Reaching for the Ridge of our Handmade Roof

by Managing Director of OBee CIC in Stowmarket, England, United Kingdom

Total raised £5,576

£6,000 stretch target 1 day left
159% 48 supporters

  Your donation will release extra funding

Support Us
Keep what you raise – this project will receive all pledges made by 5th March 2024 at 6:25pm

Help us finish our greenwood shingle roof. £3500 needed for extra scaffolding so volunteers can safely work up to the ridge.

by Managing Director of OBee CIC in Stowmarket, England, United Kingdom

 donated match funding
Aviva Community Fund is providing live match funding

 New stretch target

Rainwater harvesting

Our intention is that our new Education Building will harvest its own water. We will need to design, build and fit a system that will harvest, filter, store and further filter the rainwater that falls on our big roof. We will need to work with the local blacksmith to forge metal brackets to hold the guttering. We will need to source seasoned oak to make the gutter and professional assistance to install the guttering.


Please help!

THE FUNDS FROM YOUR FIRST DONATION OR REWARD PURCHASE (up to £250) WILL BE DOUBLED BY AVIVA! 

THIS MEANS YOUR DONATION WILL HAVE DOUBLE THE POSITIVE IMPACT FOR OUR PROJECT AND WILL BUY US DOUBLE THE AMOUNT OF SCAFFOLDING!

Community Building at Orchard Barn

Deep green community project in rural mid Suffolk (started 2007) run entirely by Volunteers 

We are undertaking this crowd funding campaign so that volunteers can safely complete fitting the shingle roof for our new Education Building. Over the last 7 years 200+ volunteers have made and raised this traditional oak frame building BY HAND using traditional hand tools. 

In the last year over 139 people have helped the project grow by donating their time, energy and expertise as volunteers. We've made a YouTube video to show you our environmental, educational, community and heritage impacts during 22-23. 

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Re-instating history

First built in the 1580s, last lived in by brothers Ben and Jerm until the 1930s, sadly our Suffolk Long House fell over in the 1960s, but now this historic timber frame building is back/upright again and standing on some of the original brickwork. Now we must complete the shingle roof.

It's built with 'cut and grow again' logs

Historically woodlands were managed and coppiced on a regular rotation. We're using locally sourced Sweet Chestnut logs to make the wooden roof tiles. The logs have come from trees that were coppiced last winter.   Thereby providing us (and lots of other projects) with a building material that regrows. The regrowth locks up 2-3 times the carbon that a mature tree does. Already the regrowth of the coppiced Sweet Chestnut trees is 2-3M tall. 

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At Orchard Barn we teach students and volunteers how to build with coppiced logs using old school methods and tools

We run courses in Traditional Building skills such as Oak Timber Framing, Wattle and Daub, Hot Lime and Restoration Skills. Some of our Rewards are Vouchers that give you a discount on our full prices. Come and learn how to use traditional greenwood working tools - two person saws, shave horses, draw knives, side axes to make our shingle roof tiles, and keep these ancient skills alive and relevant to the 21st century.

Green Gym workouts on an Off-Grid site

Instead of fossil fuel and noisy machinery we use human energy and help increase the fitness levels of the local community. Social time increases mental health and builds strong and supportive friendships.

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We have all become very skilled at making vernacular buildings from materials from the local landscape

BUT we can't make scaffolding

We need YOUR HELP  to pay for extra scaffolding  to enable volunteers to work safely on the roof whilst fitting the shingles. 

REMEMBER. YOUR FIRST DONATION (up to £250) WILL BE DOUBLED BY AVIVA, and that will really help progress on the shingle roof. 

Below is a photo of us mid winter celebrating our successes during 2023. During the year volunteers made and fitted one third of the shingle roof as well as closing in the Long House walls in with a hybrid daub (over 200 bales of straw and 3.8 tons of clay). It's called Light Straw Clay and its insulative qualities are approved by Building Regulations. 

Take a look at the underneath of the shingle roof in our first project - it's the work of over 70 people - 20,000 shingles completed in 2011!

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Phase One of our project (2009-2014)

The photo above shows the inside of the C17 agricultural barn that we now use as a Meeting Room, Library and Mini Museum. We started work on it in 2009 when it was derelict and brought the Winnowing barn back into active community use!

