom in the cottage or tent in the garden if you prefer.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Shielhope is about 2km from the village of Chatton where there is a small shop and a pub.The countryside around here is very beautiful and quite wild. The Cheviots are about 5 miles away to the west and the coast with its long sandy beaches and castles about 10 miles to the east. It is ideal country for cycling, walking, mountain biking and climbing (there are several crags nearby) so if you like the outdoors and don't mind being away from the city this is the ideal spot. The nearest towns with more shops, swimming pools etc are Alnwick (14 miles) or Berwick (16 miles). There is public transport from the village to Wooler and we are quite happy to take you to Belford or Wooler where you can get buses to Berwick or Newcastle.
    We have bikes that you can use too. and possible you could use our car.

  • 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

    5 hours/day, 5 days/week maximum

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Accuracy of profile: (5.0)

Cultural exchange: (5.0)

Communication: (5.0)

Host ref number: 565296757518