Volunteer Summer Helpers 2014

We are now happy to receive applications for the summer season.

Each year, from mid-April to October, we like to invite energetic helpers to assist us with the management and maintenance of the 8-bed hostel, two luxury eco-cabins and light-weight camping ground, ducks, hens, sheep, polytunnel, gardens and woodlands all within this 6 acre homestead at The Lazy Duck, Nethy Bridge in the Cairngorms National Park, Scottish Highlands.

What we look for..

We are looking for smart, energetic, flexible, considerate ‘CAN DO’ people, good to be with at both work and play and with good ability in spoken English.   You would need to be able to live tidily in your own caravan, and have excellent cleaning and household preparation skills.  Additional experience in outdoor painting, gardening and general grounds-keeping will also be welcome together with a willingness to work at different times of the day.

Ideally…

Our guests in the hostel, 2 eco-cabins and lightweight camping ground are very important to us and we do everything possible to make them feel welcome and well looked after. You would be joining us in this task in which you would need to be confident with people and interested in developing your own hospitality skills.

In Return…

In return you will be able to enjoy living for a while in our beautiful National Park, and at the Lazy Duck learn from us about small scale hospitality management and sustainability (Green Tourism Gold) along with the opportunity of working with your hands in the outdoors amongst waterfowl, hens and sheep, flower and vegetable gardens and woodland.

Some Details…

Our Summer Helpers can join us each year any time from mid-April, preferably for a 2 month period, and can stay until the end of October. We ask for four hours work six days a week in return for free accommodation in one of two heated classic touring caravans sited next to our 4-tent backpacker camping area beneath the ancient pine trees. You supply your own food, but free-range hens eggs and home baked bread are often available ‘on the house’, together with invitations to BBQ. There is also the use of a bike. Couples are welcome to apply and would occupy the larger twin berth caravan. Volunteers would need to be non-smoking.

If this interests you please E-mail us, telling us whatever you would like to say about YOURSELF and WHAT YOU CAN DO, together with your CV, a recent PHOTOGRAPH and a TELEPHONE NUMBER that we can use to reach you. 

We also ask you for the E-MAIL and TELEPHONE details of 3 supporters whom we can contact with reference to your abilities and personal qualities. It is usual for you to contact them first; if this is difficult in your country please let us know. 

The Lazy Duck

The Lazy Duck is in the Cairngorms National Park in the village of Nethy Bridge – 2 shops, 1 pub, 1 tumbling mountain river, hundreds of acres of ancient forest and heather, 5 miles from Grantown-on-Spey, 20 minutes by bus from Aviemore, 1 hour from Inverness.  

Previous Helpers…

Doris…

Doris, from Dresden was a senior teacher of English taking a one year sabbatical. We felt privileged that, of all the options open to her, she came to The Lazy Duck bringing with her some formidable skills in gardening, cooking, pastry making, deep conversation and meticulous cleaning, – and all with great good humour. When it was time for Doris to leave us after two months she set off for Cuba.

welcome to Lazy Duck

Guillaume…

Guillaume, a civil engineering student from Metz in France, brought with him several useful practical skills and learned some more during his stay, including some chicken physiotherapy. Having taken advantage of two short holidays in our hospital in Inverness he is also now an expert on the British National Health Service and his 2 months in Scotland contributed significantly to his language studies at home.

welcome to Lazy Duck

Julian…

Julian came from Madrid where he was in administration and also a tutor. He will be well remembered for his successful spell acting as labourer to our craftsman Dave who during August was roofing the new Duck’s Nest hut with heavy stones.

welcome to Lazy Duck Hostel

Louise…

Louise, a great granny, resident occasionally in Devon, seemed to have been most places and is no stranger even to the Isles of Eigg and Iona as a hard graft volunteer. She brought with her many rural skills which equipped her well to join Doris towards the end of the summer. We valued highly her devotion to composting, path making, rescuing the garden, care of the ducks and her engaging way with all visitors.

welcome to Lazy Duck

Gemma…

Gemma, a hospital nurse and mountaineer from Catalunia, was a most rigorous, organised and proactive Helper whose company we all enjoyed in the Spring of 2013. Full of delightful positive energy and good conversation she had much to offer our visitors and she certainly put our mountain bike through its paces!

welcome to Lazy Duck

Kike…

Kike, whose home was Buenos Aires is a veteran helper in hostels world wide. He had a measured and kindly antipodean lope which with his engaging philosophy of life confirmed for our visitors that they had arrived at a rather special place and with special people too. He also introduced us to his native Malbec wine.

