Our timber-framed ‘shed’ is really starting to take shape after a busy few weeks of team-building with groups from Southern Water, Santander, The Carers Centre and our regular volunteers.

Part of the team-building challenge was making cob which involves people removing shoes and socks to mix sand, clay and water with bare feet before adding in fine straw to hold the mix together. People also made and sharpened hazel stakes and used them to pin the bales together by banging them in with wooden mallets. They also carried bales up the hill and helped build a cordwood wall with cob, logs, and bottles. Each team were rewarded with home-made pizzas cooked in our outdoor clay oven.


The bales give excellent insulation and once rendered are extremely fire retardant. They will be covered in cob render then a lime and linseed oil wash will be painted on top. The large overhang of the roof will also protect the render from the worst of the weather.

Building Manager Russell Pountney said “The work groups were all fantastic and very productive. Mixing cob is labour intensive and would of taken us weeks without the extra help; everyone got stuck in and got covered in mud and had a good laugh doing so.”

You can support the rebuild by donating to our crowdfunding campaign so we can finish it in time for our 20th anniversary party in September.

If you are interested in a team-building challenge get in touch.