Events and Courses

Work and Play Gathering and May Day Celebrations 2011

This year, the Work and Play Gathering and May Day Celebrations are from the 29th of April to the 6th of May.

For this years workweek event we hope to be able to have a few different work parties working on a variety of tasks and projects. Depending on a person's skills, some will want to work in the gardens whilst others may be more suited to the kitchen or the crafts and children's area. There will be work to suit all people's abilities. The aim is to all live, work, share food, music and good vibrations together for the duration of the gathering and beyond.

So whether you're skilled at building or energetic healing there's a place for your input within this event. At this point in time the world needs more than ever for good folk to come together in harmony and positivity to achieve pratical goals and send positive intent out to the rest of the world. Let us come together to share love and be a part of the solution.

Brothers and sisters, we hope to see you there....

for story telling around camp fires, arts, crafts, children's area, workshops (yet to be confirmed), delicious freshly cooked food, music, song, dance, poetry, healing, bands (yet to be confirmed), open mic, and water meditation.

Work Parties possibly to include:

  • Bramble Hacking / Training
  • Gardening
  • Weeding
  • Relocation of Materials
  • Fence Weaving
  • Healing
  • Water Meditation
  • Structure Dismantling
  • Forest Work
  • Crafts and Cresh
  • Cooking

There will be a team of people walking the perimeter of The Doon looking for trees that have fallen over dykes into neighbouring fields. We will cut back trees and mend the dykes. Only quailified people will be working with chainsaws and we have all nessasery saftey equipment. Hand tools are also most welcome. There is also there is the stone side of things, which only require gloves and energy.

Depending on numbers, tasks may also include stone dyking, path work and brashing.

There are many more things which folk will be able to help out with that are not so physically demanding (i.e., creche, kitchen, stewarding, etc). If you think you may have some useful skills to offer and are interested in helping out please telephone Ella on 07825605044 or email Likewise if you are interested in performing or running a workshop at the weekend.

Useful Things to bring

  • Wellies
  • Torch
  • Warm clothes
  • Waterproofs
  • Tent
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Secatares
  • Loppers
  • Axes
  • Work/Garden Gloves
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Gardening Tools, Woodworking Tools, Bow Saw, Chainsaw, etc.
  • Singing Bowls
  • Herbs and Incense
  • Love and Positive Intent
  • Fancy Dress Clothes
  • Old Carpet / Rugs
  • Car / Van / Leisure Batteries for Power
  • Lighting

Where to stay?

Accommodation is currently limited, therefore, will be allocated to people according to greater need (i.e., disability, dependents, etc). There are camping areas where it will be possible to pitch tents. There is a small area of hard standing, which is our car parking area, where there is a limited amount of room that vehicles, campers and caravans can be parked providing there is space available.


There will be three meals cooked per day. Please inform us in advance if you have any special dietary requirements. Meals will be provided free so long as you have worked on that day. If you have not, a fair donation will be required to cover our costs.

£3.50 per day for children
AdultsBreakfast £2.00

Food will be prepared daily by skilled and professional chefs. There will be refreshments and snacks available over the weekend in return for sensible donations.

We will be running a bar again at the weekend with snacks and refreshments all for a suggested donation as this helps us to cover the cost of feeding all the workers during work times. We request that alcohol consumption is kept to a minimum during the week and completely avoided whilst working in the interests of everyone's safety.

Kids Area/Creche

There will be a space available for kids to hang out and be entertained with various activities. All children under the age of three years will need to be supervised by a responsible and capable persons.

During the week we plan to make things for the May Day procession to the hill fort based on the May Day theme -- celebrating the coming of summer, fertility, seed sowing, growth, fairies, green man and hawthorn blossom. We intend to use materials which we have here already which can be reclaimed by the earth afterward.

At the Weekend

We will be enjoying may day celebrations. Children can dance the Maypole. There will be workshops, shows, bands, fireside tales, poetry and other entertainment. Line up to follow.

  • Sunday May 1st at 11am - May day procession to hill fort.
  • 12 noon circle on hill fort-stories of the maypole. Raising the maypole . Maypole dance.

Prospective Line Up...

  • Improve your families health and wellbeing with Reflexology workshops! Working in pairs and going through each system with a colour coded diagram, you will learn to carry out the treatment and experience how it feels at the same time. Dates and times to be confirmed.
  • Throughout the day we will be working as a group to tune into the energies within and around us. Working together to raise up focus and direct healing energy and intent , positive prayer and meditation out into the world.

    Also we will be covering the recent scientific findings about water and how it has been proven to have memory and to store and conduct human energy.

