Straw Bale Building Course
Join us for a fun educational and hands-on natural building 5 day course!

Location: Well End Permaculture Farm North London uk (in the countryside)
Near M25 A1 M1 motorways and rail links.

Dates: 29th July to 2nd August 2013 (5 day course).

Teachers and students will be working together as a team to build a straw bale farm building for use as a permaculture teaching pavilion and function room, size 9m x 7m. Course participants will learn all the essential practical skills of how to construct a straw bale building that will be in daily use once built.

Experienced teachers Richard Higgins from Well End Permaculture International, and Gaura Pd from Ecoforest Education for Sustainability will be running the course.

This is one of the few reasonably priced affordable and accessible hands-on courses demonstrating the construction of a functional straw bale building and providing participants the opportunity of learning how to construct a natural ecological building with cheap readily available local materials.

Richard Higgins grew up on a mixed farm in Somerset and learnt building from his father, later he attended a course with Amazon Nails in straw bale building, Richard then went to Hawaii to build a house in the jungle. This was a two -bedroom bungalow built with locally soured natural materials built to comply with the Hawaii governments planning specifications, The result was a beautiful home. Richard has since adopted the American building style for 4 car garages and studios he built in and around the London area, he set up a joinery company in north London making eco friendly heat saving wooden windows. Richard now teaches environmental building farming and lifestyle full time.

Gaura Pd was born into a Nottingham farming family and grew up in various semi self sufficient communities where they did most things themselves including house construction and growing food. He has worked in various countries for over 30 years in farming and construction on new builds and refurbishment in brick, wood, mud, rock and straw bale. Gaura has also been involved extensively with various ngo charities in community building etc including Haiti disaster relief, leadership roles worldwide in the Hare Krishna community, and work exchange training programs like wwoof and workaway. He is renown for his highly skilled and inclusive teaching style, spirituality, and sense of humour. Over the years of working in communities and on building sites with many people he has developed a unique ability to assess what people are capable of and teach people how to do things.

We expect between 10 and 15 participants. Please register early to avoid disappointment as we expect this course to book up quickly.

Day 1/ Introductions health and safety briefings
And course work on the buildings foundations
Day 2/ constructing the main frame of the building in wood
Day 3/ constructing the roof in wood and recycled insulated panels
Day 4/ constructing the walls with straw bales
Day 5/ finishing the walls plastering with clay/lime/mud/earth

Start 9-30 am Finish 4,30 pm
Lunch 12.30 to 1.15 pm
Dinner 5.30 pm
Tea breaks 11 am and 3 pm
Times may vary slightly according to weather conditions number of people etc

This course is suitable for people over the age of 18.

Some people may not feel strong enough or confident enough to participate in all the physical aspects of construction and may want to watch or do the lighter work. There are many heavy tasks as well as lighter ones in construction and its more efficient with a few people performing varying roles according to their ability and strength. It is also a good education seeing how things are done whether one participates physically or not.

Participants will need to bring seasonally appropriate clothing that they don’t mind getting dirty, strong shoes or boots and work gloves.

There will be available, and demonstrated, the use of health and safety equipment to course participants, such as eye goggles dust masks and gloves. The use of hand tools and machine tools will also be demonstrated if necessary – the teachers will asses students abilities, previous experience etc, prior to commencement of the various construction tasks.

Both teachers have worked extensively in the construction industry for many years and are fully trained qualified and experienced in the aspects of construction they will be teaching,

For Health and Safety reasons, no drugs, smoking or alcohol on site.

Well End Permaculture International demonstration farm, High Canons Estate, Well End,
Hertfordshire, WD6 5PL. United Kingdom

By Train from Kings Cross take the main line on capital connect and a short taxi ride,
Near motorways M1 – A1 and M25. And train stations Raddlett, Elstree, borehamwood,
Full detailed directions will be sent upon receipt of your deposit

FOOD: Vegetarian/vegan meals for 5 days Lunch dinner and 2 tea- breaks every day, plenty of food will be available (food is included in the course fees)

PRICE: course fees per person including food £450 no vat

DEPOSIT: £225 in advance balance on arrival.

ACCOMMODATION: Some people who live near may like to travel in daily on the train or by car, others may like to book into a near by hotel or b&b or camp in the near by field with your own tent or camper van. We have arranged the use of a near by camping area with basic facility at the local scout groups field with compost-toilet and shower-tent this facility costs £5 pp-pd.
(accommodation costs are not included in the course fees)


EMAIL; for more info and bookings.

Working together
Ecoforest Education for Sustainability and Well End Permaculture International.
Partnered with NorgesVel International Development Clusa and the Swedish Co-operative Centre, Mozambique Co chair WG05: The Sustainable Sanitation Alliance, Germany
Trustee: The Good Gardeners Association (nutrition) Speaker on behalf of the Soil Association
Founder: Well End Permaculture International and the Howard-Higgins-Holistic-Health-Healing-Habitats
Founder: Bio Fertile Farming Consultancy Agricultural researcher and adviser to:SuSan Design, NorgesVel,New Directions Foundation and the Indian reservations of the United States