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French farmhouse needs long-term outdoorsy ,cheerful and active house sitting couple

France, La Cassaigne, Metropolitan France

Pets

There are no pets to look after

Duration

  • Period available: 11 months, 4 weeks
  • Starts: 23 April 2022
  • Ends: 22 April 2023

Testimonials

They have 4 testimonial s (view below)

Facilities

They have WIFI

About this assignment

Ideally, we are looking for a highly practical couple. Our sit offers time to get the know an area well as it is available for 12 months but we would prefer longer, starting at the beginning of April 2022.You need to be outdoorsy ,cheerful and motivated, enjoy being in the fresh air. Be reliable, a good communicator and able to commit to the complete sit.

What responsibilities are required of the house sitter

You need to enjoy being out of doors as approx one day a week would be spent maintaining the garden and grounds, mowing (ride on tractor or the walk behind mower) and quite a deal of strimming, will be the priority outside. You must be able to demonstrate competency with equipment (we will pay for fuel and any parts). All equipment will be provided by us and full training will be given. Watering, spraying, pruning, weeding small borders and pots as necessary. Be knowledgeable about plants or be willing to learn.As much of the work in the garden is weather & season dependent there will be busy and then very quiet times of the year.
Airport pickup from Toulouse or Carcassonne (we will refund all costs or run/pick up you to the airport in return).
Guardians pay for their own use of water, electricity, broadband and house taxes and are responsible for apartment consumables. Guardians must be resident full time and occupy the apartment at night unless the homeowners are present (an insurance requirement), open and close the main gates each day. There is an external CCTV system at the gate and covering all external doors.
Time away can be taken at any time when both homeowners are at the property.
Check electric fence is upright if the cows are in our fields. The cows are very calm and well handled but on rare occasions think the grass is greener in the garden if an electric post has fallen sideways. Normally we just shoo them back and replace the fence but our friends and neighbours (the cow owners) will help if needed.
Keep in touch via Zoom,Whats App and . We want to know that you are OK, answer any questions, deal with any problems if they should arise.

What are the good features of the property and location

We have owned the house and land (5 hectares) which was formally a working farm, since the summer of 2008. The fields are now pretty clear of weeds and stones, we have planted some trees, created flower borders , rebuilt some walls and most of the land around the house in a state that can be mown or strimmed. Our fields are often grazed by our friend’s cows, separated by an electric fence. Mark maintains the fields and woods, which are the greater part of the land, ourselves. This is a country property, surrounded by farmland, very peaceful with good walks direct from the house and you would be welcome to walk anywhere on our land. We have neighbours, although you cannot see their houses as each is at least 1 kilometre away. This property stands alone surrounded by our own land and neighbours fields. You are not on the edge of a village or hamlet. In 2013 we created, with our builders, a self contained first floor apartment specifically for Guardians within this former farmhouse. Kay designed the apartment to a standard that we would be happy to occupy. It is well insulated and has independent top quality Haverland heaters in every room. It is light and airy with high ceilings and views of the Pyrenees and our neighbours lake from the sitting/dining/fitted kitchen room which runs the whole of the south side of the apartment. There is a double bedroom, bathroom (with shower and full sized bath tub) and a smaller room currently that can be used as a study/ storage. It is fully furnished and kitted out. Some additional storage and use of part of a workshop may be negotiable. Your own garden plot. Great walks from the property and in the surrounding countryside. Challenging cycling cross country, horse trekking across the hills or motorcycling on empty roads. History in abundance, you are in historic Cathar country.Nearest towns -Castelnaudary (on the Canal Midi) great for shopping, including 4 supermarkets for just about everything, good local hospital 20 mins, famous Carcassonne about 45 mins, medieval Mirepoix about 20 mins, Cathar village Fanjeaux 15 mins (mini supermarket, bakery, butcher, cafe, pharmacy , doctors, garage, church and lots of events).There are too many beautiful villages to mention them all, swimming in mountain lakes in the summer and skiing in the Pyrenees in the winter. Swimming or sailing at the sea is about an hour and a half away. We are one hour south of Toulouse.
We are Kay & Mark and whilst we are in our mid 60’s, we are young at heart and very active. We love being outside and are continually doing some project either inside or outside the house as funds allow. We love the peace, the countryside, the abundance of nature, expeditions out on our motorcycle, history and rock music. We are a pretty cheerful, resourceful and can-do couple.

