Lackan Cottage Farm is a permaculture smallholding near the beautiful Mourne Mountains in Co. Down. We live as lightly as possible on the land and offer the opportunity for visitors from all over the world to volunteer and learn with us.

We want to demonstrate how a low impact lifestyle can be a practical reality, meeting our own needs for food, energy, waste and water from the land around us. Sharing our experiences with others is important to us, and as well as offering practical courses, we welcome volunteers from all over the world to help with everything from horticulture to green buildings.

As part of a wish to live more simply, reduce our environmental impact, and as a reaction to the threat of a changing climate, and over reliance on fossil fuels, we are establishing an off grid smallholding using permaculture and organic principles. Our aim is to be able to provide working, practical solutions that people can learn about, and take away to use in their own lives.

Sample Off Grid life for yourself

Come and stay in Northern Ireland’s only off grid self catering cottage and try the good life for yourself. Walk in the birchwoods, feed the hens and enjoy fresh produce grown right here. The ideal spot from which to explore the Mourne countryside.

Find out more about our self catering cottage

Finishing touches

Nearly two years after building the classroom, we thought it was about time that the floor got finished. It’s lovely Douglas Fir, and was getting progressively more filthy, but deserved better.

Hoof camp

After my recent visit to Bantry to learn some more about working horses, it was time to get things moving here at home, and so Rain has gone off to hoof camp for a couple of weeks in Glengormley, with John McDermott, to learn how to pull things.

Working horses

This week I made a somewhat epic trip down to Bantry to spend a day learning about working horses, and have a go at driving 2 experienced and patient horses under the tutorage of Sandra (and Tim). In the morning we did a bit of long reining, and looked at harness, and in the afternoon we got stuck in, and pulled a couple of different things – a sled and some chain harrows, before trying our hand at working 2 horses together, and finally some logging.

2 Day basket making course – 22-23 October

Experience basket weaving with locally sourced willow to make your own traditional round shopping basket with a handle. Under the expert guidance of basket maker and craft tutor Sabine Wolniczak you will learn the basic techniques involved in this intricate ancient craft and return home with your own woven basket.

A full house

Our three feral cats are becoming steadily more tame – one in particular which you can now pick up and really rather likes all the attention; one who is getting used to being stroked, and the third who thinks that humans are to be regarded with great suspicion, but follows along anyway. Now the problem is that they all follow us up from their hideaway in the hay shed to the house, and Lyra doesn’t get that we don’t want three un-housetrained kittens indoors.


Friday was an interesting day, as we got up at the crack of dawn to welcome a little film crew from the BBC to the farm and they wanted to start at 8am. It is part of a programme about housing, and our bit is (hopefully) how modern technology can combine with traditional materials and methods. Being new to this filming lark, we basically did what we were told, and pottered about while Steven the cameraman and Richard the producer followed us around the place…

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If you would like to visit, look around or have a chat about anything from building to veg growing to low impact living


Lots of events happening all the time – find out more


We rely on volunteers from all over the world to make things happen here on the farm.Would you like to come along?

Trees Planted

kwh electricity generated

Rescue animals rehomed

Volunteers welcomed

Lackan Cottage Farm

Visitors – We are always happy to welcome visitors as long as you contact us in advance. Much as we love dogs, we ask that you leave them at home as we have free ranging animals and children around the farm. Smoking is not permitted anywhere here.

Contact us at – Lackan Cottage Farm, 79 Lackan Road, Ballyroney, Co.Down. BT32 5HR. Northern Ireland

You can email us – lackancottage [at] or use the contact form

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