Fun eco-pod projects in Ballater, the Cairngorms, Scotland, UK



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  • Description


    We are able to accept and sponsor Ukrainian refugees, please contact for more information


    We are Bess and Karl. Karl has lived at the Steading since 2017 and Bess has joined him in 2019. We started having volunteers in May 2020 and haven't really stopped in this time we have hosted over 50 lovely volunteers. We have formed some amazing friendships some of which we speak to nearly every day. What people have taught us has been invaluable.
    We normally have around 3 people staying with us for a minimum of 4 weeks, happy to have people the longer the better for us.

    Bess has traveled, working on yachts, for numerous years before settling in Ballater with karl and having people stay with us really fulfils that travelling bug.
    Karl had traveled in his 20s, and has taken the desicion to no longer fly due to climate change. He is a joiner by trade and has more the 20 years experience, having built his own house he now has a passion for low impact living, this passion has lead him to build a tiny house on wheels and a ecopod.

    Since living in Ballater Karl has established a successful holiday let business with his house while living low impact in a caravan at The Steading. Most recently having got planning to rent and show case the tiny house and demonstrate that people can holiday in a substainable way. (can you imagine how much less material a tiny house uses then a normal house) Karl hopes to build another tiny house in the near future.

    At The Steading we have a garden in progress which we would like to add a climbing frame for kids, wood fired pizza oven for everyone and a pond. We also have a small veggie garden which Bess manages which has brought us great organic produce in the summer!

    We have recently moved up the road (500m karls parents) as we had a baby in September 2021. As we where a little worried about baby Willow managing her first Scottish winter in a caravan.

  • Types d'aide et opportunités d'apprendre

    Types d'aide et opportunités d'apprendre

    Aide avec des éco-projets
    Bricolage et projets de construction
    Baby-sitting et jeux créatifs
    Cuisine/repas pour la famille
    Aide à la maison
    Entretien général
    Aide informatique / avec Internet

  • Echange culturel et opportunités d'apprendre

    Echange culturel et opportunités d'apprendre

    I have traveled on and off in my 20s and love meeting new people and exstrang stories and experiences. Some of my highlights have to be volunteering in the Philippines, driving the Hai Van Pass in Vietnam on a old moped and down hill mountain biking in Whistler Canada. I'm open minded and do love deep conversions from time to time, thats not to say that every conversion has to be deep. Unfortunately my languages skills are basic, i only speak English. however when it comes to building i will be able to teach you lots and lots. I also love talking about life. Your likely get to know and be welcomed into my family, my brother and my retired parents live just along the road. I have had one previous Workawayer stay but not throw this website, He was walking past when i was building a composing toilet we got chatting and he ended up coming back a few weeks latter and stayed 2months. He also joined us for part of our family holiday in Spain at the start of this year, with his new girlfriend. (Just shows me i never know whats goin to happen in life)

  • Projets impliquant des enfants

    Projets impliquant des enfants

    Ce projet peut impliquer des enfants. Pour en savoir plus, consultez nos directives et conseils ici.

  • L’hôte offre un salaire correspondant au salaire minimum

    L’hôte offre un salaire correspondant au salaire minimum

    Cet hôte offre l'hébergement et une rémunération.

    L’hôte a indiqué qu'il paierait au moins le salaire horaire minimum de son pays pour chaque heure travaillée et que l’hébergement serait fourni. Il demande de l'aide dans le cadre de son entreprise ou activité professionnelle. Contactez l'hôte directement via la messagerie du site pour en savoir plus et avoir des détails sur le salaire proposé. Tous les arrangements devraient être conclus à l'avance avec votre hôte.

  • Aide


    We each take it in turns to cook, do the washing up and keeping the communal areas clean and tidy, so if there are 3 people here then we would each cook once in evey 3 days, this has been a great way of trying new foods, We eat plant based and keep our food pantry well stocked with as much exciting ingredients as possible, and of course keeping a good supply of crumpets. We supply breakfast, lunch and dinner for all working days as well as days off.

    The days are structured, where we currently start at 830 and finish at 2, this gives people the opportunity to have the afternoon to themselves to explore the stunning area we are so fortunateto live in. Volunteers also have 2 days a week off.

    Paid positions

    We are looking for 2 carpenters/joiners to help Karl build another tiny house and maybe a shepherds hut. Ideally with timber framing experience. Someone who is self motivated and enjoys working as part of a team. In the past we have had couples stay with us, one of them being a paid joiner and the other volunteering unpaid and helping on garden  projects with nothing  to do with Karls business.

    While staying with us we encourage our guests to explore the Highlands and cairngorm national park. Where we live there are loads of mountain biking track (We do have 2 bikes which we're happy to lend) covering everything from x country to down hill tracks, there's also lovely running tracks.

  • Langues parlées

    Anglais: Courant

  • Hébergement


    There are 2 caravans, and a converted van, these all are doubles

    Food...I will happily provide food for breakfast lunch and dinner. I changed to a plant based diet a few years ago and feel great for it, i don't expect you to change your diet. We take it in turns to cook and do the washing up, and feels this works really well for us. Don't worry as long as you can follow a recipe we will do fine, i have a load of recipe books. You might want to occasionally by yourself some extra snacks, though there will always be tea, coffee, bread, butter and (alternative) milks

  • Autres infos...

    Autres infos...

    Time off...
    If you like the outdoors your in the right place, Ballater is located in the Cairngorms national park witch has some stunning scenery, I have a mountain bike and two river kayaks you can use to explore. There is also loads of nice walks/hikes near by (try googling Loch Muick, lochnagar and look at the images) If you like wild camping then why not think about walking the Lairig Ghru where you could camp along the way or even stay in one of scotland Bothys these are free to use. There is a bus that runs past in both directions up to Braemar past Balmoral Castle( the queens holiday house) or into Aberdeen if you fancy checking out a city on your days off or going to the beach. If you fancy something i bit more relaxing you could spend the afternoon at are local whiskey distillery this is about 5 miles away and called Royal Lochnagar. Last of a all a great day trip if like me you have a interest in exploring your spiritual side or even Eco friendly living and building a trip up to Findhorn foundation is a must, this is about an hr and half away. I should also say that Edinburgh is a great weekend/short break its 2 and a half hrs by car.

  • Informations complémentaires

    Informations complémentaires

    • Accès Internet

    • Accès Internet limité

      Accès Internet limité

    • Nous avons des animaux

    • Nous sommes fumeurs

    • Familles bienvenues

  • Possibilité d’accueillir les digital nomads

    Possibilité d’accueillir les digital nomads

    Cet hôte a indiqué qu’il aimait accueillir les digital nomads.

  • Espace pour garer des vans

    Espace pour garer des vans

    Cet hôte a de la place pour les vans.

  • Possibilité d'accueillir les animaux

    Possibilité d'accueillir les animaux

    Cet hôte a dit qu’il acceptait les personnes voyageant avec un animal.

  • Combien de volontaires pouvez-vous accueillir ?

    Combien de volontaires pouvez-vous accueillir ?

    Plus de 2

  • ...

    Nombre d'heures attendues

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

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Exactitude du profil: (4.8)

Échange culturel: (4.9)

Communication: (4.9)

N° de référence hôte : 411447277738