Archive for April, 2011

A grand day out, by Sophie Nash, Project Support Officer

Monday, April 18th, 2011

Last week we finally managed to make some time to look at examples of other Forestry Commission projects. Key people from the FC kindly showed us the fruit of their hard labour whilst also explaining the highs and lows, costs and timescales of each project.

Cannock Education Centre

Cannock Education Centre

First stop was Cannock Chase and their Education Centre. It’s a lovely timber framed and clad building which was nestled into the landscape. Along the total length of one side was a wall of glass which looked out onto a balcony and out towards the trees surrounding the building. Inside you still felt as though you were within a forest with huge tree trunks that form the piles and balcony supports, project up through into the classrooms above.  

Hicks Lodge cycle centre

Hicks Lodge cycle centre

Next stop was Hicks Lodge. This FC building was on the verge of completion when we visited. It has been built as a cycle centre, bike hire with an on site flat. It was quite a contrast in both appearance and location compared to the building we had just visited. The one thing that fascinated some of us was that the site foreman (lead builder) was so pleased with himself that he had managed to reduce the construction waste to just one skip by recycling as much as he could! An amazing feat for a construction site.

Wyre Education Centre

Wyre Education Centre

Our final destination was Wyre and their Education Centre. It’s very similar to Cannock in form, materials and construction although the level of finish was more refined. My favourite part however was a lovely hand painted woodland mural with one way glass windows for watching birds and other wildlife.

Both buildings at Cannock and Wyre were clearly well loved with everyone that uses them. We have picked up lots of useful information and ideas from all projects which we will apply where we can to the development of the Welcome Building. See more photos of the trip on www.flickr.com/photos/westonbirtproject/