Schools – hands on!

Three schools took part in our house building workshops – we’ve updated our schools pages so you can see what they’ve been up to!

Working as a team to weave the hazel into the fence.

Working as a team to weave the hazel into the fence.

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Great progress made with thatching

Today was the first day of the school workshops that we are running. All the children seemed to enjoy the chance to work on the buildings.

On building 851 our thatching team have now completed almost three quarters of the roof. We only have a little way to go before the building is watertight.

The thatch is nearly complete on building 851.

The thatch is nearly complete on building 851.

The sheltered doorway on building 848 progressed today with a hooped section being attached over the doorway and supplementary rafters added. To create a strong framework extra bands of hazel are being woven in at the same levels as on the main structure.

Les, Rosemary and Richard forming the doorway on building 848.

Les, Rosemary and Richard forming the doorway on building 848.

On the other side of building 848 we have continued to add to the weave and we are now almost at the top!

The woven roof section on building 848.

The woven roof section on building 848.

Chalk crushing starts again!

We have made amazing progress with the daubing on building 851 and, as a result of us using a large amount of chalk in the daub, we have had to start on the chalk crushing again. Much to everyone’s delight!

The ever shrinking chalk pile.

The ever shrinking chalk pile.

Building 848 has been progressing nicely with the team adding to the hazel weave on one side and added more bands on the other. We are now working on creating a sheltered doorway. After this has been completed we can start on covering the roof.

Wendy, Bob, Lisa and Les constructing the doorway on building 848.

Wendy, Bob, Lisa and Les constructing the doorway on building 848.

The progress made on building 848.

The progress made on building 848.

Yesterday’s media interest

Some of you may have spotted the project on the local news yesterday! Just in case you missed it, here is a round up of the various media coverage we’ve had:

There was lots of interest from the BBC – here’s some footage of them interviewing manager Luke and volunteer Janie, and their online article.

Newspapers: The Times, 17 April, p. 9; Independent i, 17 April, p.10-11; Guardian online, 16 April; Salisbury Journal, 16 April; Yorkshire Post, 17 April, p.3; Daily Telegraph, 16 April, p.19

Radio: BBC Radio 4 Today (available until 23rd April, interview with Susan from 1:22), BBC World News, BBC Radio Wiltshire, BBC Radio Solent

Television: BBC Points West, BBC South Today

Press day

We have been visited by various members of the media this morning, filming for tv and live broadcasts on the radio, with many of our volunteers having a starring role. It was great to see the interest that this project is creating.

On building 851 today, we have been continuing to apply the chalk daub, we now have covered approximately a third of the total wall surface. As a consequence our chalk pile has been reduced considerably!

Harald and Trevor apply the chalk daub.

Harald and Trevor apply the chalk daub.

A completed wall section.

A completed wall section.

Meanwhile on the roof of building 851 our thatching teams have been busy adding more layers, it has been lovely up on the roof in the sunshine today!

Janey and Gareth putting on more layers of thatch in the sunshine.

Janey and Gareth putting on more layers of thatch in the sunshine.

We are starting to apply daub

Most of the volunteers have spent their morning preparing the thatch ready for the roof of building 851. We are using the wheat straw on the roof as quickly as it can be prepared!
After lunch they moved on to daubing a large section of wall around the door using the crushed chalk from earlier in the project.

Suzanne applies the daub to the wall of building 851.

Suzanne applies the daub to the wall of building 851.

As building 848 is also having experimental sections of roofing material applied, the structure underneath is being constructed using two different methods. We are weaving hazel completely up one side of the structure and weaving bands of hazel on the other. This reflects the different types of material that are being used to cover it.

The woven section of building 848.

The woven section of building 848.

Thatching continues

We have been working on the thatch on building 851, continuing the layers that we started yesterday. We added two more layers which has now covered the walls meaning that we can start daubing fairly soon.

A view from under the eaves of building 851, the hazel woven into the wall can be seen on the right.

A view from under the eaves of building 851, the hazel woven into the wall can be seen on the right.

Looking down on the thatched eaves of building 851

Looking down on the thatched eaves of building 851.

On building 848 we have woven several layers around at the bottom of the structure. We will continue to weave layers up the rafters to provide a base for attaching the thatch.

A view across the site with the woven bands of building 848 on the left.

A view across the site with the woven bands of building 848 on the left.