We are James, Carol and Monty. We bought “Big Sky Meadow” – a sheep field near Bessines-sur-Gartempe, half an hour north of Limoges – in 2012, and soon got planning permission for our self-designed straw bale eco house. Arcpod began when we moved to France permanently in 2015 to build the house ourselves & “be the change we want to see”.

James is an RICS qualified geomatician (land-surveyer to you & me), but has turned his hand to numerous occupations since leaving Manchester University in the early 90s. Ecological building and administration work for anglophones are his present preoccupations, though he’s pretty handy at carpentry, roofing, plumbing, and all things brico.

Carol qualified as an environmental scientist, and her work throughout her varied career has always involved promoting ecological and social sustainability. She worked for many years in community development in Salford & Manchester, as well as in schools teaching ESOL. She is a passionate vegetarian cook, and as research for her impending cook book, she can boast having tested a new recipe each day for nearly 3 years now. When not in the kitchen, she can usually be found in the garden, growing the food to enable us to be at least partially self-sufficient for much of the year.

Monty is 4, going on 14, and is the uncompromising boss of arcpod. He is currently very excited about next Christmas…