Current vacancies We are currently looking for new members to complete our community and would welcome applications from interested parties. We have two 2-bedroom, first floor apartments available for purchase, which would ideally suit small families or couples. Due to the fact that both apartments are 2-bedroom, joint applications are also welcome from single people who are happy to reside together in the same apartment.
*Pets* We already have some pets and other animals living on site, so it's about striking a balance between animals, people, wildlife & the physical space available (these flats are on the first floor). Pet personalities also come into play - there are so many variables. At the moment, our community is open to discussion with interested parties, as enquiries come in.
At the core of our vision for Berry Park is the plan to develop a highly productive organic fruit and vegetable garden along with an area of Forest Garden. We are particularly keen, therefore, to recruit members with knowledge of organic gardening and practical skills such as carpentry. However, applicants with other skills, such as finance and administration amongst others, would also be very welcome. If you don’t think you have the right skills but are willing to join in with tasks and learn new skills, this could be just as important.
We work together as a community, so need members to be able to commit some of their time (ideally on a weekly basis) to the various community tasks. These range from gardening, small building projects eg compost toilets and sheds, doing holiday-let changeovers, general administration, organising events etc. It's not all work and we’re also looking for members who will join in with our social events – Happy Hour in the Games Room on Friday nights, shared meals on the lawn, chats around the fire-pit and the occasional night dancing to our favourite music.
The children are at the heart of the community and their favourite activities include art and crafting, a love of Harry Potter, looking after the chickens, going to the beach, dressing up and many more. Expect a fairly lively environment from dawn 'til dusk!
If you haven’t experienced community living before, you will soon discover that it is a balance of private, personal space and shared space, plans and activities. It wouldn’t suit everyone, but if it is for you then the benefits can be amazing. It’s worth noting that Welcombe is a small, rural community. The nearest town is Bude, 12 miles and the nearest cities are Plymouth, 52 miles, and Exeter, 59 miles. The bus stop is 3 miles away and buses are not very frequent. You would need to have your own transport. However, if you infrequently use a car, you may be able to borrow an electric car owned by 2 of our members but which is available for other members to use.
Harebell and Honeysuckle The purchase price is £126,500 for Harebell and £131,500 for Honeysuckle which has great views across the valley towards Cornwall. We need a cash deposit of £35,000 plus £7,000 towards the start-up costs (legal fees, stamp duty etc) which were paid by the original members. We are aware that this is a large chunk of cash for many, but all of the original members paid a cash deposit and we need the money for infrastructure projects. If we are fortunate enough to find a buyer with a larger deposit, it may be possible to reduce the amount of deposit required for the other apartment, as we are keen not to exclude potentially ideal people who don't have that much cash available.
Both apartments consist of 2 large bedrooms, a living room/kitchen and bathroom. In addition, all residents share the large Games Room and library corridor/play room. And, of course, shared use of the 6 acres of gardens and fields. Harebell is vacant and Honeysuckle is currently rented out to local people, who will be moving out at the beginning of July. It's important to note that there is a family with small children living above Honeysuckle, and another family living below Harebell, so you will hear other footsteps and voices. However, we all generally keep 'normal' hours.
Application Process Please get in touch in the first instance and tell us a little bit about yourselves. We will then send out further details about the Berry Park Project including a break-down of the figures to give you an idea of the financial commitment required. If you are still interested in joining the community, you will be invited to come and visit Berry Park when you will have an opportunity to look around and meet the members. In the meantime, we might invite you to Zoom with us if that would be helpful.
The next step would be to tell us a bit more about yourselves in writing, including your financial situation and to confirm that you would be happy to undergo a DBS check which we need because of the children’s activities here at Berry Park. After that we would invite you to come and spend a weekend at Berry Park. This would give you an opportunity to work with members of the community on a shared task, most likely gardening, and to share meals and talk informally to different members. It would also give you an opportunity to explore the surrounding area so that you can decide if it’s right for you.
It’s very much a two-way process and we hope to ensure that we are happy for you to join us, and that you think you will be happy here yourselves. In light of this, we would then offer the successful applicants the opportunity to come and live at Berry Park on a trial basis as Provisional Members. The trial period might be 6 months to a year, but could be as little as 3 months.
The current members of The Berry Park Community have a range of skills and interests. Some work from home and others go outside to work, either full or part-time, two are retired. The various work roles include:
Stonework and landscaping
Forest School teaching
Teacher – home educating
* Don't live on site, but are still active members of the project.
Several members are enthusiastic about arts and crafts including performance, drawing and painting, photography, knitting and spinning. Other interests include surfing, cycling and running. Many of us are passionate about music and enjoy going to festivals. We also plan to host music events showcasing the talents of those at Berry Park and other local musicians.