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.
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.
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.
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 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.
One of the last existing buildings that we took down here was the old wooden garage outside the cottage, and the time has come to replace it with another useful structure that will be used to store garden produce and tools. We want to build it on a tiny budget using reclaimed or local materials to create a natural looking structure that has minimal visual impact.
Lackan Cottage Farm (and our compost toilets) have teamed up with Toilet Twinning, to help provide clean water, basic sanitation, and hygiene education to people in some of the most deprived areas of the world. Nearly one third of the world’s population lacks access to even the most basic sanitation, whilst at the same time, nearly one third of household water use in developed countries ends up being flushed down the toilet.
kwh electricity generated
Rescue animals rehomed
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] riseup.net or use the contact form