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29 October 2014
shropshireshropshire

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Environment

Colin Richards, conservation officer
Colin Richards, conservation officer

Ludlow's house of straw

They're warm, they're eco-friendly and Prince Charles wants to build a whole estate of them.

Houses and public buildings made of bales of straw are gaining popularity, and this demonstration model - a sort of mini show home - is central to the theme of Ludlow Green Festival this weekend.

Building the straw bale house
Building the straw bale house

It's being put up by the entrance to Ludlow Castle with help from schoolchildren on the one hand, and offenders serving community orders on the other.

Colin Richards (pictured above), the district council's conservation officer, is the man in charge.

He says a part of the ethos of the whole building is that it's made from local materials - straw, timber, clay. The bales are tightly bound, locked together in the wall with hazel spars, compressed from top to bottom; there's a stone plinth, a damp course and a timber base and he says it makes a rigid and very warm structure. The completed house includes a lime plaster finish, and proper wooden doors and windows.

People have already been asking about the possibilities - the district's chief planning officer Jake Berriman says encouraging this interest around south Shropshire could be a worthwhile project.

last updated: 22/05/07
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