Farm, vet and stables

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Farm, vet and stables

  • Marker details
  • DescriptionHi, my name is Colin. I live and work on the familly farm with my wife, Charlotte and two children aged 4 years and 6 months. Along with family life I head up and run both an equine veterinary practice ( and a 400 acre livestock farm.

    My wife and I enjoy travelling and immersing ourselves in other cultures which we have found more rewarding when we have been involved in work or charity projects which allow for a deeper involvement with the local community than just being a tourist. We would like to offer this opportunity to others and we know from hosting students it also enriches our environment.

    The Farm :
    The farm is predominantly grass based and used to rear sheep and cattle. It’s varied topography from flat fields to very steep sided valleys also has woodland, gorse and marsh contributing to a host of diverse ecosystems. There are three areas classified as ancient monuments where there is evidence of iron aged fortifications and there is also a SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) that is home to rare mosses and lichens.

    Our farming calender starts in the late spring with outdoor lambing over 600 ewes and indoor calving over 70 cows. Our current set-up is geared to trying to farm as sustainable as we can but we are always looking at getting the right mix of high animal welfare and low carbon emissions whilst still ensuring we have a great product that is good value for the consumer and economically sustainable for the farm. We are on an Agri-enviroment climate change scheme which helps us focus on such things as wader grazed grassland, habitat rich mosaics and improving our water quality.

    There is over an acre of garden with a large walled garden that contains fruit trees etc. The farmhouse itself is listed because of it alpine look and was built in the 1850s as a shooting lodge.

    The farm has a number of diversification projects that are in their infancy.

    The Stables :
    We currently have 6 of our own horses/ponies resident on site and we also take the odd retired horse as livery. We tend to ride all year round with the summer months consisting of attending some of the world famous common rides and local shows.

    The 4 vet equine veterinary practice that is run from the farm - is mainly ambulatory with some horses coming into the clinic as day patients for things such as lameness investigation utilising x-rays and ultrasound and medical investigations such as gastroscopy to check for gastric ulcers. We also hospitalise the occasional horse for minor surgical procedures or for wound care etc/rehabilitation. In addition in the spring and early summer we take a number of broodmares for the duration of their artificial insemination protocols. The practice also has a laboratory which predominately runs worm egg tests. We would regularly take approximately 20 students per year who would regularly shadow our vets and help in the laboratory.

    Local tourisms/attractions :
    The farm, is located at the foot of the Lammermuir Hills as they meet the Tweed basin known as the Merse. It lies three miles north west of Duns. From the top of our hill it is possible to see the Cheviot Hills to the South, the coast at Berwick to the East, the Eildon Hills to the West and the Lammermuir Hills to the North.

    The Scottish Borders is a hidden gem that is not on the mainstream tourism trail - travellers will benefit from seeing the beauty of our countryside and people which often gets bypassed by others visiting the UK. Local attractions include :
    Edinburgh with it's world famous festival, fringe, castle and hogmany party - 49 miles
    Hill walking - Southern Upland way - 7miles, Cheviots, Eildons and Lammermuirs all locally.
    Various large stately homes and castles - including Floors Castle, Duns Castle, Manderston House, Wedderburn Castle, Paxton House, Melrose Abbey - within 20 miles
    Downhill cycle paths - Glentress - 46 miles
    Fishing, Shooting, golfing within 5 miles
    Common Ridings - each local town hosts for a different week during the summer months.

    For type of help see below.
  • LocationUnited Kingdom, Scotland, Scottish Borders

  • Work
  • Type of work Animal care
    Babysitting / Childcare
    General maintenance
  • Hours per day 3 hrs - flexible working
    However if there's interesting things going on and people want to get involved for longer they are more than welcome.
    See below for the types of task we need assistance with
  • Work requirements: A 'can do' attitude.
  • Host's preferences
  • Availability: Send a message to inquire.
  • Duration of stay: MIn 14 days
  • Maximum number of helpers: 2
  • Last minute requests: Okay
  • Host
  • Languages:English
  • Has pets? 1 Cocker spaniel. Goats, Ponies, horses, sheep and cattle all on the farm.
  • Smokes at home? No
  • Accommodation: Due to Covid we are only comfortable hosting helpers in a caravan at present - We are currently converting an area of barn into an accomodation unit and would seek anyone that could help assist with this. Once this is completed the living space will be more luxurious. The current caravan has one of the best view in Berwiskshire, plumbed in water and electricity, and access to a new shower room within the veterinary practice.
  • Additional info
  • What type of help we need -
    No two days here are ever the same and we are busy all year round. Helpers would be encouraged to muck in where-ever they saw an opportunity. Equally, if people had particularly talents that they wished to utilise or areas in our organisation that they would like to focus on we would try and accommodate their preferences.

    Current priorities :
    Convert barn area into accommodation - any tradesmen or just good handymen or women.
    Building a round pen for horse turnout
    Woodland maintenance - collecting tree guards and thinning.
    Help with horses

    A varied array of help is required including helping the family and shadowing some of our fixed staff members eg groom/farm workers/lab technicians to help assist and learn about any number of tasks.
    Eg Grooming and mucking out the family horses,
    Horse Paddock maintenance - harrowing, weed control.
    Painting horse jumps, stables, tack room etc.
    Exercising horses (experience and references necessary)
    Animal husbandry tasks assisting farm workers with - feeding, clipping, scanning, foot trimming, blood sampling, routine preventative healthcare administration and general stockperson duties such as checking stock.
    Gardening - weeding, picking fruit, cutting grass, strimming, hedge cutting, pruning,
    General grounds maintenance - spraying weeds etc, power hosing, brushing the yard, pointing stone walls
    Help to set a number of farm diversification projects.