Our new Education Room is the reinstated Suffolk Long House (2017 and ongoing)

The new building will give us a much bigger Education Room plus accommodation for volunteers and students to stay over and learn how to live in an off-grid property that harvests its own water and energy. When we have completed the roof we will be making earth floors from our own clay and a masonry stove from home-made clay lump blocks. BUT FIRST we have to complete the roof, and that is a further 14,000 shingles to cleave, dress and fit, OH AND nearly a mile of battens to make and fit! We do like making our own building materials from raw wood in totally traditional ways, but we just can't make the scaffolding! 

Thank-you in advance for your donation - we will use it to enable our volunteers to safely reach the ridge of the Long House roof and thereby complete this marathon of a shingle roof.

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Here we are making shingles in our Greenwood Working area! If you live in Suffolk and would like to help, please get in touch. With over 14,000 shingles to still make we need YOUR physical and/or financial help! Email [email protected]

REWARDS

£5 Length of Fruit wood (collect only)

Cut your own medallions or decorations from this freshly cut wood. Approx 1-2" diameter and 15-18" long. This fruit wood colours up beautifully. Cut whilst fresh for best results. 

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£7 Plane Shavings to light your fire (collect only)

Seasoned shavings made by volunteers from coppiced Sweet Chestnut. Packed into a recycled hessian sack (donated by a local coffee shop). 

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£8 Two natural wood slices (collection only)

Great as stepping stones in your garden. These Sweet Chestnut slices are between 8-14" wide and 1-2" thick. They were grown just north of Ipswich and are available from Orchard Barn.

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£9 Slice of Elm 2" thick natural wood platter (collection only)

For the woodworkers in your family to finish. Will make very attractive natural wood platter for your special occasions. Between 8-14" wide. Grown in Suffolk. These slices are by-products from a recent build. The rest of this Elm log is now a wall plate in our Clay Craft Barn.

£9 Smaller pieces of hollow Elm

With a little finishing, these 2" thick x 8" wide (approx) slices of natural shaped tree will make splendid picture frames or mirror holders.

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£10 Your name on a Shingle

For just £10 we will write your name on one of our handmade Sweet Chestnut shingles and email you a photo of it. We'll put your name on the inside of the shingle where the weather won't erode it, but it will remain for the duration of the roof.

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£10  Five slices of Orchard Barn fruit wood for medallions or craft projects

Fresh fruit wood hand cut on the angle gives the unique grain pattern to be seen (and a maximum width). These slices can be used to make your own decorations or medallions. Mostly oval approx. 3cm wide x 4cm long. The slices are seasoned and will have one hole drilled to enable ribbon or braid to be threaded through. From our own orchard. Collection preferred, please enquire about postage costs. 

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£12 Cut and weave your own May Day crown workshop

Only available as a mini workshop at Orchard Barn 2-3.30 on Saturday 27th April. We'll harvest Willow, Ivy and other material from the old orchard and you'll be able to make a crown to fit your own head. Will include use of sharp tools but well supervised, older children welcome. Weaving materials included, please bring your own flowers and ribbons.

£15 Young Green Gage tree (collect only)

We can totally vouch for the taste of these fruit trees because Green Gages because they are from our own orchard. These bare root trees are approx 45-60cm tall and are only available until the end of February. 

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£20 Apple wood for carving/turning (collect only)

A length of our own apple wood for you to carve at home. Choose from Gascoyne's Scarlet or Blenheim Orange. Pieces of green Ash, Elm or Maple may also be available in February. 

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£20 Clave decoration workshop

2-4pm Sunday 25th February, mid Suffolk venue tbc craft workshop to decorate your own claves. I've cut and seasoned Hazel for this purpose from our old orchard. They make a crisp sound when tapped together. 

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£30 Hand made Elm mallet (collect only)

Greenwood mallet with character. Carved using traditional hand tools from Elm logs grown at Orchard Barn. Useful for your own wood working project or when you go camping to drive tent pegs into the ground! Made by JP (one of the Directors of the project)

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£45 Orchard Barn voucher (worth £50)

Voucher redeemable before 31.12.24 against a course, guided tour, greenwood for carving or plane shavings (subject to availability)

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£50 Guided Tour for 4 people

A 60 minute tour of Orchard Barn, the old orchard and the reinstated Suffolk Long House. Led by Centre Manager Sarah Partridge. Reward redeemable until 31.12.24.

