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help exchange   Host 21462
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Help Exchange

All Year: All year
Area (ha): 300ha
Persons: Couple or 2 friends
Category: Non Organic Farmstay
Host ID: 21462
Country: Scotland

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Last Updated: July 31, 2018

Robert and I are the third generation of our family living and working on our livestock farm situated in the beautiful Kyle of Sutherland, approximately 40 miles North of Inverness in the Scottish Highlands. Our family are grown up and away from home now and we enjoy having young (and not so young) helpers on the farm. We have been HelpX hosts for the past five years but have hosted travellers on the farm for many, many years, some of them returning year after year (last year, 2017, all of our volunteers were returners). We breed Aberdeen Angus cattle and North Country Cheviot sheep. We also have horses and working border collie dogs. The farm is very beautiful, situated on the South bank of the Kyle of Sutherland (a large river) and surrounded by miles of forest trails for walks long and short. We have bicycles which you may borrow to explore the local area and we can suggest interesting destinations withing cycling distance. There is a train station approx` 100 meters from the farm house which connects to Inverness and Thurso/Wick, its possible to take the train to pay a visit to Loch Ness and Nessie on your day off, or head North to Dunrobin Castle. There is also an infrequent bus service to the nearest town, Tain. If you are an experienced horse rider there are opportunities to ride our horses in your free time. We are looking for one or two willing volunteers to assist with all aspects of farm life including assisting with animal husbandry (lambing, calving, shearing etc), feeding and cleaning pens, helping with horses, fencing, building and machinery maintenance, hay making, repairing dry-stone dykes, tree planting, hedge maintenance, log processing for our bio-mass boiler, painting, gardening, weeding, strumming, generally tidying up and a host of other tasks that need undertaking during the farming year. We are also busy developing a new venture providing accommodation to tourists in cottages and cabins so some time would be spent helping with this. Experience is very welcome but most importantly we are looking for people with ENTHUSIASM and a genuine desire to get involved. However PLEASE NOTE, the work is PHYSICALLY DEMANDING and requires a good level of PHYSICAL FITNESS, in addition we have found that ASTHMA and ALLERGY sufferers find the farm environment problematic, so we can`t recommend if any of this is a problem for you. Tasks will vary with the seasons. we would like volunteers to stay for a minimum of two weeks and work an average of 5 hours per day with one full day off per week. In exchange we can offer comfortable accommodation in the farmhouse with shared bathroom facilities (please note we have a bath no shower), wi-fi, all meals, we are not vegetarian (we rear cattle and sheep for the meat industry) but have no problem hosting vegetarians, and plenty of free time to explore the surrounding area. We do expect our helpers to contribute to the general household duties, cleaning, washing up, cooking if you enjoy it, this is not part of your 5 hour day, it is just about living as a part of our family, please don't expect to be 'waited on' Our farmhouse is 200 years old and we are working hard to improve it so please do not expect perfection. We are a non-smoking household. You can google the area Culrain, Carbisdale, Kyle of Sutherland, to find more information and photos of our surroundings or visit our Facebook page Culrain Mains. The simplest way to arrive and depart is to travel to Inverness where we are happy to pick you up from the airport, bus or train station.

The photos show the farmhouse (we don`t live in the castle), sheep, our neice Lucy with two of our horses, a composite of family and area, our working collies, May and Rona, supervising sheep feeding. Robert and I are in the last photo (I finally have one of us together).

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