Dec 2020 We are staying local and living the slow life in 2020 here in the Peak District National Park during these turbulent times but hope to be available for caretaking assignments within the UK, possibly European countries and beyond in 2021 depending on public health and travel restrictions. No payment required - we work for pleasure not profit.
David (74, still active GIS mapping surveyor/tutor) and I (63, National Trust librarian/database manager, former travel company owner) have been caretaking, hosting and volunteering (nature conservation, ecotourism, scientific field research projects) in the UK and overseas almost every year since During our travels abroad we have enjoyed caring for a wide range of pets, livestock and wildlife from alpacas to zebras and a variety of properties including family homes, organic farms, smallholdings, B&Bs, ecolodges, mountain huts, wildlife/nature reserves and botanic gardens.
In recent years we have kept busy assisting conservation projects and short-medium term housesitting around the UK and mainland Europe including France, Switzerland and the odd neighbour here in the Peak District National Park, but we do still venture further afield, including 4 weeks Canada (2019).
Long-term assignments have included: 3 mths Iceland (2010, 2012), 3 mths Costa Rica (2008), 6 mths Hawaii, USA & BC, Canada (2007), 9 mths Fiji, New Zealand & Australia (2006), 7 mths Norway (2005), 8 mths Australia (2004), 4 mths Aride Island, Seychelles and various assignments in Botswana/Namibia to 2003) whilst working & living there as expats. Our previous professional careers include IT management, banking/telecoms industry and GIS mapping/surveying (David) and business travel/conference management/library management (Christine). We are financially independent, yet continue as lifelong workers - mostly donating our time to non-profit organisations at home and abroad. Leisure interests include walking, cycling, birdwatching, botanising, astronomy and books. On the practical side, we are non-smokers and do not bring children or pets with us. We are happy to do household and outdoor chores, property maintenance, business hosting in addition to taking good care of pets, livestock and wildlife. We usually pay our own travel and transport costs (we own a car in the UK, hire/buy car while overseas) and bring our own IT/comms equipment. Our own home is a 2 acre plot in a rural location, which may be available for a house exchange if this is of interest.
Many of our assignments have been arranged via word-of-mouth recommendation but we have arranged 7 housesits so far via housecarers which all worked very well with great owners, pets and properties - references available. Please do not hesitate to request a friendly chat (phone, , zoom) to discuss requirements.
Christine & David Orchard