Help needed in our historic walled garden in Cromarty, just north of Inverness, Scotland, UK


United Kingdom

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 Min stay requested: at least 2 weeks

  • Description


    My name is Emma and I’m a glassmaker based in the historic town of Cromarty, where I have recently built a purpose built studio in order than I can produce a wider range of kiln fired glass pieces.

    I have a dog called Duki who is a Locherby/Collie/Long Legged Terrier who is adored by everyone in Cromarty. He loves playing with balls, is great company on walks and loves to spend time in the walled garden.

    My family first came to Cromarty in the mid-1960’s when my parents rescued a historic house. As a child I came up to Cromarty and stayed in the house for our summer holidays. Attached to the house is a beautiful walled garden which had become neglected and overgrown as we weren't in Cromarty long enough to pay it the love and attention it needed.

    In 2014 I moved to Cromarty and started living there full time in 2015. This made restoration of the walled garden possible and I started the long journey to create my vision of bringing the garden back to life and develop it into a productive fruit and vegetable garden, as it would have been in the 18th century. The infrastructure is now mostly complete but there is still a lot of work to get it to a point where it is working effectively as a fruit and vegetable garden.

    in 2017 I planted 12 apple trees and this year we have planted plums, pears, damsons and an apricot tree. This year we have also planted soft fruit including raspberries, redcurrants, blackcurrants, gooseberries and blueberries. I hope to plant a fig next year and also a vine. This year has been very productive, helped by the very good summer we have had although watering has been challenging! We have grown potatoes, onions, garlic, spinach, swiss chard, rocket, beans, peas, courgettes, squashes and pumpkins. We have also had a fantastic display of sweet peas. . For the winter we have carrots, kale, broccoli, swiss chard and spinach. There are more onions to go in and some garlic. I sometimes borrow some sheep from a local farmer to come in and graze the grass.

    Within the walled garden structure there is a central path with borders either side. We planted dahlias but they didn't survive the harsh winter so I am having a rethink about what we will plant instead.

    I also have a glass making studio and there is also the opportunity to help with various glass making activities.

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    General Maintenance
    Cooking / shopping
    Art project
    Help with Computers / internet

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cromarty is a historic town on the Black Isle, 20 miles from Inverness in the Scottish Highlands. It has a very active community with lots going on, all kinds of events ranging from a film festival, a youth opera, a gala, open studios and a firework display. Travellers will learn about Scottish Heritage, arts and a community which creates its own activities and entertainment. You will have the opportunity to meet local people, eat local food and gain a greater understanding of the area, its history and culture.

  • Help


    I am looking for volunteers between March and the end of November. Either a couple or a single person. Two friends might also be possible. I am looking for people who are prepared to get involved with the walled garden - - so weeding, spraying, path building, pruning, watering, picking vegetables, planting fruit trees, seedlings. Propagating seedlings etc. It would be helpful if you had some gardening experience. If the weather isn’t so good there is an opportunity to help with glass making activities, social media and other computer related tasks.

    I expect 5 hours help a day for your food and accommodation. However if the weather is good it may be a bit more than this and less time on the days when the weather is poor. If the weather is poor there it will also be possible to get involved in helping with glass making and other inside jobs.

    I am looking for hard working enthusiastic people who are able to use their initiative, and with some direction, work on their own, although I will be around, popping in and out.

    You will be living in my home. There is a fully equipped kitchen - sometimes we will cook and eat together and at other times food will be available for you to cook your own meals.

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    English, a little French

  • Accommodation


    I have a 3 bedroom house, with kitchen, bathroom, sitting room. A double bedroom is being allocated to volunteers where you have your own television. There are cooking facilities and food will be provided, although sometimes you will need to cook your own meals as I also have other commitments. The house is comfortable, is centrally heated, has a wood burner in the sitting room and wifi throughout the house.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    There is a good bus service between Cromarty and Inverness, that runs hourly. I also go into Inverness fairly frequently and we could adjust your working time (maybe do a longer day during the week) if you wanted to come too. Cromarty is a lively and active community with lots going on. There are tennis courts, a football pitch, yoga and pilates, films, music, theatre - a great selection. The house is close to the harbour. There are good local beaches within five minutes of the house. There are lots of lovely walks and if you want to take my dog Duki out with you he would love it. There are bicycle's you could borrow if you want to go further afield. There is a supermarket, bakery, cheese shop and post office in my street. There are also a couple of pubs, tea rooms and other shops in Cromarty. From Cromarty there is good access to the rest of the Highlands and Island if you want to explore the history and scenary. If I am going on a trip outside of Cromarty I would be open to you coming too.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?


  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week

My glass making studio
The bathroom shower
The kitchen
Sitting Room in my home
The walled garden - site of the glasshouse - one day to be restored - a bit of a dream!
Duki, my dog
The walled garden

Host ref number: 722872859798