Helping Out at Fordhall

In general, it certainly seems day to day life is only getting busier, and it may seem impossible to fit volunteering along side everything else. However, it can be a wonderful and fulfilling way to step away from the everyday, and learn new skills, connect with like minded people, and make a difference. Volunteering essentially has a ‘feel good factor’ built right in, positively benefiting both mental and physical health.

Our next volunteer weekend is fast approaching, taking place on 3rd and 4th June. All activities are of course British weather permitting; however, the current plan includes several traditional activities taking inspiration from eco-friendly methods used by generations past.  Traditional building skills will be used to sand and lime washing the stunning Straw Lodge.

We also have an exciting future project, enhancing our free farm trails by creating floating sheep’s wool paths! This is a very exciting new project for us and we will be learning alongside our willing volunteers.  Floating paths are an ancient craft, mainly practiced in especially boggy areas, where rolled sheep fleeces are used to create a base for a path, and covered with aggregate. The fleeces create a barrier which prevents the aggregate sinking into the bog, and come with the added bonus of being more environmentally friendly than synthetic underlay membranes which are often used to create paths. With shearing having just taken place, we are pleased to be using our own Fordhall wool for this project! Please do get in contact if you would be interested in helping us with this.

We must acknowledge that the wonderful volunteers who give up their spare time to help us at the farm, really keep day to day life here running. From busying away in the office, to conservation and maintenance work out and about, we are grateful for the work each and every one of them do for us. In the past, they have helped to build a boardwalk, a roundhouse, plant wildflowers and trees, and lay hedges…to name only a few!

A regular participant in our quarterly volunteer weekends is the lovely Nim, who wrote a wonderful testimony detailing the positive impact Fordhall volunteering had had upon her mental health. Nim said: ‘It is my happy place, it is the place that changed me for the better, who knew that getting covered from head to toe in mud/clay was so good for the soul? But it is!’ To read Nim’s full story, please visit:

If you would like to join in with this volunteer weekend, take part in future volunteer weekends, or find out about other voluntary opportunities, please visit or contact volunteer leader Mike at

Until the summer, take care all.

Francesca Lant 

Marketing and Communications Officer