The Carpenter's Fellowship raise the frame
Since our last update in mid-summer, work on the cabin build has been steadily moving along, we are so excited to see this long-awaited ambition of ours taking shape. Here's what has happened since July 2021...
Concrete and archeology
Remember those 16 post holes we mentioned in our previous report? Well, shortly after they were dug out by volunteers they were filled with concrete to create foundations for the frame to sit on. By using 16 pads rather than one large concreted area, we are minimizing the amount of invasion into the ground. That is something we are keen to do not only for environmental reasons but also because back in July 2021, the position of the ditch for a Bronze Age burial mound was discovered when the post holes were being dug for the frame. It turns out, the new cabin will be sitting directly on top of the mound! An Archeologist from Southhampton University was onsite to oversee our work and during the second week of August, a team of Archaeologists returned to excavate the site.
The 16 cubic meter holes left us with rather a lot of leftover clay soil! In August, the Carpenters’ Fellowship project manager, Claire led a series of workshop days where around 40 people were taught the ancient technique of cob building - using clay, sand, water and straw to build structures. You see many examples of cob cottages and walls around Andover and surrounding villages.
We used the clay removed from the ground during the post hole dig to create two cob benches. School children from Portway Junior School learned about the technique in the classroom and then designed the benches for the woodland. The workshop attendees used some of the basic shapes and ideas from the designs to create the seating. The seats will be decorated next year with designs and colours inspired by the children’s drawings and we hope to include the children with this activity.
Frame raising! and celebration
Over the August bank holiday weekend, Carpenters returned to the site to prepare for the frame raising. Around 20-30 people made up of 10-15 volunteers and professional Carpenters amazingly raised the frames by hand over 2.5 days!
Many of the returning carpenters had been involved with the hewing and jointing phases however there were many new faces joining too.
The work concluded with a celebration onsite including music and a hog roast for everyone involved.
As with the axe hewing, an incredible team of volunteers facilitated the site, ensuring that the carpenters and volunteers were well watered and fed 3 delicious meals a day, cooked on and off-site.
The feet are secured
With the frame in place, the stainless-steel feet have now been fully secured to the concrete pads and the building surveyor has signed off this stage of the cabin.
The roof panels are on their way and planned to be installed next week (w/c 15th November) - providing much-needed shelter for this year's school's tree planting. This will be followed by a solar array to provide an energy source and then cladding, which will make the building weather tight before the onset of winter.
In October 2021, a new pond extension was created by the community volunteers and the youth team; it will be served by rainwater run-off from the roof. Groundworks are scheduled to install underground pipes that will direct rainwater run-off to the ponds.
We look forward to sending you further updates as the build progresses and thank you so much for your ongoing support.
The Andover Trees United team.
Wendy (Andover Trees) knocks in the final peg
Excavating the Bronze Age Burial Mound
In goes the concrete
The frame is up! Celebration time