In November 2011 the building we used as an outdoor classroom was burnt to the ground
For the past 17 months we have been busy working on a new timber framed building using locally coppiced wood and the frame is now up! We have used sweet chestnut for the majority of the frame. This is abundant in Sussex and has excellent durability and strength with hand made oak pegs to hold it together.
The walls will be built using a variety of mediums including cord wood, wattle and daub, but  mainly straw bales which will be rendered with a clay, sand mixture using a lime wash externally. The roof will be pitched; sealed with breathable membrane and tiled with recycled tiles.
We have no power at our site so all excavation and landscaping has been done by hand. We have no vehicular access to the top of the steep hill so all materials have been moved by armies of people. 
Having no power means all carpentry work has been carried out in traditional fashion with the aid of a battery powered drill. All other work has been done using chisels, handsaws, rasps and so on. Because there has been no plant machinery or power tools we have produced almost no noise pollution, being model neighbours!
The rebuild has also give us the chance to offer work experience and training to a large number of school pupils and volunteers getting them involved in all aspects of the rebuild. We have also been able to take on a former unemployed volunteer as an apprentice carpenter. 
When finished our new eco-shed will be the projects flagship building, helping us expand our work with pupils, run courses and events at the project as well as having somewhere warm and dry in the winter for volunteers.
A massive thank you to Comic Relief for funding this project 

* Do you like what we are doing and can help us financially? Why not become a Friend of the Forest Garden or sponsor a straw bale for 10 pounds a bale?

* Have you got any of these building materials lying round that we could have?!

·        3 tonnes of building sand
·         2 tonnes of clay
·         A pair of hard wood external doors and frame
·         A single wood external door and frame
·         80m2 of breathable roofing membrane
·         40m2 of solid wooden flooring or the equivalent amount of old scaffold planks
·         Large plastic trugs for mixing clay.
·         Large ground sheets.
·         Sheets of UV resistant Perspex
·         Hardwood window  frames
·         160m of 50mm batons
·         3m lengths of 2by4 between 20-30
·         12 m2 of hardwood decking
·         44 roofing timbers 5m long 50mm by 120mm

·         Any lengths of timber that either treated or hardwood for general building