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

Basket making for the first time

Last weekend we ran our inaugural willow basket making course with tutor Sabine Wolniczak, and unlike most courses that we run here, I was able to join in – my first attempt at basket making. I have to say I’ve got the bug, as having not made the time to turn bowls for a long time, it was great to make something with my hands once again.

From the air

It is always interesting to see the place from a different point of view, and so here is a little bit of wobbly footage from our micro drone. It is very tiny, and so far efforts to fly it have resulted mainly in it crashing, but here’s our first view of the place from above.

Building a pallet yurt

Occasionally I am let off the farm for good behaviour, and so on Sunday I set off for Co.Wicklow, and Castleruddery Organic Farm to learn how to make a yurt from pallets, with ‘Rubberband’ Ray Edwards. Ray is an inventive guy, and under his excellent tuition, our group learned how to make an extremely sturdy yurt.

Sheds come and go

We are now starting our fourth year here at Lackan Cottage Farm, and what seems like an endless series of building projects is at last coming to an end. The cottage refurbishment, polytunnels, compost loo, stables, the little cottage, outhouse, woodshed, bike store, paths, ponds, wind turbine and solar arrays, and most recently the rebuild of the old hay shed into a workshop and bigger hay shed.

Out with the old, in with the – old

A few miles from us in Ballyward, is the blacksmith’s forge of the Walker brothers. Gates have been made there and horses shod for generations, and Walker made gates a century old are still in use and good repair. Gate styles are very distintive things, and I hope that someone has taken the time to research them properly, though I can find nothing online.

The side project

Over the last two years, we’ve been working on the ‘other cottage’ behind ours, which was never even mentioned when we bought the place, but which being aligned roughly north-south, gets great light into it through the day, and which always seemed too good to use just as a shed.

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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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