Cotna Eco Retreat

Volunteering at Cotna


Early summer feast at Cotna Eco Retreat on strawbale barn deck with wwoof volunteers from Italy, Spain, France, Chile and South Africa and Cornwall, eating home-made gnocchi and basil pesto with organic salad leaves and foraged elderflower cordial

We have many fantastic volunteers over the years who have transformed life at Cotna. Most come through WWOOF (Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms) though others contact us directly. We have made great progress and at the same time met some amazing people whose presence has really enhanced our lives. We’ve had volunteers from Italy, Spain, France, Chile, Galicia, South Africa and Latvia as well as the UK. We are hospitable, open-minded and friendly hosts who provide good support and tuition both on the gardening and culinary side.

 

Packing organic salad leaves with wwoof volunteers at Cotna Eco Retreat near Gorran Haven, Cornwall. Tibetan flag flying, Sivananda Yoga teacher Vasudev, farmhouse and wisteria in the background

 

Local Volunteer Days

Help is always welcomed at Cotna Eco Retreat in return for practical experience of our organic no-dig approach – lovely lunches and organic food to take away! Just give us a call 01726 844867 or email info@cotna.co.uk

 

Gathering nettles on wild food foraging course outside no-dig polytunnel at Cotna Eco Retreat, Cornwall, near Gorran Haven and Mevagissey

Wwoofer Work Hours and Tasks

Work opportunities at Cotna vary, but will always include all kinds of gardening, composting, carpentry, cooking and food preparation.  Each season brings its own unique tasks.

Spring involves a lot of weeding, sowing, bed preparation and willow work. Summer is all hands to the deck with picking, weeding and … more weeding. Autumn involves harvesting, taking cuttings, cutting back hedges, beginning structural and woodland work and processing food (including juice, cider and chutney making). In Winter there are shorter days and longer evenings by the fire, but 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.

We do our best to play to your strengths and if there is something that inspires you and is helpful to us, then go for it! If you are artistic we encourage you to come and help develop the beauty of Cotna through willow work, wooden sculptures, sign making and whatever else that might inspire you.

We ask that you commit to a minimum of 2 weeks, though we do also have a week’s trial.  If things are not working out we reserve the right to ask people to move on as soon as possible. Many WWOOFers stay with us for a few months, and we are happy with long stays.  We expect about 6 hours of work each day, with Saturdays and Sundays off.

Accommodation

The accommodation will be generally be in one of two caravans, though we always welcome volunteers with their own vans. There is a larger communal area in the straw-bale barn which you share with other volunteers as well as longer term residents Tom & Molly. Here you can cook & eat, relax on the sofas by the woodburner, use the wifi, carve wooden spoons etc.