I (Josh) and my boyfriend Alex live together in a converted horse box in a small woodland set between the Lake District and the Yorkshire dales. I am community artist and run a creative re-use project in Kendal. Alex works for a Homeless hostel in Kendal. We have two Labradoodles called Naia and Ginger. They are both very friendly and very lively.
For the last couple of years we have been building a home for ourselves in our own woodland. We started by converting an old horsebox and now we are building some extra spaces that connect to it. We love recycling so we have been working a lot with reclaimed timber from pallets and other up cycled items too. We have also been recovering the woodland which was completely over run with Rhododendron and turning it back into a diverse and healthy woodland full of wildlife.
We love sharing our life in the woods with others and have really enjoyed hosting guests from workaway the last few years. It has been very benificial for us to have extra help and we have made some great friends.
We get alot of enquiries over the summer and so we can not say yes to everyone.
We will prioritise guests who we think will get the most out of the experience.
We are looking for people who are:
1. Happy living in a rustic environment, who don't mind dirt, bad weather (it rains a lot here), very playful dogs and don't feel the need to shower all the time. (we tend to shower every other day to save water)
2. Have a good work ethic and are able to work independently when needed. Ideally you will have some experience and familiarity with basic DIY and be happy mucking in with daily tasks such as washing up, cooking, tidying etc...
3. Are pro-active about getting out and enjoying the countryside independently in your time off. There isn't much else do do around here other than outdoor pursuits, bring your walking boots and waterproofs!
4. Aren't fussy eaters and are happy going vegetarian. If you have allergies or are vegan that's totally fine, please tell us before hand though and come with meal ideas. If you like to drink then please contribute, we are not a free bar!
5. Are fun to be around, have stories to tell, enjoy campfires, boardgames, music, wild swims, dog walks and general outdoor fun.
Help with Eco project
Both Alex and I have spent a lot of time volunteering and travelling abroad so we can appreciate the value of sharing different skills and experiences. We love sharing our life in the woods with others. We live simply but take great enjoyment in life in the outdoors. We can teach you all about cooking on open fires, how to use woodland tools, basic construction techniques, re-using pallets and lots of other things related to a low impact lifestyle.
We also have lots of other interests between us, Josh teaches circus skills and is a fire performer. Alex is a photographer and is training as a councillor.
We need help with lots of aspects of our project, If you like gardening or woodland management then there is always loads to be done. This might be clearing weeds, planting new plants and trees, collecting seeds, making paths or chopping logs.
There is lots of building work to do on the 'house' some of it is more skilled and so we would welcome anyone with building, or wood working experience to help with this, but there are also things we can teach you and easy but time consuming things to do like spitting pallets and preparing up-cycled timber for use.
There are other DIY jobs to do which are unrelated to the 'house', This year we would like to create an area for chickens, we also need to build a wooden base for the yurt.
Aside from these jobs we like to involve our WorkAway guests in the day to day tasks of life in the woods, this will include things like chopping and collecting wood, making fires, cooking outdoors, walking the dogs, washing up etc...
Josh runs a community art centre and recycling project and also runs workshops at events and festivals teaching art and circus skills, sometimes there are opportunities for guests to come and help out with these things.
You will be staying in a mini dome yurt with a sun/star gazing window that is big enough for two people. it is lined with a carpet and a simple double camping bed.
Please do not expect a really fancy space, it is very simple and rustic.
The yurt will be your own private space, you will have your own outdoor toilet and a small outdoor stove (pots pans, plates etc included) We have a shower in the horse box which you are welcome to use when you need it (max once a day, ideally every other day) When the weather is good we sometimes just go to the local river to swim and freshen up.
Most evenings we will cook together (we are vegetarian) and you will be welcome to join us for dinner and to socialise. When the weather is good we often cook on the campfire and then relax around the fire for the evening.
Depending on the length of your stay we might suggest some nights off where we do our own things . We love having visitors but sometimes we need to relax on our own too. Breakfast and lunch are also provided but you will need to make your own most days.
We live a couple of miles from the nearest town, There are no busses but we are happy to drop you off/pick you up if you need to go to the shops or want to visit when we can.
We live between the Yorkshire Dales and The Lake District national park. These are both full of interesting and beautiful places to visit. There are loads of walking routes, mountaineering, bike trails, lakes for swimming, canoeing and sailing.
Transport links from our place are very limited but we can drop you off and pick you up from Kendal (when possible and in moderation) where you can get a bus or train to most places. We also have some walking maps you can borrow.
We try and live as Eco friendly as we possibly can...this is a work in progress though and we would appreciate if our guests would do the same.
Guest are welcome to stay from 1-3 weeks. Sometime we can accommodate shorter stays.
We typically expect 5 hours (approx) work a day. We assume that if you stay for a week that it will be like a normal working week of working for 5 days and having 2 days off etc.
We also take guests out and show them around when we can but usually its based on how much work Alex and i can get done. Our typical day in the summer is to start work at about 10 (after breakfast) and finish at about 6, then either go for a wild swim, walking with the dog, cooking a nice meal, hang out with friends etc which guests are invited to do also.
if you require more information then please get in touch.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Maximum 5 hours a day, 5 days a week