Frequently asked questions
What is included in the price?
Accommodation in a beautiful 5m canvas bell tent (new for 2019) with furnishings and battery-operated lights, situated in the heart of our lemon grove which is a sanctuary to wildlife.
All food, soft drinks and some alcoholic drinks (100% vegan) with 2 meals cooked for you per day.
Travel to sight seeing, rock jumping, lake swimming, thermal baths and kayaking (the price for thermal bath and kayaking, not included).
Access to the communal areas and faciltiies, including: toilet and shower room, pool, hammocks and sun loungers, lounge and WiFi.
Access to the majority of the wonderful rescue animals who you can cuddle all day long.
How do I get from the airport to the sanctuary?
We can collect you from Murcia airport for 45 pounds each way or from Murcia bus or train station for 20 pounds each way. You can get a bus or train from Alicante airport to Murcia city. If you are really stuck with timings, we can collect you from Alicante airport for 70 pounds each way.
Is there a minimum stay period?
Our minimum stay period for 2019 (1st April- 31st October) is 7 nights.
Our minimum stay period for the remainder of the time is 2 nights.
What is the recommended stay period?
The longer the better but 2 weeks is great because it takes a week to settle in and get into the flow of things and then by the second week you become almost a member of the team and can show the ropes to new volunteers.
Where are the tents situated? Is the area safe? Can I leave personal belongings in my tent?
The tents are a 2 minute walk from the main house, in our lemon grove which is sanctuary to wildlife and insects. It is a hidden oasis, protected by trees and has a natural barrier created by a river and the bamboo at the bottom which runs all the way around the lower half of the sanctuary. There is fencing on the perimiter of the grounds, where the river doesn´t flow.
It is a safe area and we have never had any problems but it´s probably best not leave anything of great value in your tent. Also do not leave electronics in your tent on a hot day as this could cause malfunctions.
Will I be sharing my tent with someone else?
Only if you are coming with a friend/partner and request to do so.
Is there somewhere I can keep money/travel documentation?
We have a small safe in the private quarters of the main house for these items if you wish. Or you can leave them in your suitcase in a safe place.
How old do I have to be to volunteer?
You must be at least 18 years old to volunteer at the time of your stay. Under 18s may volunteer with a parent or guardian.
Is there a minimum age for volunteers?
It is really up to you and you will know best whether or not the sanctuary will be suitable for your little one/s. There are many dangers naturally associated with animals, but we have had toddlers here of only 4 years old and they have been absolutely fine. Please email us if you´d like to discuss this further.
Is there a maximum age for volunteers?
There is no maximum age limit. As long as you are relatively fit and able-bodied.
I have animal hair allergies, can I still come?
This really depends on how severe your allergies are and to which animals. We have 20 cats and some live inside and most are incredibly adept at squeezing into the tents. We have 6 dogs, one of which sleeps inside.
If your allergies are to horse hair, then this should be easy enough to avoid.
Can you cater for Gluten Free/Food Allergies?
Yes just give us plenty of notice and you may wish to bring your own snacks.
Can I bring animal products to the sanctuary?
We are a vegan sanctuary and ask that you respect our ethics by not bringing any animal products into our/the animals home.
Do I have to speak Spanish to volunteer?
No. We are English and most of our volunteers come from the UK or other English-speaking countries.
Will I need to take any money with me?
No. The programme is designed so that you won´t have to put your hand in your pocket for anything. The only times you would need money would be for additional activities that we do not pay for, such as kayaking or a trip into Murcia city. Some people also like to buy their own snacks/alcohol. Cash machines are readily available and you can use your card in most shops.
Can I drink at the sanctuary and do you provide alcohol?
You can drink but we ask that you don´t go in with the animals after drinking, so it is probably best to enjoy your alcoholic beverage with the evening meal. Also, please be careful and make sure you are well hydrated before consuming any alcohol.
We can provide some beers and wine, just let us know if you´d like some. If you would like a spirit, you will be asked to cover the cost of this.
Can I take (non prescription) drugs at the sanctuary?
How far is the local town from the sanctuary?
You can get to town in about 20 minutes walking, or in 5 minutes in the car. We go into town regularly for shopping so can take you in or pick something up for you if needs be, but it is an easy walk when it´s not too hot.
I have a disability/health condition. Can I still volunteer?
This really depends on how severe your disability or health condition is as the terrain is uneven and hilly and there are many dangers, we wouldn´t want any to hurt themselves. Please email us if you aren´t sure or would like to discuss this further.
With regards to the work itself, one of the biggest helps is just spending time with the animals. But we do ask that you are relatively able-bodied .
Are there any dangerous insects/wildlife?
There are some potentially dangerous insects/wildlife but if left alone, they won´t bother you. We just suggest you don´t pick anything up that you aren´t sure of and keeping your tent zipped up should prevent unwanted visitors. However, some beasties find a way so we cannot guarantee that your tent will be insect free. Most of these are small, though, and won´t harm you!
