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Roundhouse really taking shape at Fox Wood Forest School in Roydon





A forest school promoting adventurous play has thanked the support so far in helping it to build a roundhouse for the site.

Fox Wood Forest School, in Roydon, started the construction of the 18-metre diameter build back in 2020, but due to the pandemic the work has taken longer than expected.

But since last year, the covers have been taken off, the outside walls have been lime rendered and its living roof has taken hold.

The roundhouse which is being built on the grounds of Fox Wood Forest School in Roydon. Picture: Mark Bullimore
The roundhouse which is being built on the grounds of Fox Wood Forest School in Roydon. Picture: Mark Bullimore

Lou Thompson, joint director of the school that has been on the site since December 2017, said: “It will just be a lovely space to retreat to if the weather is really bad. We also hope to do more workshops, art and wellbeing sessions and if people are feeling quite vulnerable being outside in the elements which can be too much for some, this will be a great benefit to them too.”

The site is currently lining the internal walls with cobbing, which is an ancient building technique using a mix of clay, straw and sometimes sand to put on the straw bale walls.

Ms Thompson said the site has also been offering people the chance to come and try it themselves to help finish the job.

Lou Thompson and Ange Lamb with some of the cobbing being used to build the interior walls of the roundhouse. Picture: Mark Bullimore
Lou Thompson and Ange Lamb with some of the cobbing being used to build the interior walls of the roundhouse. Picture: Mark Bullimore
The construction for the roundhouse began in 2020, but due to the pandemic the work has taken longer than expected. Picture: Mark Bullimore
The construction for the roundhouse began in 2020, but due to the pandemic the work has taken longer than expected. Picture: Mark Bullimore

“It is quite messy, but fun,” she added. “Later in the year we hope to run some family workshops, where children can get involved and add their little piece to it as well.

“Throughout this whole process, families and individuals who have been linked to Fox Wood have helped build it, from putting the frame up to watching the roof go on to helping put the seeding on the roof. At every single stage there has been people from our community getting involved, which is great.”

On the support the project has had, Ms Thompson said she was just massively grateful and overwhelmed by the help people have given and that Fox Wood could not have got this far without them.

“People have put a lot of time, energy and skill into this and we can not wait to see people benefit from it long term once it is completed.”

Lou Thompson and Ange Lamb showing how the cobbing is being applied to build the walls of Fox Wood Forest School’s roundhouse. Picture: Mark Bullimore
Lou Thompson and Ange Lamb showing how the cobbing is being applied to build the walls of Fox Wood Forest School’s roundhouse. Picture: Mark Bullimore

The next free cobbing days are tomorrow and Tuesday. Find out more via the Fox Wood Forest School’s website.



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