Help with roundwood timber framing and off-grid living in Kent, UK


United Kingdom

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 Min stay requested: at least a week

  • Description


    With the help of volunteers, we are creating eco-friendly, off-grid facilities to optimise our living-working environment.
    We are building using traditional methods and materials sourced from within the woodland. We aim to use as little machinery as possible, relying almost entirely on the use of hand tools.

    Alongside building, we aim to reintroduce rotational coppicing in the 14 acres of sweet chestnut and oak woodland.

    The ultimate goal is to have acquired the skills and knowledge needed to build my own house (earthship meets fachwerk meets strawbale in construction) in a similar setting, living closely with the land.

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    General Maintenance
    Cooking / shopping
    Help with Eco project

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Learn about the local ecology (flora and fauna), tree and plant uses, and the basics of permaculture in a deciduous broad-leaf woodland.

    Learn to safely use axes and log splitters, froes, drawknives, chisels and try your hand at woodland crafts (bodging, cooking on open fires, round wood timber framing).

    Learn about coppicing - sustainable tree felling.

    Share stories with us around the campfire, learn some new card games!

    If nothing else, experience living with nature, waking with the sun and getting back to basics.

  • Help


    Primarily we need help with ongoing woodworking projects as well as maintaining the camp. The main projects will involve coppicing small sections of the woodland, building a wood store and outdoor kitchen shelter (sweet chestnut roundwood timber frame construction).

    *️️️️️️️*️️️️️️️*️️️️️️️ We are currently only working at the woodland in late winter months! *️️️️️️️*️️️️️️️*️️️️️️️

    Other help may include decorating, collecting firewood, building an outdoor fire heated shower, roof construction, vegetable gardens, hedge laying and renovating the tool shed!

    There will be a rota for cooking and washing up. We are vegetarian and will be able to cook for vegans and those with gluten free requirements.

    As well as being a host, I have plenty of experience working as a volunteer. We expect a good work ethic but you will not be overworked here.

    It's important that we respect the environment we will be in, being peaceful, leaving places how we find them and doing as little damage as possible.

    Help required: 5 hours per day, 5 days per week.

  • Languages spoken

    German: Fluent
    English: Fluent

  • Accommodation


    There is some choice with accommodation:

    We have a wooden cladded, 50 year old mobile home. It has a wood fired stove and gas cooker it keeps us warm and fed if the rain persists. (Most of the cooking is done on the open fire) This cabin has a kitchen come lounge area, a rain-fed bathroom and two double bedrooms. Extra sleeping space can be arranged in the lounge room.

    We also have an immobile gypsy caravan (purchased in the 1940s). Though it once served to house a family of 6, we can only offer this to one volunteer at a time. It is under shelter to lessen the weathering to the caravan and to keep you nice and dry.

    *️️️️️️️*️️️️️️️*️️️️️️️ Please note: we have no electricity or running water, but we have enough fire wood to keep warm and, before achieving rain water filtration and purification, enough drinking water will be supplied! There is a pub within 5 minutes walk with Wifi and there is good mobile reception. We are an elicit drug-free woodland. Non-smokers preferable (in dry weather there is risk of forest fires). *️️️️️️️*️️️️️️️*️️️️️️️

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    The woodland is part of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and is a great chance to experience real British countryside while still having good connections to London or Dover (whether I'm you're first or last stop in the UK). You'll be able to visit the eerie Romney Marsh and the headland of Dungeness as well as coastal towns such as Hastings, Rye. The immediate surrounding area is incredibly scenic, with oast houses and fields of hop bines, apple and cherry orchards, quaint villages with historic buildings and local markets. We are very close to Bodiam Castle!

    The weather is often comparable to northern France, hence all the fruit grown in the area.

    A short walk from the woodland will give you access to local buses with which you can travel around. I have a car so I can collect and drop helpers off in places harder to reach and I will also be happy make day trips to show you areas myself.

  • 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

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

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

The weekly local market shop
a butterpat joint!
a pair of cruck beams ready for the joint test!
using massive leverage to close the joints with ease
debarking the 'whole tree' doorframe
a tenon
the woodcutter's path

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Accuracy of profile: (5.0)

Cultural exchange: (5.0)

Communication: (5.0)

Host ref number: 891193674498