November and December Volunteer Workdays

Our next Volunteer Workday will be on Saturday 2nd November.

All are welcome to our volunteer workdays. The day runs from about 10am – 4pm, with a good mix of work, chat, fun and food! Please bring a dish to share for lunch and suitable work clothes.

In September we had a fantastic weekend putting all the “layers” onto the Roundhouse roof (see pictures below).

In November, we will be installing a French drain around the Roundhouse.

A French Drain is a trench filled with gravel and a perforated pipe that will redirect surface water and runoff from the roof away from the Roundhouse. We’ll also have 100 Grape Hyacinth bulbs to plant into the green roof.

Our following Volunteer Workday will be Sunday 8th December.

Plans are not fully fixed yet. We will probably be carrying out repairs on various fences and gateways. We will be using sustainably sourced Chestnut fence posts, as well as some Laburnum fence posts sourced from our own hedges.

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We built a Wind Turbine…

…and here she is, spinning away in the sunshine!

Left is the team who assembled for our wind turbine building workshop.

Over 5 days, Jonathan Schreiber (center) led us through the process of building a Hugh Piggott designed 3F wind turbine.

There was excitement, learning, laughter, work, good food and finally, the satisfaction of seeing the turbine the group had built take to the wind.

The build was really special.

We were not merely assembling a collection of ready made parts – we built the turbine from scratch. This was real hands-on engineering, and incredibly empowering!

Each part was made from basic materials, before being combined to create the working turbine. Planks of wood were sawn, chiseled and planed into turbine blades.

Copper wire and magnets made the stator and magnet rotors. Much careful thought and planning went into each stage to ensure that the component parts were put together correctly.

The stator and magnet rotors were cast in resin, then combined with a van rear-wheel hub to form the generator. The main body of the turbine was welded together from steel pipe and a tail cut from plywood.

On the last day the parts were painted, tested and carefully assembled before being taken out into the field for installation. A large frog hopped onto one of the blades for a quick look before all was ready for lifting up into the wind.

A wealth of information on Hugh Piggott turbines can be found on his website. Jonathan helps people build small wind turbines across Europe and beyond. More information can be found on his website.

More photos and videos of the build can be found on Instagram.

Many thanks to all the people who put time and energy into this project.

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It’s Waxcap season!

Here are some of the lovely grassland fungi I have found in the last few weeks.

If you want to know more about these gems of Autumn, Plantlife have produced this useful guide to Waxcap and allied fungi.

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Farm Produce – Shetland Beef and Lamb, Luscious Yarn

Once again, we will shortly have grass-fed meat available to sell from our flock of Shetland Sheep and our micro herd of Shetland Cattle. We will have a small amount of goat available too.

We also have some lovely yarn from the Shetland Sheep

If you are interested in any of our farm produce please see this page

.

These animals play an important role in helping us maintain and expand the rich biodiversity of this land, entirely by hand (no tractor or strimmer!)

Both Shetland sheep and Shetland cattle are traditional breeds which are noted for the suitability to low input farming.

Both are classified as a minority breed by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust. Keeping and breeding these animals helps ensure their long term survival.

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DATE CHANGE – Roofing the Roundhouse

Due to unforeseen circumstances we need to change the date of the Roofing the Roundhouse Volunteer Weekend

We will now be meeting Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd September.

I have updated details in the post below.

As an added bonus, the second volunteer day will be on the same day as the All Year Round Equinox Harvest Supper. All are most welcome to stay on and join in with the celebration

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All Year Round – Equinox Harvest Supper

To celebrate the turning of the year, All Year Round are holding a

Bring and Share Harvest Supper

from 5pm on Sunday 22nd September

We’ll be lighting the campfire, laying out the feasting tables and making a labyrinth in the newly covered Roundhouse.

Bring food to share, instruments and singing voices.

Come along and celebrate the abundance of harvest!

Dewch i rannu digonedd y cynhaeaf!

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Volunteer Weekend – Roofing the Roundhouse

We have had such fun building the roundhouse frame over two workshops this summer. Now it’s time to cover the roof!

Would you like to come and help?

We will be running two volunteer days – Saturday 21sr September and Sunday 22nd September. A chance to join in the fun and contribute to this beautiful building.

Over the weekend we will be building up the roof layers to create a waterproof roof.

The first layers are canvas and recycled wool insulation. Then a natural rubber liner to make it all water proof. Lastly, recycled carpet and turf to make a living roof.

The days will run from 10am-5pm. You are welcome to come to one or both. If you want to stay over, you can camp in Cae Top. On Sunday evening, all are welcome to stay on and join in with the All Year Round Equinox Harvest Supper.

If you would like to come, please get in touch so I can have an idea of numbers. Please bring food to share for a vegetarian lunch, plus work gloves and sturdy footwear.

The “Ty Crwn” already has a special atmosphere.

I expect it will host many lovely events over the coming years. Here are some pictures from the build weeks to inspire you

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Volunteer Workday Sunday 4th August

A warm welcome to all to join us on our August volunteer workday, this Sunday 4th August.

We have a few projects in mind – harvesting bracken for mulch and animal bedding, repairing fences with Chestnut fence posts, carrying out some preparations for the Roundhouse workshop. Which one we choose will depend on weather, priorities and the folk who come πŸ™‚

We meet at 10.30. Please bring suitable work clothes and something to share for lunch. Please get in touch to let us know you are coming and if you need directions

Creoso Cynnes i Bawb!

Skye, the very tame Call duck is bound to keep us company πŸ™‚
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Roundhouse Building Workshop week two

We can accommodate a couple more people on this workshop….come and help raise the Round House roof!

Learn lots, have fun and eat well. Camp in our beautiful meadows, food provided by Jayne from Veganishmum Pop Up Restaurant.

More details about the workshop can be found here

Photos below are from the first workshop.

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Building a better wind turbine

“Many commercially available small wind turbines with plastic blades and steel towers are infamous for their low reliability, high embodied energy, and limited power output……Building them out of wood can address these issues”

from Reinventing the Small Wind Turbine by Kris De Decker

This interesting article includes reference to wooden bladed “Hugh Piggott” turbines of the sort that we will be building at the Trust this Autumn.

A hand built, wooden bladed wind turbine

It talks about how small wooden bladed turbines can be produced locally, are aesthetically appealing, are more reliable and have a lower embodied energy then commercially available small turbines.

Spreading the skills to build a better wind turbine

We’re keen to help spread the skills needed to build these turbines, which is why we have invited Jonathan Schreiber over to lead our workshop.

We have also created a bursary fund to support greater access to the workshop. Applications are welcome from anyone who thinks they might benefit from the workshop but would find it hard to raise the full cost.

If you would like to support our bursary fund, you can donate via our fund page – www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/wind-turbine-bursary

Thanks

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