Projects and LAND Network
Visiting and Volunteering
Visiting and Volunteering are great ways of learning about permaculture through an immersive and practical experience. They can be brilliant fun too and a means to meet other inspiring permaculture people.
Whether you are passionate about agro-forestry, no dig gardening, orchards, seed saving, eco building or finding the perfect composting toilet, our network of Permaculture projects and LAND centres has something to offer you!
Why not take a look at our new, interactive projects and LAND map, read about some of our inspiring network projects and use it to plan your visit or to finda project to volunteer at? You can also find out about volunterring opportunities on our opportunities page.
What Types of Visiting and Volunteering Opportunities are there?
Our Six Top Tips for Visitors and Volunteers
Tip One : Do your Homework
Unless you are planning a short visit and have no expectations, its a good idea to do a bit of background research on the project to make sure that it meets your visiting or volunteering needs. Many projects will have a website or a facebook profile, where you can find out more about their work and facilities. Alternatively drop them an email or give them a ring to find out what they are offering.
Tip Two: Arrange your Visit Beforehand
Hosting visitors and volunteers requires a lot of time and energy. Many projects have set days/ times when you can visit or volunteer, so make sure that you have aranged your visit to be at a convenient time for your project host. Do not turn up at a project without arranging it first unless you know that they have an open door policy, a set volunteering day or are running an open day. Dont forget to look at our events, courses and opportunities pages to find out ways to participate.
Tip Three: Make Agreements
If you are staying at a project as a volunteer, you need to be really clear on what the offer is, so that you can manage your expectations and so that you and your host feel safe and supported. Here are some questions that you may want to ask before you visit:
- What do you both hope to get out of the experience?
- How long is your visit for?
- How many hours per day are you expected to work?
- When do you have breaks/ time off?
- What food/ refreshments are provided?
- What accomodation/ amenities are provided?
- What are the communal spaces/ facilities and what is private?
- What resources are available to you? (transport/ entertainment/ equipment/ wifi?)
- Will there be any payment for your work? If so, how much?
Tip Four: Accessibility
Do you have any special requirements that need to be taken into consideration when you visit a project? Some of the projects in our network may be able accommodate a range of needs, wheras others may not. Therefore it is very important to negotiate this before your visit to avoid disappointment. Some considerations might be:
- Is the site wheelchair accessible or suitable for someone with mobility issues?
- Is the site able to accomodate children?
- Do the hosts have the capacity to work with vulnerable adults or people with additional needs?
- What special dietary requirements can be catered for?
- What type of work is expected of volunteers?
- Which pronouns do you want to be addressed by?
- Will there be other volunteers/ women/ children on site?
- Is accommodation shared or private?
Tip Five: Safety
Making sure that you are safe and well when you visit a project is of the utmost importance. Your safety and the safety of others on site is the joint responsibility of you and your host. It is really important that you are clear about your level of experience, ability and competence with regards to work on site. Never take on any jobs that you feel uncomfortable with or that you feel may be dangerous. All projects who accept visitors or volunteers should have public liability insurance and a risk assessment in place, but you might want to check with them if this is the case. Here are some of the things that are considered good health and safety practice:
- Volunteer questionnaire/ interview to assess competency
- Site tour and induction, including any high risk areas
- Volunteer handbook
- Location of the fire assembly point/ first aid kit
- Trained first aider on site
- Appropriate training and supervision for on site tasks
- Appropriate clothing/ protective equipment available if required
- Training to use on site equipment
- Contact person at project if the volunteer has any problems
- Whether there is a telephone/ good phone reception on site