Help with some eco-construction projects in Plumaugat, Brittany, France



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 Min stay requested: at least 2 weeks

  • Description


    Martin & Vanessa,  are 64 & 61 years old respectively . Have no formal education having left school 15 & 16- years old.  Whilst they are not academics, they have a lifetime of experience in a whole host of different aspects of life.
    Martin has never been a company employee for more than 6 months in his 49 year career choosing to either find or create his own work .
    Vanessa was employed as a data processor for the first 9 years of her career & since has not been employed outside of the family .
    Having moved to rural Brittany in 1990 to a derelict house with no money, 2 small children & unable to speak more than a few words of French, with the attitude if you want to do something you can, it just requires effort & determination.
    Their 3 children 1 having been born in France are now adults & have left home.
    For the last 9 years we  have been making a low energy small holding of 3 acres where we have large permaculture gardens for fruits & vegetables having rebuilt much of the depleted soil, sheep for wool & meat, as well as Goats, Chickens & of course a couple of dogs .

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Help with Eco Projects
    DIY and building projects
    Animal Care
    General Maintenance

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Martin is now fluent in French is able to get by with Spanish, but believes that everyone can communicate with each other regardless of nationality, as long as you make the right effort & with a bit of creativity & want to understand . A very down to earth straight forward non pretentious person who looks upon himself as a life apprentice.
    And can offer from experience to show you ;

    Most aspects of building, with new & reclaiming materials, as well as using what is around naturally, keeping animals as well as butchery, basic mechanics, operating digger & dumper safely, how to strip, clean & safely use shotguns.
    On a more esoteric level, para magnetic gardening, Dowsing, Geobiology, creating sacred high vibrational spaces etc.
    Generally living on your own initiative with a low budget.

    Vanessa is proficient in French & very creative, a firm believer in natural health, & can offer from experience ; how to create garments & a whole array of other goods. From different materials, reclaimed or new. How to process wool straight from the sheep up through to knitting delightful warm clothing, or weaving all wool cloth for creating woollen goods. Gardening skills & real home economics.

    It would require an entire book to list all the skills & experience we have accumulated. We are both open minded and relatively easy going and have led a full life. We believe that in order to learn something you have to do it & mistakes are part of the learning process.

    This would be particularly suited to someone with an interest in nature who wants to get away from the norm or wants somewhere for quiet contemplation or meditation in superb high vibrational surroundings, like sitting in the stone circle, or Zen garden or Walking the labyrinth .

  • Projects involving children

    Projects involving children

    This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.

  • Help


    As we are getting older we now need to enlist some help, not only with the general day to day running but also with an entire list of projects which we would like to get done over the next 3 years.
    With the aim of further self sufficiency.
    Converting the rest of our house into a dormitory & common/conference room for Workawayers & others which wish to come to workshops, which we ambitiously would like to set up for teaching Energy work & Healing, we also will be needing help with the IT side of this.
    Finishing & re-roofing the roundhouse that Martin has built with Mud sticks and straw.
    Building a biodigester methane plant, building an outside solar hot water system & a compost toilet. All out of reclaimed materials, clearing & sorting out all sorts of mostly reusable stuff to enable us to extend the gardens. Building a large shed/ workshop
    The list could become endless as could the timespan .

    In order to achieve this we would like help from willing people with good common sense, who want to have a go. No particular qualifications are necessary, it would be particularly suited to someone with an interest in nature who wants to get away from the norm or wants somewhere for quiet contemplation or meditation in superb high vibrational surroundings, like sitting in the stone circle, or Zen garden or Walking the labyrinth .

  • Languages

    Languages spoken
    English: Fluent
    French: Fluent
    Spanish: Beginner

    This host offers a language exchange
    This host has indicated that they are interested in sharing their own language or learning a new language.
    You can contact them directly for more information.

  • Accommodation


    We can offer good home cooked food although we are not really set up for vegan diets, accommodation is a perfectly reasonable room for two with private access (tents or living in own vehicle could be possible). Along with a whole host of transferable practical skills, which can be invaluable for anyone who wants to live extremely frugally or on the edge of society; Most of these skills are self taught or have been learned on the job.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    It is fairly isolated, 2.5 kms from the village of Plumaugat which has a small shop/Bakers a Bar Tabac which is also the post office. There are sports fields a park & fishing lake. The Restaurant has closed because of Covid. There  are extensive indicated walkways for ramblers otherwise not much for tourists, most local events are cancelled since Covid ;
    There is no public transport from the village. However a small town at approx 7 kms  has all the usual amenities & a Bus service to Rennes or Loudeac .
    At approx 9 Kms there are 2  different rail stations to Rennes & ST Brieuc / Brest.
    By car beaches and seaside are approx  45mins to 1hr in different directions   the touristic town of Dinan 30 mins, & 50 mins to ST Malo ;
    There may be vehicles available to licenced experienced drivers for local trips or otherwise bicycles. We can collect people within a 1 hours drive from stations airports etc. or Hitch hikers from prearranged pickup point.
    Vanessa goes into the nearest town at least twice a Week.
    Martin is not always available, as taking on some paying work for others is necessary. He has no fixed schedules in general. Which will also apply to your 25 weekly voluntary working hours. there are no fixed times or days . (We don’t count help with prep for meals, clearing up after meals or behind yourselves in general ) as working hours, just simply life & necessary wherever you live..
    For Younger people who may think they might feel lost or cut off in the countryside with 2 older people, our 26 year old son lives in our cottage at 250 metres away, with several other people in their 20’s where there can be a variety of languages. However they all also like to travel & or take interim jobs, so there could be 8 people or there could be none but if you need a break & some Younger conversation you can normally find someone at some point in any Week.
    We can initially accommodate 2 people & would prefer the minimum stay to be 2 weeks, then we can see how it’s going if someone wants an extended stay. We have no problem with couples . The sleeping quarters are separate but showers & kitchen are in our house. You can also barbecue outside if you want to have a private meal there are plenty of different sitting areas both shaded or sunny (in summer) as well as a covered area.

  • 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

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    This host can provide space for campervans.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?


  • ...

    Hours expected

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

Host ref number: 726783435833