This is a post stolen straight from our Youth Engagement Officer’s blog wkwtyoungpeople.wordpress.com about his ongoing project to build a cob oven at Brandon Marsh. If you want to find out more about the work that Warwickshire Wildlife Trust does with young people, then do make sure that you read the blog. It’s a different side to our work and one that I think you’ll find fascinating…
So its been a very long time since our last post from the world of youth work at Warwickshire Wildlife Trust. Holidays and a busy schedule of office based work on funding bids and new partnerships has been the main reason for this, but we’re pleased to say that we are finally back and you are in for a treat.
Today was the first day of our Cob Oven building project at Brandon Marsh Nature Centre which will be set to continue throughout July, involving over 20 young people and volunteers from across Coventry. In case you are wondering what on earth we are talking about, lets give you a quick lesson in cob.
Cob is a sustainable building material made up of about two parts sand to one part clay. While incredibly simple in its composition, cob is used the world over in the construction of houses and was once a staple product for building in this country, used in conjunction with timber frame and wattle which may sound a bit more familiar. Whilst being composed of easily available material it in fact has many useful properties. For example, cob is environmentally friendly and 100% renewable: build something with cob and when you feel like a change simply knock it down, add some water and hey presto its good to go again. Cob is extremely durable and breathable meaning that houses built out of it can regulate their interior temperature much more effectively than modern counterparts. In essence it is virtually perfect, it can be locally sourced, costs nothing and is so simple to use even children can build with it.
An oven is an excellent mini-project for those who are interested in getting a feel for using cob and is great for engaging children, young people and adults in a sociable, fun and educational activity. I learnt to build a cob oven at Cwm Harry in Newtown, Wales a few weeks ago and now I am passing on the knowledge I learned to two groups of young people from the Challenge Network as well as Warwickshire Wildlife Trust volunteers who helped to build phase one of the oven today. Below I have shared some photos from today when the base was constructed. The oven will be completed by the end of the month, so there will be more updates to follow shortly!