Calling all mountain lovers to come and help us with our forested land in the Ariège, France

Country

France

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    Feedback

    87  

  • last activity

    Last activity

    02/12/2020

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  2020 
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  • Description

    Description

    Come and enjoy the beautiful mountains!

    We are looking for people who are physically strong, resourceful and motivated, who have the stamina to get stuck into outdoor labour on steep slopes.

    Feedback left by previous volunteers shows that those who join us here find the work rewarding, fulfilling and a whole lot of fun!

    We are not able to host volunteers over the winter months as the weather high up in the mountains can be too challenging. However, if you are interested in joining us in 2021, we will be posting our availability in the New Year.


    IMPORTANT: Please take the time to read our profile in full before contacting us.


    We, your hosts, Karen and Matthew, are an English couple in our early 60's. We have lived in this remote part of France for more than sixteen years, enjoying life in a small stone house perched on the side of a mountain valley.

    We are committed to a sustainable self-sufficient lifestyle and enjoy all the challenges that this brings.

    Please be aware that we live very quietly in a remote setting with access by footpath only. You need to be self reliant and resourceful to make the most of the many opportunities that are available.

    If you love peace and quiet, mountains and nature, then you will fit in well and have a fantastic time. This is definitely not the place for you if you prefer noisy social interaction and want to party.

    Please be aware that we do not accept smokers.

    You may be interested in coming here because you have seen that we provide exclusively vegan food. If this is the case, we ask that you read our profile in full before you get in touch - just being vegan is not enough, you need to be prepared for the kind of work you are volunteering for.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    DIY and building projects
    Help with Eco Projects
    General Maintenance

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Our volunteers join in fully with our lifestyle and have the opportunity to learn about the reality of self sufficiency. We genuinely share our lifestyle with our volunteers. If they wish to immerse themselves in local life then they can either learn French or improve their French. They certainly have the opportunity to speak and learn English. Since we take four volunteers at a time, there are innumerable possibilities to share each others language and culture. All the work here is outside and there are many, many skills to be learned, practised and developed with supervision and guidance from Matthew. Although we ourselves do not seek out a social life, the village of Massat is very welcoming and has plenty of opportunities to meet people and get involved with local life.

  • Help

    Help

    Every year we have plenty of plans and projects on our 'wish list'. Which of these come to fruition in any one year depends on the vision, skills and enthusiasms of our helpers. We offer as much flexibility as possible, whilst bearing in mind that some of the work is essential to our ongoing life here and must sometimes take priority.

    We are a well organised hard working couple. We expect our volunteers to work hard. In exchange you will be very well looked after. We have a wealth of information to help you make the most of your free time and weekends. You will also have fun, laugh a lot, gain valuable skills and surprise yourself discovering what you are capable of. There is no doubt that the work is rewarding, fulfilling and enjoyable.

    The volunteering here is all outdoors on a steep mountainside. You must be physically fit and motivated to tackle this strenous manual labour. There is no work indoors. The mountain weather can sometimes mean working in the rain may be necessary. We provide safety footwear, clothing and equipment.

    The help includes strimming and brush cutting, cutting up felled trees, chipping/shredding, splitting and stacking logs and footpath maintenance.

    Other work includes repairing collapsed dry stone walls, as well as more general maintenance of the house and land.

    This year we would like to rebuild the area around our barn door to improve accessibility. We aim to do the same around the entrance to our poly tunnel. Some building experience would be helpful if you are interested in these projects.

    We plan to make a new fence around our balcony and add shutters to two windows at the front of the house. These projects would be best undertaken by someone with some carpentry/woodworking experience.

    VERY IMPORTANT: Please quote reference READ 2020 when applying so that we know you have read our profile in full.

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent
    French: Fluent

  • Accommodation

    Accommodation

    Our guest accommodation is in a prospector tent (see photo below) set amongst the trees, a short (but steep!) walk from the house. This allows you to have privacy and independence whilst also having easy access to the house and facilities. The tent has a comfortable sleeping area with two full size beds and quilts, a sofa bed, a platform bed, a living area with table and chairs, and a wood burning stove for cooler evenings. There is a composting toilet and hand wash facility alongside, and a wet room/laundry area exclusively for volunteers up at the house.

    Our food is delicious and plentiful and we will provide all your meals, including picnics for when you are out and about. Meals are eaten on the terrace, or in the house, depending on the weather. Meal times are important as weall sit down together to eat and talk and find out about each other. Strong bonds are made in this way and many strong friendships have been made between us and between workawayers. We eat a vegan diet using organic fresh home grown produce to make lots of interesting and tasty meals, no-one leaves the table hungry. We both love to eat, and especially enjoy home made bread, cakes and puddings. We grow almost all our own fruit and vegetables. We shop in Massat in a not-for-profit wholefood shop which sells exclusively organic, fairly traded produce.

    If you wish to store any of your own food and drink there is a fridge available up at the house. There are facilities at the tent for making hot drinks.

    We have a stable high speed internet connection with wi-fi enhancer which makes it available in the tent. Be warned that you need good battery life on your appliances to make the most of this as there is only solar lighting system in the tent so lap tops can't be plugged in there. There is a charging facility for volunteers in the entrance to your wetroom.

    We can provide free international telephone calls but only to landlines, not to mobiles.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Your working week will be from Monday to Friday. You will have all the weekends free to pursue your own activities.

    There is so much to do and so much of interest all with close proximity. For those who love sport there is walking, climbing, mountain refuges, kayaaking, cycling, mountain biking, fishing, paragliding. For quieter pursuits choose from the many historic and prehistoric places of interest to visit, local markets, village events or local cuisine. Or you can always relax with a good book! We have loads of information available and are able to help with transport arrangements.

  • 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

  • Can host digital nomads

    Can host digital nomads

    We have a wi-fi enhancer which gives excellent wi fi speeds in the Workawayer accomodation

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    About the size of a transit van. Only one at a time.

  • Can possibly accept pets

    Can possibly accept pets

    We can take dogs provided that they are calm and well behaved, especially in the Workaway accomodation and while people are working. We have our own rescue dog who can take a bit of time to get used to new things, but she is friendly.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    25 hours week with some flexibility depending on the weather and the projects. All weekends free.

These are extra optional ratings when members leave feedback. The average rating left for each option is displayed.

Accuracy of profile: (4.9)

Cultural exchange: (4.4)

Communication: (5.0)



















































Host ref number: 898197876649