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£85 Voucher (worth £100 against course fees)

Save £15 on the price of a course by purchasing this voucher. Can be given as a present or used by yourself on any of our Traditional Building courses - Oak Timber Framing, Intro to using Hot Lime, Wattle and Daub, Restoration Skills, Shingle making and more. Valid until 31.12.24 for booking a course in 2024 or 2025.

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£100 Your company name on a length of hand-cleft roof batten

Here at Orchard Barn, Volunteers are using traditional hand tools to make battens for the Long House roof from coppiced Sweet Chestnut. The practice of coppicing is  an important part of our woodland heritage which lapsed 70 years ago when the woodsmen went to war and sadly didn't return. We are delighted to be supporting the reinstatement of the coppice rotation in local woods by using coppice products in our build. For just £100 you can leave your company name on our roof and also support the reinstatement of the ancient art of coppicing! 

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£165 Voucher Traditional Building skills 1 day course (worth £200 against course fees)

Save £35 on the usual price of £200 for a one-day IHBC CPD Traditional Building skills course in Hot Lime, Traditional Oak Timber Framing or Repairs, Wattle and Daub. View our list of 2024 spring courses. Orchard Barn is a recognised provider of Institute of Historic Building Conservation Continuing Professional Development attendance certificates. Course must be booked by 31.12.24 for 2024 or 2025.

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On our courses you get hands-on skills and experience with home-dug earth (daub, cob, clay lump), traditional tools (such as this auger) and locally grown trees. Vernacular building to help lower your carbon footprint. 

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£250 half day Team Building for up to 5 people in our old orchard 

Seasonal, Land/Orchard-based, Conservation group activities range from Deadwood Screen Construction. Harvesting Elm Bast, Mallet Making, through to Compost Heap making or Scything. Facilitated by Sarah Partridge (Centre Manager) and regular Orchard Barn Volunteers. Four hour activity to include the use of a Kelly Kettle, foraged fuel to make a homegrown tea. Up to 5 people in your Team. 

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Thank-you for your support. Please email me if you'd like to get involved, either as a Volunteer or a Sponsor/Patron.

Sarah


Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation. Please select a reward below.

£165 or more

2 of 20 claimed

Voucher Traditional Building skills 1 day course

Save £35 on the usual price of £200 for a one-day IHBC CPD Traditional Building skills course in Hot Lime, Traditional Oak Timber Framing or Repairs, Wattle and Daub. Orchard Barn is a recognised provider of Institute of Historic Building Conservation Continuing Professional Development attendance certificates. Course must be booked by 31.12.24 for 2024 or 2025. ONE voucher per person, please contact us if you'd like to book more places.

£5 or more

0 of 10 claimed

A length of Orchard Barn fruit wood

Cut your own medallions or decorations from this freshly cut wood. Approx 1-2" diameter and 15-18" long. This fruit wood colours up beautifully. Cut whilst fresh for best results.

£7 or more

7 of 10 claimed

Plane shavings for lighting your fire (collection)

Seasoned shavings made by volunteers from coppiced Sweet Chestnut. Packed into a recycled hessian sack (donated by a local coffee shop). COLLECTION ONLY from Orchard Barn on Weds, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

£8 or more

9 of 14 claimed

2 slices Sweet Chestnut for your garden (collect)

Great as stepping stones in your garden. These natural wood Sweet Chestnut slices are between 12-16" wide and 2ish" thick. They were grown just north of Ipswich and are available from Orchard Barn.

£9 or more

1 of 10 claimed

Slice of Elm 2" thick natural wood platter

For the woodworkers in your family to finish. Will make very attractive natural wood platter for your special occasions. Between 11-12ish" wide. Grown in Suffolk. These slices are by-products from a recent build. The rest of this Elm log is now a wall plate in our Clay Craft Barn.

