“we grow houses” visit to an inspirational National Trust property

Speckled Wood house... "i was willing to take it off their hands!" it is an inspirational project and so much more than simply a stunning building

Speckled Wood house… “i was willing to take it off their hands!” it is an inspirational project and so much more than simply a stunning building

Yesterday and it was south-east England. In my “eye spy book” of National Trust properties Speckled Wood / Swanbarn has been in my top ten list for quite a while now. The box has now been ticked having spent two great day with my colleges there. The building itself is the brainchild of Dave the lead Ranger and with the help of hundreds of people and Ben Lawes of Grands Designs fame they have designed, produced, built and manage a remarkable property. From the 14,000 hand cut shingles to the clay plaster this house can be said has been grown at the property with most of the materials coming from literary a stones throw away. From fuel to food the site produces an awful lot of what it needs and is quite an inspiration site. If you ever get a chance to go on a National Trust working holiday please consider this site….it will ‘blow you away’ as they say

Thousands of hours of volunteer time. Harvesting from the estate. all to easy to go into cliches but it does get you thinking about 'want' we should be doing

Thousands of hours of volunteer time. Harvesting from the estate. all to easy to go into clichés but it does get you thinking about ‘what’ we should be doing

I was there with my colleges to say goodbye to a special guy. Rob Jarman has been leading the environmental cause for the National Trust for nearly three decades and has now decided to move on and back to his great love which is research…wont be the same without you Mr Jarman!

the site is growing more than its own buildings. they have added a new house and have also reduced the overall energy load by 70%. Biomass, PV, solar thermal, secondary glazing and so on...impressive

the site is growing more than its own buildings. they have added a new house and have also reduced the overall energy load by 70%. Biomass, PV, solar thermal, secondary glazing and so on…impressive

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One Response to “we grow houses” visit to an inspirational National Trust property

  1. Miranda Campbell says:

    Completely agree, really inspired by visting this amazing, and beautiful, building. You could feel the thought, effort and – yes I dare say it – love which went into it. A great legacy – new facilities which reduce not add environmental impact, through making improvements in the existing base camp at the same time. Good learning too – the clay plaster shrank and fell off, so they used lime plaster instead. An appropriate location for saying a very sad farewell to Rob, to whom we owe a great deal and who’ll be very much missed.

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