Lackan Cottage Farm

by stevepbyrne in Banbridge

We did it
On 28th June 2014 we successfully raised £3,250 with 81 supporters in 28 days

An eco friendly teaching space to help people learn to live more lightly and where we can pass on skills and knowledge.

by stevepbyrne in Banbridge

Lackan Cottage Farm - An Introduction

We are Steve and Claire, and three years ago we decided we wanted to live more simply, so we set off to look at what other people were doing. When we came back, we moved into a converted horse box, and our journey began.

Lackan Cottage Farm in County Down

A year later we found Lackan Cottage Farm - an uninhabitable cottage set in the beautiful County Down countryside, and with the birth of our daughter imminent, we set about renovating, and creating an off grid home using natural, local and recycled materials.

It wasn't long before our attentions turned to the land, and with the help of a variety of volunteers, some local, most international, we worked to plant food, and build things like composting toilets, polytunnels and hen houses. Since then we have continued to build on that work, welcoming visitors from all over the world, and working with local groups to establish links in the rural community, and build up a network of like minded people.Group meeting at Lackan Cottage Farm under shelter

"The time I spent here with you just flew past, and yet it feels as though I have been here forever. You have given me so much, all the things I have learnt, and everything you have told and everything we have done. Thank you for all these wonderful experiences!"

as well as many local groups such as Grow It Yourself, for whom we are regular hosts.

So what's the plan?

We'd love to be able to share knowledge all year round, but at the moment we have nowhere to teach indoors, and so we want to create a unique space that will inspire those who come to learn.Timber cladding and veranda

Using natural and recycled materials, the build itself will be an opportunity for people to get hands on experience of eco building, and be part of something really special as we create a timber frame, strawbale insulated structure, that is super efficient, 100% off grid and heated by timber from woodlands  on site.

We have plenty of experience from previous projects, having tackled everything from building compost loos to complete renovations, and everything in between.

Our plan is to build this summer, and we will be running  eco build days so that people can come and get involved.  The timber frame will be clad with larch boards on the outside, insulated with straw bales on the inside, which we will plaster with lime. A big rocket mass heater will keep it warm, and also provide a heated bench that will provide somewhere for 2 visitors to sleep. Electricity will come entirely from solar and wind power, which we already have installed.  

What we'll be doing here

The kinds of courses we will be running include - DIY renewable energy; living off grid; permaculture; spoon carving; drumming; storytelling; downsizing, as well as events such as film screenings and discussions. The space will also be available for other groups to come and use as soon as it is complete.

Recycling however can only go so far - we have collected all sorts of salvage that will come in useful for the build, but we still need  £3000 to cover the costs of materials, mainly timber, - frame and cladding, windows, roofing, and plaster. This will allow us to have everything ready for winter, and people can enjoy building in the better weather.

How you can help

We can't do this without your help, and even the smallest amount will make a real difference - 

 Please make a pledge today

Please promote this campaign – email, Facebook post, tweet, talk and sing about our campaign and please, please send anyone you can find to this page!

Any money that we raise over our target will go towards buying tools and equipment for people to use when they come here on courses, so that more folk can come at the one time.


To say thank you for your help, we have a range of goodies on offer. We will plant a native tree in honour of every person who pledges, and of course you get our eternal gratitude for helping to make the project happen. £10 and we'll plant you a tree. Pledge £20 and you'll also get an invite to our summer celebration gathering. £50 and you get a free place on any one day course that we run. £100 gets you this plus a night in our luxury tipi, and £500 gets you an all inclusive weekend in the tipi, plus a free day course, invite to the gathering, and of course, a commemorative tree.

If you've got this far, please make a pledge - thank you once again. You're all wonderful :)


This project offers rewards in return for your donation. Please select a reward below.

£10 or more

£10 Reward

We'll plant a native tree for every person who pledges £10

£20 or more

£20 Reward

For every £10 pledge we will plant a native tree for you here on the farm, and you are invited to our thank-you event.

£25 or more

£25 Reward

For every person pledging £25 we will plant a native tree, and they'll receive a lovely hand carved birch spoon.

£40 or more

£40 Reward

For a £40 pledge we will plant you a native tree, and you will receive a wonderful and unique wooden bowl turned by Steve on a foot powered pole lathe.

£50 or more

£50 Reward

We'll not only plant a tree in your honour, you will be entitled to a free place on any 1 day course here at the farm.

£100 or more

£100 Reward

Come and enjoy a unique night in our 20ft tipi. Enjoy the beautiful County Down ountryside, meet the hens, and sample some of our fresh produce.

£250 or more

0 of 4 claimed

£250 Reward

A full weekend stay for 2 in our luxury tipi, full board, and a place on any course that we run here.

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