Help with our eco project, the restoration of our farmhouse or try to teach me French, in Aveyron, France



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  • Description


    We are happy to take couples, singles, families or groups of friends. Our youngest Workawayer to date was just 18, while our oldest was 68. We value everybody that comes to help. Vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, no problem. Traveling with a dog, you are most welcome. Young, old it doesn't matter, you just need to be keen to help and have a love of the outdoors.

    This year's projects will include:

    Gardening and land maintenance
    Plastering with haired lime putty (W.I.P 50% done)
    Repair the chimney for the bread oven
    Finish construction of an eco (grass) roof (W.I.P 85% done)
    Pointing external walls with lime mortar
    Pointing internal walls with lime mortar
    Plumbing (including the construction of a wet room)
    Carpentry, fitting door frames, doors, floors etc.
    Traditional timber framework

    I am a 59-year old retired journalist who is restoring a French farmhouse that was built in 1709. The farmhouse stood empty and neglected for forty years. I decided to buy a farmhouse in the country because I prefer to be close to nature and enjoy the peace and tranquility of the countryside and to be able to live a simple life without a huge mortgage.

    The restoration work is being sympathetically carried out with traditional materials such as lime putty, which I am happy to teach you how to use.

    I would be pleased to have a French speaker as it would allow me to continue to learn the language, but everyone, no matter what your language, is welcome.

    I am happy go lucky and easy to get along with. I have been blessed with working all over the world as a journalist so understand the benefit and need for travel that many of us feel.


  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Language practice
    Help with Eco Projects
    DIY and building projects
    Help around the house
    General Maintenance

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    As well as learning traditional building skills, you can visit the city of Rodez with its fine cathedral, or visit local medieval towns and villages such as Najac, Belcastle, Cordes Sur Ciel or Conques; where you can discover how the French lived hundreds of years ago. While volunteering you will be fully immersed in a slower pace of life, a life where neighbours make the time to talk to each other. You will get to taste traditional and seasonal French food and enjoy local French wine. Everybody loves a trip to the market, so once a week (weather permitting), you have the opportunity to go to Villefranche de Rouergue, where you will get a glimpse into the life of a typical rural French person.

  • Help


    Looking for someone (male or female) or a couple to help me with the restoration of my tumbledown farmhouse. Most of the hard work has been done, the new roof has been fitted as have windows and doors.

    I also want help with an eco grass roof that I'm currently constructing on a large outbuilding that used to be the bread oven for the hamlet. You do not need any experience just bags of enthusiasm.

    I would like 25-hours help a week Monday to Friday, typically starting at 9:30am so that your afternoons are your own to explore and enjoy France.

    If you are a French speaker, teaching me French could also count towards your 25-hours as I'm keen to learn the language.

    Since May 2015 we have hosted over 163 Workaway volunteers, they came from Australia, New Zealand, America, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Holland, France, Poland, Russia, Finland, Sweden, Jersey, England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, Thailand, Switzerland, Colombia, Germany, Denmark, Turkey, the Czech Republic, Greece, India and Belarus, but we still have room for, and need more volunteers during 2020/2021.

    Help is also required with carpentry polishing, gardening if you have those specific skills, oh and things like dust management (a fancy title for helping to keep the place tidy and comfortable to live in) if you don't. All tasks, even the mundane like keeping the house clean are all equally important.

    Wooden floors need polishing with bees wax (80% done) as do the huge beams that support them. Internal doors need sanding and lime washing or waxing.

    Have some carpentry skills? Then help me lay two floors, frame and hang doors, repair doors, etc, etc

    Do you like gardening or landscaping? If you want to help manage some land, you would be welcome to go for it.

    Know how to use a chainsaw? Then, there are always logs to cut for firewood, whatever the time of year.

    Check out my reviews, (almost) everyone has loved their time with us here. You can't please all the people all the time!

  • Languages

    Languages spoken
    English: Fluent
    French: 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


    Most of you will have your own comfortable private room for the duration of your stay, but groups of friends (or sometimes single volunteers) are given the dorm room, which can sleep up to six. While the bathroom is still a work in progress, there is a powerful hot shower and flush toilet, a first for this house that was built in 1709.

    You will be offered three meals a day, a typical simple light French breakfast offered between 9am and 9:30am a hot or cold lunch provided between noon and 1pm and a main evening meal with wine and beer will be served between 19:00 and 20:00. (Happy Hour!). On Sunday I offer two meals so that volunteers can get an extra couple of hours in bed. A Champagne brunch at 11am then a cold buffet or leftovers at 17:00. There is a separate fridge for volunteers so you have somewhere to store an extras that you wish to procure.

    Rieupeyroux, the closest village is an easy 5km walk or cycle ride aways from the house, you will find bars, restaurants, a hotel and all the shops you could possibly need. There are cycles at the house that you can borrow.

    We have three small plots of land, so you are sure to find a private spot to relax, to read, paint, draw or enjoy a glass of wine or just work on your tan.

    Previous helpers have enjoyed long country walks, countryside picnics, painting, fishing, cycling, swimming, running, jumping off bridges into the river and generally exploring the area and its many Medieval towns and hamlets. There is an equine centre in Rieupeyroux should you like horse riding.

    As for entertainment in your free time, there are numerous well stocked bookcases. But, should you wish, I can add a thief-of-time (TV) to one of the rooms and supply you with a stack of movies on DVD that have been left by previous helpers.

    Many helpers have returned year on year, which I take to be a ringing endorsement!

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    There are loads of beautiful villages to visit locally in your free time, and a great cafe with internet access three miles (5km) from the house where I go to take coffee each morning. If you wish to arrive by flight, Rodez, Toulouse and Montpellier airports are the closest. Rodez 40-minutes away and Toulouse and Montpellier around 2-hours away). There are many train stations dotted around, so that is another possible means of arrival if you are not driving, Villefranche de Rouergue being your best option. Past volunteers have had great success with hitching or arriving by Blah Blah car.

    The house is located 5km from Rieupeyroux. Just take the D905 from Rieupeyroux, it is one road all the way to us. You are looking for a little blue and white signpost that you will find on your left.

    We have a missing barn roof so you can't fail to find us!

  • 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.

  • Can possibly accept pets

    Can possibly accept pets

    This host has said they are willing to accept those travelling with a pet.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    5 hours a day, 5 days a week

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Accuracy of profile: (4.8)

Cultural exchange: (4.6)

Communication: (5.0)

Host ref number: 772495193215