Community Zoom Meeting - Let's get building!
It has been a long time in the making, but the start of the build is now in sight.
After several years of discussions and consultations, planning permission was granted in late 2019. Funding bids were written and ready to go in early 2020 and then the world declared a pandemic... funding streams were diverted to essential services to look after those whose lives had been so dramatically and tragically affected... and the build team could not come together.
During lockdowns, online strategic planning workshops seeking to outline the priorities for the next decade concluded that, despite the challenges of a pandemic, building the Cabin remained a priority.
With restrictions ongoing and external support seeming unlikely, the wonderful Andover Trees team was determined to do everything it could to find ways and means to ensure the Cabin could be built before the 10th tree planting in November 2021 and pulled out all the stops. In the 3 months since launching this GlobalGiving crowdfunder, the team have also made green craft items, sold them at an outdoor Christmas market and put together an anonymous online art exhibition and sale. Members of the youth team have undertaken a sponsored walk and engaged with headteachers from the 25 tree-planting schools to hold a coordinated Dress Down Day for the Cabin as part of a day of Climate Action. The latter was due to be held in late March but Covid restrictions made this difficult to realise. It has not been abandonned and will now take place June 25th.
Then you, our generous donors, rose to the occasion, helping to raise £2000 in just over 3 months. We hope that you enjoyed the social online quiz evenings we put together by way of a thank you.
Taken together with grants, we have raised over half of the funds needed - enough to guarantee that the build can start and the first phase be completed this summer. With our ongoing fundraising efforts, your generosity and GlobalGiving's support, we are on course to complete the build before tree planting starts again in November. And because of this, we have finally been able to put firm plans in place!
- received confirmation from the Carpenters' Fellowship that they have Covid-proof plans that will allow a team to come together in the summer, hopefully July, to construct the large timber frames which will be 'raised' by hand, thus forming the basic structure on and around which everything else will be built;
- received confirmation from the Carpenters' Fellowship that volunteers and members of the public will able to watch, learn about and contribute to the construction of the frames, providing a unique opportunity for everyone to come together in the creation of a sustainable community space to support our collective conservation and climate action efforts;
- arranged for the timber for the frames to be supplied by a local Estate - Larch trees were felled at the start of February a few miles from where the Cabin will be built - members of the Fellowship are coming to see the timber later in the month to check whether additional material will be needed - the timber will eventually be transported to Harmony Woods for processing on site;
- set up a project management team including an archaeologist from Southampton University, who will 'watch' as the post holes for the timber supports are dug, in case features are uncovered which would provide clues to the location of a Bronze Age barrow, known to be located somewhere on the site;
- started a volunteer list for anyone who would like to help in any way during the build - from providing a field kitchen for the carpenters who will be camped in the wood to providing evening entertainment to taking part in the build... PLEASE get in touch if you are local to the project and would like to be added to the list.
Once built, the Cabin will transform the work of the charity and the services to climate and community that can be offered. We can't thank you enough for your support.
Walk! Walk! Walk!
Green crafting - willow bird feeders for the sale
Larch timber for the Cabin