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Bridgend
All Year: Yes (except December)
Area (ha): 18
Persons: up to 4
Category: Organic Farmstay
Host ID: 46790
Country: Wales

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Last Updated: June 15, 2018

Hallo and Welcome! S'mae a chroeso!

This is a small hill farm in a beautiful valley, not far from the Glamorgan coast. Current residents on the farm include sheep, cattle (Herefords and Aberdeen Angus), a few chickens, two Welsh Cobs, two cats and one or two humans...

There is also loads of wildlife including buzzards, foxes, lizards - and of course slugs...
At this time of year, we regularly see a cuckoo in the trees near the house.

Lots to do! And lots of opportunities to learn new skills...

Things you can learn here include:

- repairing dry stone walls
- grafting fruit trees
- livestock care
- making bread
- gardening
- Welsh language and stories

Welcome to Welsh learners - Croeso i dysgwyr Cymraeg: Come and practice your Welsh while volunteering! Dewch i ymarfer yr iaith trwy gwirfoddoli yn Gymraeg!

Things we need help with:

- fencing, especially around fruit trees and shelter belts
- dead hedging, which is protecting old hedges with branches so the hedge can regrow
- planting trees and hedges
- livestock care
- insulating the house, mostly with natural materials including lime plaster
- repairing outbuildings, including the roof (skilled volunteers especially welcome for this!)
- building a pig sty and goat shed
- creating/restoring wildlife habitats
- moving muck! - from sheds to muck heaps, and from muck heaps to garden beds and special habitat sites
- chopping logs

Ok, now for more details....

First of all, no-one is excluded from volunteering here because of the colour of their skin, their nationality, their sexuality or their religious beliefs. (Accessibility statement below.)

My background is farming and conservation and in the past I have also set up an accessible community garden. I have over 25years experience of no-dig organic growing and also of applying permaculture principles to different situations, not just food-growing but also to social justice and to education.
Here on this farm I am keen to make use of traditional knowledge from across Wales and combine it with current ideas about sustainable agriculture. For example I am gradually reinstating some areas of ffridd, the traditional Welsh agroforestry system, but adapting the method to include fruit trees.

Things you need to know:

Volunteers work for approx 4 hours per day, and have 2 days off each week.
Accommodation is in a cosy bunkhouse.
Everyone takes turns to cook and wash up as part of living here.

What's in walking distance:

- village with shops, library, bus service, cycle track

What's nearby for days off:

- footpaths and cycle trails
(there are a couple of bikes volunteers can borrow)
- Glamorgan coast
- Gower peninsula
- Cardiff and Swansea

Disabled access:

The bunkhouse, the compost loos and the farmhouse kitchen are all on one level, but each has one step up at the doorways.
There's a rough track through the farm; the fields are quite steep.

Getting here:

How to travel to the UK without flying:
Trains: http://www.seat61.com/
Buses: Look up Eurolines for buses from across Europe to London

Public transport in Wales: https://www.traveline.cymru/

Long distance buses:
National Express comes to Sarn, near Bridgend.
Megabus comes to Cardiff.

Cycling:
See Sustrans website for maps. Route 4 crosses South Wales with branches up every valley, including this one.

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