welcome to Lazy Duck Hostel

David…

David, a PE and education student from Madrid soon discovered that it was possible for a city boy to learn outdoor rural skills and give much to his two month stay. He weathered several challenges exceedingly well, became an enthusiastic manager of the hot tub and was a great companion for Guillaume.

welcome to Lazy Duck

Anna…

Anne, a teaching undergraduate from Germany, with English and biology as her subjects, had spent a year at University College of North Wales, Bangor, where she met Mara who was here in 2011. Anne brought many welcome skills, particularly with people, was always ready to try anything and gave much to us all at L Duck.

welcome to Lazy Duck

Yvo…

Yvo, a big strong Dutchman, came to us with valuable experience in gardens in Canada and made an expert job of polytunnel bed preparations and pathmaking in the wood. Yvo took a bush shower every day in September and October 2012 and has the certificates to prove it.

welcome to Lazy Duck Hostel

Samuel…

Samuel from Nottingham was a qualified pastry chef an avid cook and an insatiable reader. He became increasingly practical at all outside jobs, his jaunty hat rarely taken off, was popular with visitors and very hard working.

welcome to Lazy Duck

Bridget…

Bridget came from New Zealand via Jakarta, Indonesia where she worked as a journalist as well as in an orphanage. At Lazy Duck she tackled any job going with enthusiasm and skills that neither she nor we knew she had. She remained in Scotland and went to live and work on the West Coast.

welcome to Lazy Duck

Narenne…

Narenne, a hospitality and care professional from near Paris, had worked in Portugal, the French Pyrenees and Norway. She brought a brilliant vitality to L Duck and made many friends whilst helping everybody here.

welcome to Lazy Duck Hostel

Rike…

Rike a physiotherapy student in Germany had worked on organic farms in France, Canada, and New Zealand as well as in several hostels from Isle of Iona to Pitlochry. In May 2012 she painted our reconstructed bridge meticulously and was a most experienced hospitality giver to guests

welcome to Lazy Duck

Ceylan…

Ceylan, from Ayr, in Scotland, unfortunately fell off her bike right at the end of her stay with us, – and not by playing the fiddle! A super-avid reader she browsed our bookshelves and enjoyed the tranquillity of her caravan but gave lots of energy to her hospitality role and gained considerable experience especially in helping visitors feel welcome and relaxed.

welcome to Lazy Duck

Kenny & Marissa…

Kenny and Marissa, from California and with graduate community service, applied theatre and librarian backgrounds, last year shared the two-person classic caravan and helped harvest the wild flower meadow, dug a successful drainage ditch and worked the log splitter with great style. Together they laid the wood-chip path on the woodman’s trail and successfully juggled deadlines for their post graduate studies in summer 2011.

welcome to Lazy Duck Hostel

Xiaoling…

Xiaoling, a doctor from NE China was a medical researcher at Nottingham University. She also kept house for fellow students and had some previous experience helping with her family’s fruit farm. At Lazy Duck she was a sparkling and ever active presence, making sure visitors were very well looked after.

When Xiaoling’s university work delayed her arrival for 10 days, she arranged for two fellow students, Lulu and Wen to take her place meantime; fantastic and great fun for us all.

welcome to Lazy Duck

Mara…

Mara, an enthusiastic post-graduate student of forestry and sustainable nature management from Latvia, was taking a break from her Masters at Bangor University in North Wales. Great company, she helped us prepare for opening the Woodman’s Hut and went ‘bracken bashing’ with the Woodland Trust in spare time.

welcome to Lazy Duck

Kirsten…

Kirsten, a geography undergraduate from Aberdeen University, scottish country dance teacher and street pastor brought her lively infectious enthusiasm to whatever she did. She spent 3 months here, and when she was around everyone had a smile on their face and felt well cared for. She also contributed hugely as master painter for the Woodman’s Hut

Megan…

Megan, an executive secretary and massage practitioner from Hermanus, South Africa helped rear the brood of 21 Exhibition Aylesbury ducklings hatched here in 2011. She also enjoyed gardening, and brought her guitar and her special love of singing, which were enjoyed by visitors and helpers alike.

welcome to Lazy Duck

Ursina…

Ursina, from Uzwil in eastern Switzerland, had recently left High School and in her vacations had worked for a fruit farmer, harvesting and selling the produce. Her housekeeping and welcoming of visitors were meticulous and she went on to further studies in English in the south.

welcome to Lazy Duck

Jake…

Jake (left) pictured here with Xavier, shearing one of our Soay ewes in a hot spell in June 2010, came from Maryland USA. As a pre-vet student he wanted to find out quickly anything about our animals, – and these semi-wild sheep from a tiny island in the northern Atlantic ocean did not disappoint!

