Helping with gardening and developing a wildlife refuge in the South of France



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This listing is a Last minute host. They have let us know that they are looking for help immediately as well as at other times of the year.

 Min stay requested: at least 2 weeks

  • Description


    Inviting volunteers from mid-February onwards, to help with gardening, with projects, and with turning 2.5 hectares of land into a beautiful wildlife refuge and organic vegetable garden.

    We have been living in Occitanie, in the foothills of the Pyrenees mountains, for 7 years now. With the help of family and volunteers, we've been working to transform the property, move towards a sustainable way of living, and to share this with guests.

    With two-and-a-half hectares of woodland, meadow, orchards and vegetable garden, as well as chickens, rabbits and cats, there is always plenty to do.

    This year we are inviting volunteers just February through to the autumn, to help us transform the garden and woodland. We will be doing some major garden-redesigning, and will need help with clearing parts of the grounds and woodland, and setting up wildlife habitats and "art-walks", as well as developing the organic herb and veg plot. There are also more advanced projects, such as building a pizza oven and yoga deck, or constructing a drip-irrigation system, for those with interest and experience.

    If you’re happy to help us, then we can offer a warm welcome, comfortable accommodation and vegetarian food in beautiful surroundings in exchange for 5 hours' help a day (two days a week free). We are looking for people who are happy to help in more than one area - and on some days we will need everyone to pitch in with important tasks. For some tasks we will work alongside you, but for others you will need to be self-directed.

    We have space for two helpers, and invite people to stay for between two and four weeks. I'm sorry, but for practical reasons we cannot invite helpers who are travelling with children or pets.

    If you would like to join us, please let us know why you would like to stay with us, and what relevant experience/skills/enthusiasm you can bring to share. We look forward to hearing from you!

    Please note we are an English-speaking household, so if you're looking for an immersive French-language experience, this isn't it!

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    General Maintenance
    Cooking / shopping
    Help with Eco project
    Help in the house
    Animal care
    Art project

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Our lovely village has a brasserie and a café, both with regular live music events, a castle and a swimming lake. It is in the High Valley of the Aude, surrounded by Cathar Castles, organic vineyards, beautiful walks, rivers and lakes with kayaking and water-sports. We are about 45km from Carcassonne airport and the TGV line to Paris/Lille, or 60km from Perpignan for trains to Spain; both have good (€1 per journey) transport connections to Quillan - our nearest town. If you are looking for nightlife and shopping though, this is not the place to stay!

  • Help


    We welcome people who are happy to do a variety of tasks, including gardening, helping to clear and look after the grounds, feeding the animals, and practical projects such as basic d.i.y. and decorating. There are also more advanced projects available to those who are interested and experienced.

    Everyone helps with general cooking and housework as well.

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    English, Swedish, German and French

  • Accommodation


    In the summer, accommodation will be in a 5-metre bell-tent (with electricity and proper mattresses!) with full access to the house for showers, wifi, tv etc. In spring and autumn, you will be staying in a twin-bed room in the main house, with a small ensuite bathroom.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Puivert is a pretty village in the Haute Vallée de l'Aude. It has a swimming lake with a sandy beach and a museum of music and local history. The village itself is just a five minute walk away, and has a general store, a café, a brewery and two restaurants. It is in the foothills of the Pyrenees, surrounded by Cathar Castles, organic vinyards, beautiful walks, caves, rivers and lakes.

    We are about an hour from Carcassonne airport and the TGV line to Paris/Lille or an hour and a half from Perpignan where you can get trains to Spain; both have good (€1 per journey) transport connections to Quillan, where we can drop you off or pick you up. Toulouse is about an hour and a half away by car, or you can take a direct train from Carcassonne.

    If you are travelling with a car we have parking on site, but if not there are plenty of great places to get to on foot. There are lots of activities to do in the area – hiking, rock climbing, cycling, rafting, lake-swimming, etc. There are some magnificent walks in the area, with viewpoints that are absolutely breathtaking. There are multiple local markets each week, which we regularly go to and are happy to take you along. The village brewery and café have regular live music and are great places to socialise in the evenings. The Cathar Castle in Puivert was a centre for music and jousting in the Middle Ages, was featured in "The Ninth Gate", and is open all year round. The village also has a gliding club that offers experience flights over the beautiful surrounding area.

  • 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

    5 hours 5 days a week; 2 days a week free

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Accuracy of profile: (5.0)

Cultural exchange: (4.7)

Communication: (5.0)

Host ref number: 886527591977