£9 or more

0 of 10 claimed

Smaller slices of hollow Elm for craft projects

With a little finishing, these 1-2ish" thick x 9-10" wide (approx) slices of natural shaped tree will make splendid picture frames or mirror holders. Collection only from Orchard Barn, IP14 2LY Weds, Thurs, Fridays and Saturday

£10 or more

Your name on one of our shingle roof tiles

For just £10 we will write your name on one of our handmade Sweet Chestnut shingles and email you a photo of it. We'll put your name on the inside of the shingle where the weather won't erode it, but it will remain for the duration of the roof.

£10 or more

0 of 5 claimed

Slices of Fruitwood for crafts

Fresh fruit wood hand cut on the angle gives the unique grain pattern to be seen (and a maximum width). Five slices can be used to make your own decorations or medallions. Mostly oval approx. 3cm wide x 4cm long. The slices are seasoned and will have one hole drilled to enable ribbon or braid to be threaded through. From our own orchard. Collection preferred, please enquire about postage costs.

£12 or more

0 of 8 claimed

Cut and Weave your own May Day crown workshop

Only available as a mini workshop at Orchard Barn 2-3.30 on Saturday 27th April. We'll harvest Willow, Ivy and other material from the old orchard and you'll be able to make a crown to fit your own head. Will include use of sharp tools but well supervised, older children welcome. Weaving materials included, please bring your own flowers and ribbons.

£15 or more

2 of 5 claimed

Young Green Gage tree (bare root, collect only)

We can totally vouch for the taste of these fruit trees because Green Gages because they are from our own orchard. These bare root trees are approx 45-60cm tall and are only available until the end of February.

£20 or more

0 of 4 claimed

Apple wood for carving/turning (collect only)

A length of our own apple wood for you to carve at home. Choose from Gasgoine's Scarlet or Blenheim Orange. Pieces of Elm may also be available in February. Selection and collection to be arranged with Sarah on a Weds, Thursday, Friday or Saturday.

£20 or more

1 of 7 claimed

Clave decoration workshop

2-4pm Sunday 25th February, mid Suffolk venue tbc craft workshop to decorate your own claves. I've cut and seasoned Hazel for this purpose from our old orchard. They make a crisp sound when tapped together. See Project page for photo of a pair of claves I decorated in gold, emerald and black. Blank claves and tea provided.

£30 or more

3 of 5 claimed

Hand made Elm mallet (collect only)

Greenwood mallet with character. Carved using traditional hand tools from Elm logs grown at Orchard Barn. Useful for your own wood working project or when you go camping to drive tent pegs into the ground! Made by JP (one of the Directors of the project)

£45 or more

0 of 20 claimed

£45 Orchard Barn voucher (worth £50)

Voucher redeemable before 31.12.24 against a course, guided tour, greenwood for carving or plane shavings (subject to availability)

£50 or more

0 of 5 claimed

Guided Tour for 4 people

A 60 minute tour of Orchard Barn, the old orchard and the reinstated Suffolk Long House. Led by Centre Manager Sarah Partridge. Reward redeemable until 31.12.24.

£85 or more

£85 voucher (worth £100 against course fees)

Save £15 on the price of a course by purchasing this voucher. Can be given as a present or used by yourself on any of our Traditional Building courses - Oak Timber Framing, Intro to using Hot Lime, Wattle and Daub, Restoration Skills, Shingle making and more. Valid until 31.12.24 for booking a course in 2024 or 2025.

£100 or more

Your company name on a length of handcleft batten

Here at Orchard Barn, Volunteers are using traditional hand tools to make battens for the Long House roof from coppiced Sweet Chestnut. The practice of coppicing is an important part of our woodland heritage which lapsed 70 years ago when the woodsmen went to war and sadly didn't return. We are delighted to be supporting the reinstatement of the coppice rotation in local woods by using coppice products in our build.

£250 or more

1 of 3 claimed

Team Building Orchard Conservation Activities

Seasonal, Land/Orchard-based, Conservation group activities range from Deadwood Screen Construction. Harvesting Elm Bast, Mallet Making, through to Compost Heap making or Scything. Facilitated by Sarah Partridge (Centre Manager) and regular Orchard Barn Volunteers. Four hour activity to include the use of a Kelly Kettle, foraged fuel and homegrown tea. Up to 5 people in your Team.

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