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We are Tony and Lynn, in our early sixties, and we live in a small village in the Béarn region of Aquitaine. We’re mid-way through renovating our 17th century traditional French farmhouse and are looking for help with a range of activities, including light labour, gardening and some dog walking.
We can offer the opportunity to gain new skills, and learn about rural life in this wonderful part of the world.
Covid update: Lynn is a community nurse and awareness of risks associated with Covid is understandably at the forefront of our minds. We may ask volunteers who enquire about staying with us, whether or not they have been vaccinated or received a recent test.
We sincerely hope that this does not deter volunteers from coming to stay with us. We are eager to pick up the pace of hosting but we need to make sure that we are all safe.
DIY and building projects
Help around the house
We have hosted many Workawayers and exchange students over the years, and find the experience very fulfilling. We both speak French (Lynn far better than Tony....) but generally communicate in English within the home.
Staying with us is an opportunity to pick up knowledge and skills, along with the chance to learn about materials and techniques used in a traditional housing renovation.
As well as providing great quality accommodation for our volunteers, we believe that providing delicious and interesting food is an important way to show our appreciation. We greatly enjoy cooking and are eager to share our culinary experiences. We have extended our repertoire of vegetarian dishes and Tony has been learning traditional French cooking techniques and how to preserve local produce, and there is a lot of opportunity to share and experience these methods.
We currently need help constructing a large kitchen using both old and new materials, as well as more general work around the house. Looking ahead, we intend to undertake a major renovation of our barn. Any guests with previous trade experience such as plumbing and electrics would be particularly welcome. Firewood preparation and sourcing local wood is an also an important part of our routine.
The vegetable plot should be more productive than it is! Tony is in the process of adopting the perma-culture principles advocated by Charles Dowding, and needs support in this fascinating area of food production.
The house is a traditional Béarnaise farmhouse built circa 1800, and we are in the process of restoring and refreshing it. The house has four generously sized double bedrooms, each with an ensuite WC with shower, one of which is available for our guests. It is important to us that our volunteers are provided with high-quality sleeping and bathroom facilities, and the room is both beautiful and comfortable. The house is situated just outside a small French village, in an elevated position with striking views of the Pyrenees
There are numerous wonderful walking and cycling routes on our doorstep, and we are keen for our guests to enjoy the local countryside. Our local town is around six kilometers away and is a fabulous small medieval fortified 'bastide' with bars and cafés. Local restaurants are of an exceptionally good quality and great value. We make regular trips to surrounding towns, with the occasional trip to the city of Pau or to the coast, both of which are about an hour away. Tony has recently started exploring hiking trails in the Pyrenees and, if the opportunity arises, is eager to take volunteers on these excursions during their downtime.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Hardstanding with electrical hook-up
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week
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