Welcome to Nethy Bridge's Lazy Duck Hostel in the Cairngorms National Park

Sonja…

Sonja, a trainee teacher from Karlsruhe, Germany, was a marathon runner and cyclist. With previous experience in New Zealand hostels she made an exceptional contribution to our visitors enjoyment in 2010 – and she loved helping in the polytunnel.

Welcome to Nethy Bridge's Lazy Duck Hostel in the Cairngorms National Park

Angus…

Angus, from Hamilton, Scotland came for two spells covering three months in 2010. Experienced in hospitality and a maintenance organiser for one of Scotland’s well known mountain bothies there was little that he could or would not do for our visitors.

Welcome to Nethy Bridge's Lazy Duck Hostel in the Cairngorms National Park

Xavier…

Xavier from Tavant, France came hoping to improve his English. He managed everything extremely well for two months in 2010, hosting visitors in great style and teaching us all some French recipes. He was also hugely adventurous in the mountains.

Welcome to Nethy Bridge's Lazy Duck Hostel in the Cairngorms National Park

Doreen…

Doreen from Dresden, Germany, was interested in learning anything to do with gardening and did some serious mountain walking in her time here. Her hostel care work was super and she went on to help at another hostel in Wales later in 2010.

Welcome to Nethy Bridge's Lazy Duck Hostel in the Cairngorms National Park

Eddie & Susie…

Eddie and Susie were a characteristically robust ‘Aussie combination’, bringing lots of energy and optimism, backed up by Ed’s outback skills, their joint Scottish hostel-sitting experience and Susie’s top-class french horn and piano playing, all to great benefit in spring ’09.

Welcome to Nethy Bridge's Lazy Duck Hostel in the Cairngorms National Park

Jacob…

Jacob brought from North Carolina his passion for playing the bagpipes and pitching into everything from hanging out washing to playing for everybody in the evenings, and even to entering the Abernethy Highland Games piping competition.

Welcome to Nethy Bridge's Lazy Duck Hostel in the Cairngorms National Park

Amy…

Amy had a rare combination of being a soccer referee and a sales associate in the ‘Tin Box ‘ Edmonton, Alberta. Her experience at the Samaritan Village Orphanage, Tanzania prepared her well for making young children feel special staying here.

Welcome to Nethy Bridge's Lazy Duck Hostel in the Cairngorms National Park

Barbara…

Barbara from Munich had spent 6 months travelling through Central America using her skills in Spanish. She loved animals and told us everything about ‘Ludwig’ her fabulous rabbit back home. Here she helped us looking after hens, geese and sheep as well as the ducks.

Welcome to Nethy Bridge's Lazy Duck Hostel in the Cairngorms National Park

Suzy…

Suzy from N Wisconsin had a strong organic farming background running a goat dairy and hen-house. Her musicianship made her especially welcome and her skilled piano playing was enjoyed both in the house here and at daughter Polly’s restaurant nearby.

Welcome to Nethy Bridge's Lazy Duck Hostel in the Cairngorms National Park

Paul…

Paul last October looked after our autumn campers, often around the chimenea fire, and helped us with the flush of family hostellers, walkers and cyclists, whilst preparing for his next venture in outdoor activities.

Welcome to Nethy Bridge's Lazy Duck Hostel in the Cairngorms National Park

Lucy…

Lucy from Vermont, an eco-tourism graduate with travels in Senegal, Costa Rica and Ghana, came to us in 2008. With her family background on a small farm, it is her ambition one day to run her own hostel

Welcome to Nethy Bridge's Lazy Duck Hostel in the Cairngorms National Park

Alex…

Alex from Toronto, with impressive outdoor skills, came to us whilst putting the finishing touches to her post-graduate studies in geomorphology. She would have taken L duck’s hammock home with her, had we let her!

Welcome to Nethy Bridge's Lazy Duck Hostel in the Cairngorms National Park

Steve…

Steve was with us for the last two months of the 2008 summer helper season. A top level classical dancer when younger, and with many country skills he was a man for any challenge imaginable and an invaluable and much appreciated colleague.

Welcome to Nethy Bridge's Lazy Duck Hostel in the Cairngorms National Park

Bart & Ingrid…

Bart and Ingrid from Holland returned for a second time in 2007. Their huge practical skills and natural hospitality were invaluable and they spent the winter helping at other Scottish independent hostels – lucky owners!

