Eco retreat farm work exchange in Cornwall, the United Kingdom

Eco retreat farm work exchange in Cornwall, the United Kingdom


Program details

Work exchange and volunteer program in an eco retreat, United Kingdom

Cotna Eco Retreat is a beautiful and inspiring organic smallholding with yurts & eco-accommodation, offering courses in sourdough bread making, foraging, Indian cookery, no-dig gardening. Cotna is hidden away in a secluded valley, an oasis of wildlife that overlooks a thriving woodland with abundant orchards, vegetable & fruit gardens, natural ponds and its own bubbling spring. The beautiful natural surroundings, which look out towards the south Cornwall coast, are ideal for quiet holidays, retreats, and anyone wanting to be surrounded by the land and the elements.

About the work exchange & volunteer program

Each season brings its own unique tasks at Cotna for work exchangers. Spring involves a lot of weeding, sowing, bed preparation and willow work. Summer is mainly all about picking, weeding, bagging up salad and even more weeding. Autumn involves harvesting, taking cuttings, cutting back hedges, beginning structural and woodland work and processing food (including juice, cider and chutney making).

Although during Winter there are shorter days and longer evenings by the fire, there is still a lot of structural building and preparation work to be done. These include strimming, hedge-trimming, hedge-laying, pruning, composting, veg-bed preparation for next growing season and work in the woodland.

Work exhangers are required to stay for 2 weeks at least, although there is also a week’s trial. If things are not working out, your host reserve the right to ask you to move on as soon as possible. About 6 hours of work each day is expected, with Saturdays and Sundays off. Depending what needs doing and the season some days may be busier and longer than others. During busy months your weekends can be occupied, but you will always have 2 days off each week.

Accommodation & food

The accommodation will be generally be in one of two caravans, they each have a double or king-size bed and they serve as a bedroom / private space. There is a larger communal area in the straw-bale barn which you share with other volunteers as well as longer term residents Simon & Kay. Here you can cook & eat, relax on the sofas by the woodturner, use the wifi, carve wooden spoons etc. There are compost toilets and a shower shed with warm shower. Generally you’ll find 1-4 volunteers on site, according to seasonal needs and accommodation availability.

Food is renowned for being delicious, fresh, abundant and international. Sometimes you’ll eat together but mostly you can prepare your own food. You’ll find great cooking facilities—with food provided for vegan and vegetarian diet too.

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Accomodation offer

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