Help renovate an old cottage in Lammermuir hills plus tree planting in the NE Highlands too!


United Kingdom

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  • Description


    We are looking for a last minute Workaway for at least the next couple or 3 weeks which includes a weekend at the Peebles Wood Fair. We will mainly be based at this place but if you stay through to the first weekend in November we will be making a trip up to the Highlands too.

    Please see also my partner's host listing (959189343426) for more details of our project in the Highlands with photos.

    June to October are the times we will be mainly doing house building and garden development for growing our own food at our small holding on the Southern slopes of the Lammermuir hills, looking out over the Tweed valley towards the Cheviot hills. Green oak framing and traditional carpentry are key to the restoration of our 200 year old cottage. We use lime mortar for building and repairing stone walls. This is a very peaceful rural location. We stay in a mobile home with wood burner and compost loo. We also have a wood fuelled hot water boiler to provide baths/showers with amazing views of the rolling countryside . We usually prepare and eat meals communally. Sleeping accommodation for visitors is in a separate touring caravan and/or Army tent. Our nearest public transport and shops are in Lauder where we can collect visitors from bus stop or arrange for a pick up in or near Edinburgh as we are often driving past.

    When on our woodland site near Tain we stay in a mobile home with woodburner to keep us warm. Visitors can stay in a separate caravan or camp (we can provide tents if needed). The views are totally stunning and there are fantastic beaches nearby, as well as the lovely town of Dornoch and Dunrobin Castle. This is a project that will last our lifetimes and you will be able to return in 20 years and see the ever growing results of your volunteer activities. The nearest public transport to our woodland site is at Alness (train and bus). We can also arrange to pick you up in Inverness.

    We have found it works best for our visitors to have whole days free for visiting or exploring and other whole days spent mainly here helping us but if you want to take a half day for a big walk that is also cool with us. We are flexible and hope our visitors will be too. One of the greatest joys of being a host for us is that having visitors reminds us to take some time out and have fun, so we are happy to drive with our guests on a local site-seeing trip during your stay - to places that are not so easily accessed by bus or train for instance. We love having visitors from other countries - it is almost as good as going on holiday ourselves! We have mobile phone signal and mobile wifi most of the time though the latter can be a bit temperamental if raining hard or windy.

  • Type of help

    Type of help

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

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    You will learn lots about forestry, wood construction, farming, tractors, cars, and numerous other subjects from Simon and Mary is a former English as Foreign Langauge teacher so can help you with improving your English if needed.

  • Help


    In the Highlands - Tree planting and putting on tubes/spiral to protect them from damage by voles. Fencing and help with constructing a barn.

    In the Borders - We are renovating an old farm cottage using green oak framing and traditional stone masonry skills. Anyone with these skills or enthusiasm to learn and good attention to detail will be most welcome. There will be additional opportunities to use or develop skills in timber frame building and welding. We keep a small flock of geese and assistance with these and general household tasks is also on the agenda. Simon is a forest manager and part-time saw miller so there will be opportunities to use or develop skills in these fields too.

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    English French

  • Accommodation


    Caravan / camper van

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    We are relatively new hosts on Workaway but have had volunteer visitors via other routes in the last couple of years so have included their feedback below as a "self reference".

    "I had a wonderful time with Simon and Mary! The scenery is beautiful, the area is peaceful and the company is fun and engaging. I enjoyed the work, learned a great deal throughout my stay and quite enjoyed the beauty of the property as well as the surrounding area!
    It was a very positive experience and I enjoyed it so much that I came back again later on in my travels! :)"

    "We have no words to describe the experience we have lived with Simon, Mary and Lucy. They are wonderful. We are new in Workaway as a couple, and they made it just magic. Simon is a pluriskilled man who is able to do anything with his own hands and Mary is an incredible woman to learn things from. You can even smell the love they feel for the nature and everything that surrounds them. We have learnt so much thanks to them!!
    Lucy, their little spaniel is really sweet!! she will make you feel like you are in home!! :)
    They create a lovely couple full of energy, jokes and good vibes. If you are looking for an unforgetable experience, you should contact them!
    Thank you very much for teaching us what we can´t learn in books and for making us falling in love with Scotland!!!!"

  • 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?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    5 hours a day (or equivalent) (max 25 hours/week)

Bright lights of the city - farewell party for one of our longer term visitors.
On the razz in Gotham City aka Newcastle
Men at work
A quiet night tussling over the chess board for the F team
Carpenter feeding time!
Squaring precision
Bathroom view
Brick pizza oven built by visitors in 2015
Lucy in "puppycat" mode
A view of the house from the front with assorted building materials in foreground.
Snow Geese???!!
My partner - Mary
Simon enjoying a walk on beach near Edinburgh

Host ref number: 936573684446