Come and help around our micro-projects to transform a cottage and garden in Cumbria, UK


United Kingdom

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 Min stay requested: at least a week

  • Description



    Hello. I am a forest school teacher and ornithologist working for the Forestry Commission in the Lake District National Park. I am very interested in small space living the outside-box ideas and practical solutions for making it work. Are you?
    I live in Canary Cottage, one of a short row of coal miners' cottages dating from the mid 1800's, when Great Clifton Village was a colliery. I am enthusiastically working on this small house and garden trying to think innovatively about how to maximise its productiveness, making the most of the space to give pleasant practical living, an income, and organic produce from the garden.
    And all within a short bus ride to sea-side or Lake District National Park.

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    General Maintenance
    Help with Computers / internet

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    My family and I have been welcoming travellers and guests into my home for many years and I have travelled widely myself, so am very interested in talking and sharing insights and experience of other cultures. I believe that it is only through living together that understanding is created between individuals and cultures. I have volunteered in rural areas of Scandinavia, Africa and Australia so I know what it is like from both sides.
    If you want to improve your English - there will be lots of opportunity for conversation, and some more formal learning sessions if you want. (I have taught Adult Literacy). There will probably be opportunity to join in with local evening activities. There is a spinning wheel, guitar and lots of books.
    More specifically, the gardening and DIY skills that are needed for this project are always useful to learn or improve upon and are completely transferable. If you are thinking of trying to make a living out of the place you live
    In this would be a great way of trying things out to see what works. In addition, the Lake District and coast with its huge cross section of diverse culture, history and magnificent scenery within easy reach make this a great place to stay.

  • Help


    Small is beautiful, but requires some skill and strength!
    This post would suit someone with, or wanting to, improve their skills in small scale living. It is not a 'grand vista' but a fascinating exercise in seeing what can be achieved inside and out to increase productivity and income from a village cottage in a series of mini-projects.

    Physically fit for digging, moving bricks etc, but equally, good practical ideas would be welcomed. Any experience in carpentry would be a bonus - but not essential.

    Mini-gardening project. How to make a small multi-purpose space blossom? Opposite the cottage is a garden. Although small it needs some intensive work in designing and clearing to make this a safe, productive and beautiful space. It first needs some construction - perhaps a small pond, a patio area for tea-time and flagged pathway, fencing, hedge lay. Then there is planting out the garden, with the added interest of unobtrusively deterring/diverting ' fence-jumpers'.

    Mini guest house project - Inside the house there are a number of DIY projects - painting and decorating. This follows a successful trial season with an on-line bnb organisation, so very worth doing!

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken


  • Accommodation


    You will have your own cosy room with sheets and towels. Note the stairs are steep. The bathroom is shared, with bath and shower. We all use the kitchen and dining room. I provide ingredients but cooking is shared and It is nice to sit and eat evening meal together. There is a microwave, oven and hotplates, all cooking utensils and condiments.
    Other members of my family live in the area.
    In the village is a Post Office with a few essentials, but shopping is in Workington or Cockermouth (Bus or I can transport) The Old Ginn House pub serves meals.
    Wifi available.
    No smoking inside the house.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Lakes, sea and mountains
    Great Clifton village is situated between the sea and the mountains of the English Lake District so
    there is a lot to do in spare time. Great Clifton is an excellent centre for anyone wanting to use public transport. Buses X4 and X5 run through the village every hour from Workington on the coast to Cockermouth, Keswick and Penrith in the Lake District National Park and back, with connections to Carlisle. There will be ample opportunity to go hiking in the fells and there is an old bicycle to use. The huge cross section of diverse culture, history and magnificent scenery make it a great place to stay.

  • 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

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

Host ref number: 919682421597

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