Help restore a unique 18th Century walled kitchen garden - Devon UK



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  • Description


    We have availability for several workaway visitors from January 17th - 31st for gardening and outdoor work.

    We live in a 9 bedroom Regency country house in Devon with 18 acres of woodland and gardens. It has been left largely unaltered sonce the 1920's and is in need of sympathetic renovation. There is a beautiful walled kitchen garden which has fallen into disuse, as well as 'pleasure grounds' and woodland.
    We are looking for several people to help out with our project to restore the garden and the Lodge cottage. The main house dates from 1805 but the garden is quite probably a lot older, maybe 1650’s. It is currently being surveyed by the Devon Gardens Trust to assess its historic significance. It is ¾ of an acre and is remarkably un-changed over the last 150 years or so with some mysterious fixtures and fittings that need investigation, the remains of glass houses and heating systems, pipework and cold frames, frost windows and boilers.
    This project is operating on a shoestring budget. We can offer full board and lodging in comfortable vintage style accommodation in exchange for 5 hours a day of work in the gardens.
    We bought the house and gardens to run a yoga retreat centre. The extraordinary atmospheric nature of the place has captivated our imaginations and we are totally absorbed by the process of restoring this miniature estate, including its lodge, cobbled yards, apple lofts, stable blocks and a long woodland walk above the river Exe. The previous owner changed almost nothing since moving here in 1946, it has been home to several Mayors of Tiverton and gives a fascinating insight into how people lived in previous centuries. We are looking for keen gardeners with an interest in the historical aspect of the project. We are located about a mile from the National Trust walled kitchen garden at Knightshayes which provides plenty of inspiration. Enthusiasm more important than experience or qualifications as we all hope to learn through the process. Management of the woodland is a secondary but connected project.
    We are a family of 6 - Nigel, Tara, Zoe(13), Toby(10) and Holly(9) and sometimes we have older son Milo(21) staying with us. We have a 4 cats, 2 chickens, 2 tortoises and 2 horses. Tara and Nigel both teach yoga classes locally and Tara has a Rolfing practice in Tiverton. Nigel, a carpenter, is spending most of his time working on the house. Our kids all go to school during the week. The house is set in it's own grounds and is very private, but is also less than a mile from Tiverton, and 12 miles from Exeter. Please note that there is absolutely no smoking allowed in the house or anywhere in the garden or grounds. We are vegetarain and all meals will be vegetarian/vegan.
    In the winter months we particularly appreciate help with looking after our two horses Ben (a huge Shire) and Jack (a little cob) who live in the old Victorian stable block behind the house.

  • Type d'aide

    Type d'aide

    Entretien / Bricolage
    Cuisine / courses
    Aide à la maison
    Aide avec les animaux

  • Echange culturel et opportunités d'apprendre

    Echange culturel et opportunités d'apprendre

    This would be a fantastic opportunity to live in an original Georgian Country House that has been untouched for years, with lots of fantastic original features - servants bells still working, old stone sink, open fires, original stables and lovely cobbled pathways, along with a fantastic very large walled garden that is being lovingly restored. It is located in a beautiful area typical of the English countryside full of wildlife. Deer often roam around the garden, and owls and woodpeckers abound. A step back in time and a very magical place. We really love to have guests at the house and often have several at one time so you will be working in a team of interesting people. There is lots of conversation and also a lot of books in the house so a great environment for learning improving English and knowing more about the culture and traditions of the West Country and Devon.

  • Aide


    Renovating a large historic walled garden involving digging, weeding, construction of fruit cages, compost bins, preparing new vegetable beds.
    The work will involve levelling parts of the garden, cutting back and clearing brambles and other weeds, wheelbarrowing piles of horse manure into the walled garden, tidying up piles of slates, wood etc in the garden, fixing part of the wall where slates need to be re-fixed. The work is quite physical, so you need to be the sort of person who likes to work outside all day.
    If there is a big group then Tara will welcome some help in cooking and washing up for the group.

  • Langues parlées

    Langues parlées


  • Hébergement


    We have 9 bedrooms in the house altogether. 3 shower rooms and a bathroom. The guest bedrooms are large enough to use as a living room as well if privacy is needed - they have ample room to sit down and relax in. We have several communal rooms downstairs - a dining room, sitting room, and drawing room. All these rooms have open fires, we have 2 pianos, please play! Our kids use these rooms a well for various activities. We eat together and would expect any visitors to eat with us, and would be very open to them cooking for us occasionally or whenever felt right. We are vegetarians - Tara is vegan - and we are strictly non-smoking please, even outside.
    There is lots of outside space to spend time in. Formal lawns and garden give way to the woodlands and fields.

  • Autres infos...

    Autres infos...

    We are within walking distance of Tiverton, a fairly large town with all the typical amenities. Exeter is a 20 minute bus ride away, the bus stop is 5 minutes walk from the house. The nearest beach is Exmouth, about 40 minute drive away. There is always someone in the house and we do tend to have a lot of people visiting, especially in the summer, so mixing with other people would be essential. We have had several people stay here for either a long weekend or for several weeks, very successfully, and because of the nature of the house, we are very keen to have people staying. The house lends itself very much to having lots of people around.

  • Informations complémentaires

    Informations complémentaires

    • Accès Internet

    • Accès Internet limité

      Accès Internet limité

    • Nous avons des animaux

    • Nous sommes fumeurs

  • Combien de volontaires pouvez-vous accueillir ?

    Combien de volontaires pouvez-vous accueillir ?

    Plus de deux

  • ...

    Nombre d'heures attendues

    Maximum 5 hours a day, 5 days a week

N° de référence hôte : 357662435899