All Year: Yes
Area (ha): 60
Category: Non Organic Farmstay
Host ID: 31011
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Last Updated: June 13, 2018
**** Space for helpers the first 3 weeks of August due to cancellation.
Looking for volunteers for the coming season at our yurt campsite and farm. We are looking for people who are happy to get involved with cleaning the yurts for guests as well are all the other farm related jobs we have going on through out the year.
The farm is in a stunning location overlooking the Moray Firth on the peninsular just north of Inverness called the Black Isle. The farm comprises 150 acres of rough grazing, native woodland cliffs and shore line as well as a couple of more productive field that we will use for hay production and possibly growing crops in the future. We have a flock of 70 Hebridean sheep, plus their lambs. We have 2 pigs that help with clearing ground. We have 5 highland cows, 3 of which are due to calve in the spring. We also have 3 horses that are used for riding.
We started renting out yurts last summer (2015) there is still a lot to be done by as we gradually put up more yurts. There are a large range of jobs we need help with depending on the season:
We build the yurts ourselves from locally sourced wood so this is an on going job and help with the construction of yurts may be needed at times.
We have another newly finished building that has toilets and showers for the guests. Help with keeping them clean will also be required. We also need to build composting loos closer to the yurts as well as platforms for the yurts to sit on.
On the farm there is a lot of gorse and bracken that needs to be controlled as well as ragwort, thistles and docks.
There are a series of foot paths on the farm that are popular with locals as well as tourists, keeping these paths clear as well as improving them is another job that is on going.
There may be some work with the the sheep. Depending on the time of year there is lambing, shearing and general care.
As a large part of the farm is covered on woodland this also needs management. This includes thinning out of trees as well as chopping and splitting fire wood. There are also areas where we want to encourage the natural regeneration of trees and increase the woodland. There will also be tree planting going on in winter months. We have not established a garden yet but it is something we plan to do.
There are a lot of wild plants, flowers, berries and mushrooms growing on the farm that we will need help to harvest and preserve through drying or making jams and chutneys.
We are looking for hard working enthusiastic people that are happy to work in a group but also on occasion be left to get on with jobs alone. Being flexible about the types you do is important and having a reasonable level of fitness. The farm is on a hill which means a reasonable amount of walking up and down plus a lot of the jobs are physical!
Accommodation is basic as we have no residential building or house at the farm. You will be staying at the farm in a static caravan or a yurt, helpers are also welcome to camp if they so wish. There are cooking facilities in the caravan, some times we will cook and eat together and other times food will be available for you to make your own meals. The static caravan does have an electrical connection and there is a compost loo on site. Helpers may also use the showers and washing machine at the yurt campsite.
If you are very reliant on your home comforts then this may not be the place for you however if you like to get back to basics and live more in nature then we are sure you will get on well!
We expect around 5 hours a day for your food and accommodation however some days it may be a bit more than this and some days it may be less depending on what jobs we are doing. In your spare time there is lots to see and do in the local area. Spending time at the beach and swimming in the sea for the brave! We have a canoe you can borrow if you'd like to explore the coast or bicycles for exploring the Black Isle. There are lots of walks locally and plenty of wild life from dolphins, seals and otters to deer, badgers and birds of prey.
There is also access to mountain bike tracks right next to the farm. For experienced horse riders there may be the chance of some riding. For those inexperienced there is a local horse riding centre that takes rides out and explore the local countryside. We are about 5 miles from the nearest village where there are a variety of small shops, restaurants and pubs. If you have your own transport that would be an advantage but otherwise you can walk, bike, or hitch to the nearest village where there is a public bus that takes you to Inverness. We will also help out where possible to give you lifts.
There will be the opportunity to join up on trips and outings we may organise. From the Black Isle there is good access to the rest of the Highlands and Islands where there is fantastic scenery and lots of history to explore.
We look forward to hearing from you!
Photo 1- Yurt making in process, 2- One of the yurts, 3- Hebridean sheep with a new lamb, 4- horses enjoying the sun, 5- The frame of the log barn, 6- making one of the yurt platforms.