What are the facilities like?
The facilities are basic but we have your comfort in mind and have made them as comfortable as possible with the budget we have. There are shared toilet facilities and communal area in the main house, which is over 200 years old, so it is rustic and not everything is in perfect working order.
We are improving the facilities for our volunteers all of the time. However, as I´m sure you understand, the animals must always come first.
How much work is expected of me?
We ask for a minimum of 5 hours work a day. The work is varied, enjoyable and really helps us and the animals. Although there is time for relaxing and/or sight seeing and adventure, this is not a holiday resort and probably not the place for you if you just want to sunbathe by the pool and go off and do your own thing. Many hands make light work and if we all get stuck in together, it will leave more time to relax or go lake swimming!
What does the standard day look like?
Firstly, there is no standard day at Jacobs Ridge. Everything is based around two things: the animals and the weather. Your start time will depend on the time of year you visit as we have to get the work done in the coolest hours in summer and when we have daylight hours in winter.
You will begin with dog walking and/or feeding and watering the animals. After a short break, you will do some mucking out/grooming/fence repairs/land tidying/household chores etc. You will then have a break before watering the animals again (in summer months). Lunch is normally between 2pm and 3pm and then after lunch you can have a siesta, swim or we may go rock jumping/lake swimming/sight seeing etc. We will then do the same chores in the evening, as in the morning. Dinner is normally between 8pm and 10pm, depending on the time of year.
Is there a check-in or check-out time?
No, not as such. We just ask you to choose the most sociable times and keep in mind it is almost an hour´s drive to the airport.
Do I have to clean my tent before leaving?
No, we just ask that you keep it as clean as possible during your stay by leaving muddy shoes outside and leaving any rubbish in the bin provided. If your tent is excessively dirty or has sufficient damage (more than wear and tear) you may be asked to pay for laundry services/replacement furnishings etc.
Are there toilets near the tents?
We are hoping to have toilet and shower facilities near the tents for 2019. These will be basic but will mean you don´t have to come up to the house in the middle of the night and disturb the dogs. You may "nature wee" but please do not leave any toilet roll lying around. Remember, it is still our garden and the tent area is essentially a wildlife sanctuary.
Can light candles/incense in the tents?
Can we have an open fire on the land?
You are not permitted to start any fires as there are strict rules in place for this in Spain.
Can I hire a car?
If it is easier for you, or perhaps you are travelling on somewhere else after volunteering, you may bring a car. But it is not necessary as we take you out on trips and can take you to town etc.
Can I bring my campervan?
Unfortunately we have nowhere to have a campervan on site.
Can I bring my dog?
Unfortunately you´ll have to leave your furry friends at home. Our dogs are a pack and it is not fair to introduce a new dog on their territory for such a short time. We also have 20 free-roaming cats.
Can I take photos?
Yes, we´d love that, even better if you can give us a mention on your social media pages. We just ask you do not show details of the house, for privacy reasons, or give away the exact location for the safety of the animals.
I´m travelling light. Can I buy toiletries etc there?
It´s difficult to get cruelty free toiletries locally, but we can provide a The Natural Spa comfort pack for just 12 pounds. This includes a soap, shampoo bar, conditioner bar, tote bag and bamboo storage cloth. It is 100% natural, plastic free and vegan! Please let us know, before you arrive, if you´d like to purchase one so we can add it to your booking.
We tend to have an endless supply of sun cream as it always gets left behind but it is not guaranteed cruelty free.
Do I have to bring cruelty free toiletries?
We´d prefer it if you could but understand that everyone is at different stages and you might be using up the last of something before finding the vegan alternative.
If you´re stuck, you can purchase one of our care packs or you can buy Superdrug´s own brand or look for the leaping bunny symbol!
Do I have to be vegan to volunteer?
No! All we ask is that you come with an open mind and respect that we are a vegan sanctuary with the majority of volunteers being vegan. Jacobs Ridge always has, and continues to be, a safe haven for vegans, where they can talk openly about veganism without being judged.
Do you offer horse-riding holidays?
No. We are vegan and do not exploit animals in any way.
Do you rehome the animals?
Generally speaking, no, as there are so many animals out there in horrible circumstances who need homes that you can help. The animals here are safe and loved. Only in certain circumstances and if we felt it was best for the animal, would we rehome them.
Can we smoke at the sanctuary?
The sanctuary is a non smoking destination but we do provide a smoking area away from the house and tents, should you feel the need. We ask that if you do smoke in the designated areas that you do not litter with cigarette ends. No smoking in the tents and no smoking in the house or out buildings.
What should I bring with me?
Take a look at our volunteer info pack to see a list of suggestions. Click here to download.
Where does the money go?
Jacobs Ridge is a non profit organisation with none of the team taking a wage. We have prepared a page giving you an outline of the financial distribution to help you get a better understanding. Click here.