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 stay, 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 learn 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

Late summer in the gardens

Late summer in the garden and there’s an abundance of food ready to harvest – from beans to apples.

Yet more range cookers

It seems that concentrating on range cookers for a while seems to be attracting them. Until a couple of weeks ago we’d never heard of the Wellstood Two (or WD 36) stove, and then having just put one in, out of the blue we are very kindly offered another.

The trials of a new range cooker

I have a terrible habit of browsing Gumtree for interesting sounding things, and specifically for old, cheap range cookers in the hope of finding one that will keep our old Doric on the road. A couple of weeks ago I was rummaging around and turned up not a Doric, but a Wellstood Two – the bigger brother of the Doric, from the same 1950’s era, but with the addition of not only a warming oven, but a hotplate cover. In the world of little old ranges, these are positively the bells and whistles of any self respecting range cooker.

Is your paint poisoning you? A guide to eco friendly finishes.

The recent incidence of DIY chain store B&Q selling Valspar branded paint that turned out to smell terribly of cat pee once applied, and some of the suggested remedies for those unfortunate enough to have applied the paint, have highlighted some of the reasons why we won’t use regular paints here in any of our buildings.

A day in the life

This is a busy time here at Lackan, not least because July appears to be the most popular month so far for visitors to Birch Cottage and the Off Grid Horse Box. We’re kept busy preparing the spaces for guests, the process of being self catering hosts is a constant learning curve, and we’re delighted that so many people are enjoying being here at the farm.

Rocket Mass Heaters

Rocket Mass Heaters are a really efficient way to heat a space, that you can build yourself for a relatively low cost. They are designed to burn at a high temperature, which results in less smoke and a more efficient fire. Ours is always a source of fascination, and when lit, the big room is warm in no time. Steve is off to Mayo in September to help run a course in building one, and in the meantime, here’s a reminder of how ours was put together.

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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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