Build diary – week two, gaining some height

With great pleasure, I am handing this blog over to Whistlewood volunteers. If you would like to contribute, you can write your own piece as Chris has or send me notes using the contact page or via Whistlewood.

By Chris Gregson – 4th June to 8th June.

With the better weather we’ve really be able to progress the build this week going from footings to laying the first straw bale. The foundation wall is now complete and the wooden base plate is fixed in place. The pipe shown in the picture below is for the ventilation of the wood burning stove.

footing, ring beam and flu

Along with a couple of willing volunteers, we’ve been preparing the locally sourced (Castle Gresley) Hazel stakes which are used to stabilise the straw bale walls. The short stakes are fitted into the base plate whilst the longer ones will be driven downwards every fourth course, but more of that next week.

Meanwhile back on the site the main entrance doorway frames are erected.

Main door frame

Followed by the three sets of door frames for the ‘stage’ doors.

Stage door framesAnd on Friday I was given the honour of placing the first bale, you can see the short Hazel stakes fitted into the base plate.

First bale is laid in place

Just another 166 to go…….
Chris Gregson

Volunteer opportunities

  • From Wednesday 13 June until Friday 15 June, we need lots of people to de-bark larch poles. 8:00 – 17:00
  • Monday 11 June until Friday 15 June, come and help build the straw bale walls. You must have a pair of steel toe cap boots (we will provide hard hat). No boots, no access. Daytimes.

Would you like to learn the whole process of straw bale building? Mondays to Fridays daytimes. Steel toe-cap boots required. You will receive full expert supervision in return for your commitment. This is a unique opportunity to learn straw bale building for free.

Community days

  • Wine bottle floor laying – date to be confirmed. Come and help lay our wine bottle insulation floor. Suitable for all ages.
  • Laying the timber decking – date to be confirmed.
  • Living roof – date to be confirmed.

Please email Whistlewood if you can help.


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