What does the house sitter need to consider before applying for this assignment

Some French would be very helpful in this rural area.
There will be a detailed agreement covering all aspects of the sit to be signed by both parties. We always take time to meet and show the property, trial the equipment and discuss the sit in detail with our prospective sitters and we will be interviewing from mid December to early January .
Quality references & police checks required .Please do not apply if you have none.
You must have a vehicle there is no public transport.
No animals – sorry

Last updated: 20 October 2021
12 sitters have applied for this assignment

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Testimonials

Lovely Ashdown Forest home!

We loved taking care of Kay and Marks beautiful and comfortable home, along with the wild rabbit and bird population, for six weeks while they were away! Their house is right next to a mysterious looking pathway, straight into the magical Ashdown Forest, where we enjoyed many gorgeous walks. Kay and Mark are really lovely, community minded people who are clearly passionate about enjoying and caring for the wonderfully unique environment in which they they live. They were always available if we had any questions or concerns - though this was rarely necessary as they gave great instructions, both before the sit and written. They have put so much work into making a really lovely, welcoming home and beautiful garden! We’d love to sit for them again and would definitely recommend doing so!

Catherine, United Kingdom, 26 November, 2020

  • Friendly
  • Reliable
  • Tidy
  • Organised
  • Helpful with problems
  • Kept in contact
  • Gave good instructions

A real haven on the edge of the woods and heath.

We house sat for Kay and Mark for seven weeks in the hot summer of 2019. As soon as we arrived we were made to feel welcome and spent the evening and most of the next day enjoying each other’s company and learning how they liked the property cared for. Kay and Mark have spent many years extending a little cottage in an imaginative way to create a large, beautiful house. Dividing the extensive, well kept but natural looking garden into separate areas provides a choice of pleasant places to sit out and enjoy the peace and indeed the wildlife. We were well entertained by the resident wild rabbits, squirrels, woodpeckers and other birds visiting the feeding station. We were fortunate to be staying at a time of year when young are produced, adding enormously to the entertainment value watching the babies trying to make sense of their world! Kay and Mark gave good instructions on the care of the house, garden and wildlife feeding and left useful maps and information about the area. Nutley is a wonderfully traditional, cricket-on the-green type village with a strong community spirit across all ages. The village day fete was truly marvellous! We had a great experience and enjoyed our time at the edge of the woods in Ashdown Forest very much.

Hazel, United Kingdom, 19 August, 2019

  • Friendly
  • Reliable
  • Tidy
  • Organised
  • Helpful with problems
  • Kept in contact
  • Gave good instructions

A pleasure and a privilege!

Kay and Mark were super people to be caretakers for, and we count ourselves very lucky to have had the opportunity to work with them. From the word go, their communication was really clear and efficient, and they were massively helpful in helping us prepare on a very practical level and in articulating the role and responsibilities we were to undertake while there. We felt very prepared long before we even arrived, and when we did land at their place which is situated between the medieval town of Mirepoix and Castelnaudary on the Canal Midi, we were bowled over by its beauty and serenity, the wonderful accommodation provided for us, the incredible attention to detail in the preparations for our arrival and the briefings of the gardening work and other duties. Our time at Kay and Mark’s home was a real pleasure and it was a privilege to look after it for them. We would highly recommend Kay and Mark and believe any future caretakers to be very lucky people.

Olive, Ireland, 25 February, 2019

  • Friendly
  • Reliable
  • Tidy
  • Organised
  • Helpful with problems
  • Kept in contact
  • Gave good instructions

A real getaway

This is a lovely place to stay and Kay and Mark are a friendly and very organised couple who make sure you have everything you need. The house is spacious and very tidy and clean, and is set in a private and pretty garden that is literally on the edge of the forest, great for long walks or if you are a runner. The gardens look out onto a field where wild rabbits live, and they are a treat to take care of and to watch play. You feel on retreat even when it's all set in a little village and there are people nearby to help should you need it. I was there during a heatwave and felt blessed as the house stayed cool even in the hottest peak. The nearest town Forest Hill has all you need and there are two organic farms locally as well where you can buy produce.

Andrea, 22 January, 2019

  • Friendly
  • Reliable
  • Tidy
  • Organised
  • Helpful with problems
  • Kept in contact
  • Gave good instructions