Welcome to Nethy Bridge's Lazy Duck Hostel in the Cairngorms National Park

Angie & Nathan…

Angie, a special needs teacher from the U.S also returned in 2007 bringing with her British husband Nathan. We had a family wedding here that summer and we could not have managed without Angie and Nathan – who even made a film of the happy couple’s day!

Welcome to Nethy Bridge's Lazy Duck Hostel in the Cairngorms National Park

Lina…

Lina from Brechen in Germany had studied biological sciences in New Zealand. She said she knew little about gardening (nor ducks!) when she arrived but together we did very well.

Welcome to Nethy Bridge's Lazy Duck Hostel in the Cairngorms National Park

Yann…

Yann, from near Tours in France, was our youngest ever Summer Helper at just 18. He helps his family with holiday cottages in the Auvergne so he was always quizzing us on what we were doing and exactly why! This was great.

Welcome to Nethy Bridge's Lazy Duck Hostel in the Cairngorms National Park

Kate…

Kate came to us from Las Vegas for last year’s mid-summer. With experience with children and shelters for the homeless she was a great person for hostellers to find on arrival!

Welcome to Nethy Bridge's Lazy Duck Hostel in the Cairngorms National Park

Foad…

Foad is a skilled photographer as well as timber mover – some of his shots are now included on both of our websites.

Welcome to Nethy Bridge's Lazy Duck Hostel in the Cairngorms National Park

Rose Marie… Kristina…

Rose Marie from Oregon and Kristina student in Berlin were a superb skilled team never without humour, and carefully painters too!

Welcome to Nethy Bridge's Lazy Duck Hostel in the Cairngorms National Park

Josie…

Josie, a psychologist from Louisiana and Josh from New Orleans, taking time out from reconstruction work following Hurricane Katrina

Welcome to Nethy Bridge's Lazy Duck Hostel in the Cairngorms National Park

Chema…

At home near Madrid, Chema made a living repairing buildings without scaffolding. We appreciated his climbing skills on our roof and whenever tree work had to be done.

Welcome to Nethy Bridge's Lazy Duck Hostel in the Cairngorms National Park

Andre & Lenka…

Andre & Lenka, students from Bratislava, found part time work locally, in a hotel and in a nursing home. Now we hear they are married and have a family!

Welcome to Nethy Bridge's Lazy Duck Hostel in the Cairngorms National Park

Sarah…

Sarah had experience of organic gardening; she painstakingly attacked the flower and vegetable beds to prepare them for the short growing season here in the mountains.

Welcome to Nethy Bridge's Lazy Duck Hostel in the Cairngorms National Park

Neil…

Neil was our first summer helper ever. He came to us in 2004, and just lived for snow boarding and climbing. He now has his own plumbing business.

Welcome to Nethy Bridge's Lazy Duck Hostel in the Cairngorms National Park

Sylvan…

While with us Sylvan from Montreal got to know half the village, working in a classy hotel, as butcher’s boy in the village, and teaching French to the locals.

Welcome to Nethy Bridge's Lazy Duck Hostel in the Cairngorms National Park

Sharon & Shlomo…

Sharon & Shlomo from Jerusalem took a break from their jobs in art therapy and special education. They borrowed bikes and explored the forest trails and lochsides.

Welcome to Nethy Bridge's Lazy Duck Hostel in the Cairngorms National Park

Kayella…

Kayella from Toronto, was probably our best gardener ever!

Welcome to Nethy Bridge's Lazy Duck Hostel in the Cairngorms National Park

Say Hello…

We are happy to receive applications for 2014 from January onwards, preferably for a 2 month period.

A short checklist …

  • Please send us an email with your CV, a recent photograph and your phone number.
  • Give us the names of 3 people (not relatives) who would be happy to support your application, with their e-mail addresses and phone numbers so that we can contact them, remembering to mention this to them in advance.
  • Write us a letter of introduction telling us what you can offer and also perhaps what you are hoping to gain from your stay with us and anything else you would like us to know about you.
  • CONTACT US: e: lazyduckhostel@gmail.com   t: +44 (0)1479 821092 

We Are…

David, Valery and Django . . . here since 1974


photo Robin McKelvie

 We live in the main house, Badanfhuarain, with Django and regular family visitors.

 

We Are…

Juan Carlos and Joanna . . . managers since Sept 2013

JC and Jo with their young son Andrew live in the Duck Keepers’ Cottage. 

lazyduckhostel@gmail.com
t: +44 (0)1479 821092