Queer camping and volunteering week

Since June 2022 Emma and I live on a beautiful smallholding in the South-West of Scotland, called Upper Barr Smallholding. It’s tucked away in the lush Stinchar valley, right next to the Galloway Forest and just outside the cute village of Barr.

At the moment, we are still very much developing the smallholding: there is a 5 acre field along the river Stinchar and a wooded bank. We got chickens last summer, planted an orchard in January, and are just about to create a vegetable garden. Other plans for the next few years: bees, more chickens, pigs and some sheep, more vegetables and fruit trees, restoring the hedges and planting a hazel grove for firewood. Oh, and a pond!

Unfortunately, with our beautiful land came a lot of trash. It seems like the old farmer used our land as a tip, and there are several piles of trash (plastic, glass, metal things, old pipes, etc…) covered in soil, covered with some more trash, around the edge of the land (luckily the field itself is not affected!). And we would LOVE some help with clearing at least a part of this up, because it’s a lot and some of it is quite heavy.

So we would like to invite everyone who is up for a fun queer camping and volunteering week to our smallholding in August! The week will be fully catered, hopefully with lots of veg from our garden. I personally am looking forward to this part a lot, as I used to cook for herbal retreats and I’ve missed cooking for small groups. I’ll aim to make all food vegetarian, and gluten and pulse free. We invite people to bring their own tent and bedding. We have a shower and loos inside, as well as a space to hang out in case the weather is bad in the evening.


13-19th of August

Arriving on a Sunday, leaving on a Saturday

Volunteer days on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday

Wednesday is rest-day and we invite everyone for a walk in the Galloway forest and a cup of tea in the forest-café!


Plan for the volunteering days:

8.30am breakfast

9.30am-12.30pm volunteering

12.30pm-2pm lunch

2pm-5pm volunteering

6pm dinner

In the evening we can gather around a fire, swim in the river, go for an evening walk, play board games, walk to the village or drive to the beach… 

Volunteer jobs: obviously clearing the trash, but there will also be other things to do to switch things up a bit: work in the veg garden, scything the grass (we have two scythes), feeding the chickens, cutting trees, creating a flower bed,…

How to get here?

We are a little bit in the middle of nowhere, it’s 20 minutes driving to the nearest train station in Girvan and 45 minutes from the train station in Ayr. Coming by car would be the easiest and would allow you the most freedom to explore the area. We are happy to come pick people up at the Girvan and Ayr train stations. For those coming from afar, there are trains going from Glasgow to Ayr and Girvan.

And for the adventurous souls, there is a little bus going from Girvan to Barr. During the weekend it only drives on Saturday so you’d have to come a day early (or a day late on Monday). The bus has its last stop at our neighbouring farm, Nether Barr, so you’d need to walk another 5 minutes to get to Upper Barr.

If you are interested in coming, just send me an email at Feel free to share!