    Through the influence of human emotion the molecular structure of water can be changed. Scientists have found that through directing positive intent/meditation, the molecular structure of the water can be changed / stablised. Giving it healing properties, which is very exciting because both this planet and our bodies are largely made up of water!!! We plan to begin with this workshop and spend the whole day Saturday sending out healing to the world. This will be the beginning of the workgroup who rather than doing physical work will be working all week in this areabe channeling healing energies out to the worlds current crisis situations.
  • On Saturday, April 30th -- Wood block printing workshop, with Andy The Woodwright/ Bring clothing like T-shirts or fabric. Old clothes are good, to make flags or hangings etc. Must be natural fabric like cotton or hemp . Andy says, "I usually cut up a few tee shirts of different colours and/or an old sheet to make a line and sew them up to make prayer flags. If anybody wants to do it and brings one or two along it should be ok. We could maybe carve a wood block for the event and print up some t shirts to wear too." Lets make lots of colour for the event and for the procession!

Whilst Here

We expect anyone staying here to observe guidelines and instructions provided and displayed throughout the woodland. You are responsible for the safety and welfare of yourself, your children, and pets whilst here. There are areas in the woodland where it is dangerous due to windblown trees hanging precariously balanced on other wobbly trees. Please avoid these areas and ensure that your children and pets are properly supervised and informed. There is obviously a risk of serious forest fire therefore we ask that you treat fire with the utmost respect and strive to be vigilant and responsible so as to ensure that we avoid this. It is important not to pollute the water supply, please only use designated toilet areas for all toilet purposes. Instructions at the water collection points need to be followed. We have livestock, please ensure your pets are under control, if your dog attacks anything you will be asked to take it away. You must ensure your children keep away from the livestock.

Transport Efficiency

Please bear in mind that it is a long way to the shops and it is sensible to share journeys or combine trips. Think and try and get all that you need for being here before you come and if you do need to make a journey to the shops get enough to last a few days so that you will not need to use your car more than necessary.

Work Safety

Volunteers will be taken though a short risk assessment and procedures for health and safety with a designated lead for each event/activity undertaken. On practical work sessions, volunteers will be given a briefing on work involved and taken though a short risk assessment as to safety measures. Demonstrations and training will be undertaken as necessary.

Acceptable behavior and Noise Awareness

We hope for all visitors, volunteers, children and animals, to have a healing and enjoyable time here. You are encouraged to be respectful and polite to others, careful and considerate to all that surrounds you and to be aware that sound can carry a long way in this area, and echos around over a great distance. We welcome anyone who behaves with respect and compassion. We do not tolerate violent or aggressive behavior. If you ever feel worried about any behavior, it is important to speak to a member of staff and not keep it to yourself. We aim to deal with any issues sensitively and supportive of all parties involved. Staff and other visitors/volunteers expect bullying to be reported, and you will be given support.

Awareness of our Surroundings

This is an environmentally sensitive area, and should be treated not only as a workplace, but as a nature reserve. Please respect all life, people, plants, animals, trees, creatures, mosses and wildlife.

Drugs and Alcohol

We strongly discourage the use of drugs or the misuse of alcohol at the Doon of May. We ask you to respect that there may be sensitive individuals and children here. If you are in recovery from addiction please let us know. If you are found to be working under the influence of intoxicants you will be stopped and very probably asked to leave. We have a policy of not admitting people who are recovering from addictions unless they have been clean for a minimum of six months and are involved in an assisted recovery program.

Storage, Lost Property and Tat

You are responsible for your own belongings and we cannot accept responsibility for anything that may happen to your property while you are here. If you need to know where you can put something (i.e., your bike) please ask a member of staff, who will help you to get sorted. Anything we find we will put into a lost property box. If you have lost something and would like to check the lost property box, please ask a member of staff. Please do not use tools or equipment that do not belong to you without permission.

Refuse and waste

Here at the doon of may we do not have a refuse collection service. We therefore ask you to be aware of the things you bring. Please avoid bringing plastic and perhaps try not to buy things that have unnecessary packaging . You are responsible for all that you bring and will be expected to take all your rubbish and waste away with you. It tends to be easier to use carrier bags and take a bit with you each time you go to one of the towns. Please don't let your rubbish accumulate and don't mix food waste with the rest of your rubbish as this attracts vermin that will tear the rubbish bags and make a big mess. We encourage you to behave responsibly toward the environment and to sort and recycle your rubbish. There are recycling points in kirkcowan, wigtown, port william, newton stewart and stranraer. We ask that you take everything you bring away again with you. Please be aware that putting rubbish into bags and leaving them somewhere makes extra work for others here.

All food waste and veg scraps can be fed to our animals. There will be bins provided for you to leave this sort of waste and it will be collected daily. Don't worry about sorting through it we will do that. Please ask a member of staff to find out where the bins for this can be found.

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