Work opportunity

If you are interested in the job below contact Julian at
Dear Adrian,
I am halfway through constructing a roundwood rotunda in West London 5m diameter and 8m high with 2 floors and a sweeping circumference staircase accessing 2 storeys. It’s a beauty and the main structure is up with 2 floors. Work now required is the staircase, continuation of railing panels, the roof and completion of deck surfaces. The wood is Robinia. I really need 2 capable people. Please  can you help recommend people?

Roundhouse Build – Call for Volunteers

Gloucestershire July – August 2016 We’re building a 9mtr turf roof roundhouse for the charity Farms For City Children and are calling for assistance. The 2 week Full Build event will give you a chance to be involved right through the building process. Your participation on this event will assist the charity Farms For City Children in the building of their roundhouse. This is something between work experience, volunteering and crowd funding but not a course – your fee is actually a donation to Farms For City Children, which helps to fund the completion of the outdoor classroom. The donation for this event is on a sliding scale according to your income.  Everyone pays a deposit of £80 which covers the costs of Katherine cooking our evening meals for two weeks. The additional donation would be maximum £320 but you choose what amount you can afford to donate. You can pay the deposit via the course bookings page to book your place. There will be the opportunity to stay on for longer if you’d like but we ask a minimum commitment of one week and will give preference to those that can commit to two. Also please note that because of the nature of this event you must be physically fit, strong and competent with tools.For info about this and to book a place visit the website here… For those who want a more intensive tutored instruction over a shorter time period we are also running a 4 day intensive course during the build. The 4 day intensive course assembles all the components of a full size Reciprocal Roof Roundhouse frame. We’ll also experiment with reciprocal roofs of different size and pitch, to make sure that you really understand how this intriguing piece of geometry works. For info about the course and bookings see here…

Team Building

Team Building on REAL building projects!

A community building programme  – in every sense – where your involvement enables the construction of natural outdoor classrooms at schools and visitor centres around the country.

Our Team Building sessions offer businesses the chance to champion nature-based learning in local schools and visitor centres whilst providing a memorable, meaningful experience for their staff. Your people will learn new skills alongside our instructors and go home with the satisfaction of having contributed to a real community building project. Some of the engaging, fun and challenging activities are shown below. We suggest that businesses make a minimum donation of £1500 for a Team Building day, all of which goes directly towards the cost of building an outdoor classroom. For more information please look at our website page…

4 Week Course for 12-16yr olds

We are running a 4wk course for 12-16yrs in Stroud.
Caroline Kelly and I will be running this Forestry and Construction Course
for Teenagers Starting on Wednesday 6 th April to take place on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays until the 28th April. Held at Hawkwood College, Stroud, Gloucestershire. The course will be on 11 full days 9am – 4pm. Hot lunches will be cooked over an open fire using organic vegetables prepared on site by the participants. The cost is £30 per day including lunch. if you are interested please email Caroline at or phone 07818342758. If you’d like to see more details of these events visit…our education page . Accomodation might be possible for people travelling a distance. Cheers Adrian

rocket stove – an upgrade

Oh the joy of cooking outdoors. Possibly it is only surpassed by the subsequent joy of devouring outdoors the scrummy things that you cooked! Now I like a good campfire as much as the next kippered outdoorswoman, but when camping in the woods for up to a month at a time, cooking every meal, everyday over a fire makes smoke inhalation quite speedily loose its charm. With all the free fuel available, literally dropping from the sky, who is going to spend folding cash on camping gas?  Enter the rocket stove, bosom buddy of woodland life.



We made our first rocket stove about 10 years ago and used if intermittently until the flue burned through and a sizeable quantity of the insulation escaped. It then went into extended hibernation (also known as ‘storage’) but was refurbished and brought back into service about 2 years ago. Thank HEAVENS!  Now we have it in use again, I can’t believe we camped without it for so long.


It is completely smokeless once up and going and is extremely efficient, boiling water quickly and with very little fuel. It can be set on a tree stump or table so there is no stooping to tend fire or food. It has totally transformed our experience of cooking in the woods, and is the perfect partner to our lovely haybox – of which more in the next blog. In case you are considering making one, which we highly recommend, there is only one limiting factor that we have found to cooking on them: a rocket stove has a VERY tiny burn chamber. This is one of the strengths of the design, making best use of small amounts of kindling-type fuel. However, it does mean that you must keep feeding the fire as there is not much in the way of embers to keep the fire going if you turn your back for long. In all other regards the rocket stove is king.



Our original stove was made according to a common quick and easy design. A large cooking oil tin and a section of 4” cheap ducting pipe form the main components. This flue has had to be replaced twice in the time we’ve used it as it burns through quite quickly. This time, its third incarnation, I have replaced the ducting with 2mm thick, 4.5” diameter steel tube, welded into an L bend. The usual cheap and cheerful design of rocket stove uses the top rim of the wind-shield to support the handles of the cooking pot, the belly of which dangles over the flame. In our upgrade the weight of the pot is now supported directly by the flue. Three chopped bits of scaffolding tube which slot onto the flue create space for the rising flame and hot gasses to escape whilst giving a wider seat on which the pot can sit. These parts are removable making the fitting of the flue, insulation and ash disc easier. The new wind-shield now not supporting the pot can accommodate any depth of pot and being built in two parts also allows the use of a pot or frying pan with one long handle which can poke through. The wind shield is cut from old 10” diameter stainless steel flue pipe.