A working holiday is just that a holiday you go on to work. There are large numbers of these holidays around the world that allow you to understand new cultures and learn new skills. Though most of these holidays don’t pay you for the work you do, they usually offer free meals and accommodation instead.
If you are looking for a green, sustainable holiday, this may be an option for you. You get the satisfaction of helping the planet and you also learn a new skill or about a new culture.
The trick is to find something that you are passionate about, or an activity that you have always wanted to learn to do. Such as dry-stone walling, working on a vineyard or taking care of animals at a farm. There is a large range of things to choose from.
If you want your holiday to be as green as possible it may be best to choose a staycation, there are plenty of working holidays for you to look through. Below we have listed a few of these opportunities and organisations that run them. This list is not exhaustive however, so make sure you research fully to choose the best experience for you:
- Canal Camp – Inland Waterways Association: https://waterways.org.uk/
These Canal Camps happen across England and Wales within nine different canal restoration projects. You can book to work with them for a week, where you can learn new skills such as brick laying, heritage restoration techniques, stone walling, and machine operating.
These sustainable projects help to restore our old waterways, as they create a linear national park for wildlife, and they have the potential to act as a barrier to prevent floods that are occurring more frequently due to climate change.
- Marine Conservation Society (MCS): https://www.mcsuk.org/
If you are planning to visit a beach as part of your holiday. You can make your trip an eco-friendly one by researching which beaches are planning a beach clean. Unfortunately, there are many of our beaches that are in desperate need of rubbish removal. This is because there are people who are prone to leave their unwanted waste on the beach when they leave, without considering the consequences to the environment and the wildlife.
You can stay at a beach clean event for as long or as little as you like, any help you can give is appreciated. You’ll come away knowing that you helped to clean up a part of the UK’s beautiful beaches and helped to preserve it.
- RSPB: https://www.rspb.org.uk/
The RSPB runs hundreds of activities at over 40 places throughout the UK. As a residential volunteer you can spend a week or more on a reserve with a role of your own. In return for your help, they will train you by teaching you new skills and they will also supply the accommodation.
You will learn how to conserve the area around you and to protect its wildlife. You can learn skills from litter picking to butterfly surveying. If your key interest is birds, then working with the RSPB will be able to offer you information and first-hand experience on how to protect them in their natural habitats.
- Wild Ken Hill: https://wildkenhill.co.uk/
Based in coastal west Norfolk, Wild Ken Hill is using sustainable regenerative farming practices, conservation and rewilding techniques to return the land back to nature. They help to preserve the area for a number of animal and tree species including beavers, avocets and veteran oak trees.
If you would like to get to grips with rewilding and regenerative farming, they carry out a number of workshops to teach you new skills. If you would only like to spend a portion of your well-earned holiday working, then this is a great option for you as the workshops only run for one day.
- WWOOF (Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms, UK): https://wwoof.org.uk/
With 429 organic farms to choose from you can do around half a day’s work learning about organic agriculture. These farms offer you the opportunity to learn new skills such as organic farming and gardening.
If you would like a green farming holiday this might be the best option for you, as everything you learn will be about sustainability and ecological alternatives to farming. You will also learn how the host lives and therefore will gain tips and insight on how to live much more sustainably as well.