Our Patch

Visit Naturally Useful

You’re very welcome to pop down to the Pole Barn to buy baskets, see the coffins, have a chat about courses or just see what we’re up to.

Naturally Useful Open Days:

Every Thursday

3rd Saturday of every month

Please give us a ring or email beforehand so I can make sure we’re there to show you around and that we are not elbow deep in willow. Also, if you’d like to come at a time that suits you, do get in touch and we’ll sort something out.

Contact us


The Pole Barn

The Pole Barn is our workshop. In summer the sun streams through the south facing windows and in winter we’re kept toasty warm by the Dragoness, our vast wood burning stove.

The Pole Barn, raised in 2005 by Sven and Betsy of Marcassie Farm, was built with trees from the woodland that surrounds the farm. Originally the front of the barn was completely open to the elements as it was initially intended for hay storage and farm machinery. When Karen first moved into the barn in 2011 it was jolly chilly working through the Scottish winters! Naturally Useful started by just having a small corner of the barn but has slowly taken it over and now uses pretty much three-quarters of it.

When the sun is out Karen’s favourite spot to work is on the bench outside, with my back leaning up against the big sliding wooden doors of the Pole Barn with a perfect view that looks right down through the veg garden to the fields beyond. This sun-trap courtyard outside is glorious – both sheltered and quiet. I’m not the only one to think so.

Swallows nest in the eves for around 6 months of the year. They are a joy to watch swoop in and out. Poor old Katkin (the cat) suffers them dive bombing her with good grace. The swallows’ calls make up the main melody of the Pole Barn spring -summer soundtrack. We do miss them when they go. Thankfully when the nights draw in, the owls come out earlier and earlier to fill the air with their calls.

– Accessibility

We’ve been support workers for all sorts of folk, on and off, for many years. So we’re very keen to make the Pole Barn as accessible as possible for all. However, there is a long way to go before reaching the ideal.

The track from the parking area to the Pole Barn is a slightly sloped dirt track that a good wheelchair could manage. It does get pretty muddy in the wet.

If you have limited mobility, you are very welcome to drive right down to the doors of the Pole Barn.

The Pole Barn itself has a wooden floor. There is a raggle taggle collection of chairs, cushions and blankets so we can take time to help you make yourself comfortable.

You’ll know better than anyone what you need to be comfortable and to be able to move around easily. Whatever your needs, we will do our best to support them.

It’s worth mentioning that we’ve a single compost loo next to the Pole Barn.

If you’d like to check in with us about any aspect of accessibility before you come, please do get in touch.