The big straw bale gathering 2018

I was very fortunate to attend the international straw bale conference in Colorado when I was in the states a few years ago. It had a profound effect on me. So I’m so very excited to be part of the organising team bringing you this!

SBUK Presents: The Big Straw Bale Gathering 2018

Theme: Sowing the inspiration, growing the industry & harvesting the knowledge

Down To Earth – Swansea, UK – 10th,11th & 12th of August 2018: 
SBUK are proud to present the inaugural ‘Big Straw Bale Gathering’ – a gathering to discuss and learn straw bale construction and share the latest and best thinking within the industry.

Held at Down To Earth’s beautiful strawbale roundhouse in South Wales. The weekend will feature talks, discussions and hands-on workshops, for all levels, led by the UK’s best natural builders and leading associated professionals. So come down and get excited about building with straw, learn some new techniques or get stuck into the geeky technical stuff.
When you are full of knowledge you can relax with great local organic food, music, dancing, yoga, ‘Strawbale Ale’, children’s activities and a host of extracurricular events ranging from walks to canyoneering on the beautiful Gower peninsular!


The Big Straw Bale Gathering will collect up everyone with an interest in straw bale building in the UK. No matter what level you are engaging with straw bale construction, there will be lots to learn at the BSBG. Jeffrey Hart – Events Director – SBUK

Tickets on sale soon from

StrawBale Building UK – SBUK – is a Community Benefit Society, formed in 2016 with the aim: To promote straw bale building and best practice within the sector. 

Clayfest 2017 – Earth Building UK & Ireland

mud bricks dryingClayfest 2017, 12-17th June, Lincoln Castle, Lincoln, UK

EBUKI have just announced this years’ Clayfest and conference. This year to be held in Lincoln, home of the ‘mud and stud’ building technique.

Workshops at Clayfest

The workshops cover a broad range of topics taught by the experts in their fields, topics including:

  • Light-Earth Construction; Clay and Natural Fibre Composites
  • Earth, earth-lime and hot mixed lime mortars
  • The Steppe Oven: Food Without Wood
  • Earth and Fibre: Experiments with Forms and Finishes
  • Mud and Stud
  • Cob Workshop, Basics to Mobius Strip 
  • Earth Plasters, Decoration, Colour and Textures..


Earth Building UK & Ireland Conference 2017

Conference this year continues with the theme of Clayfest, building bridges. How do we respect tradition, learn from tradition, teach tradition, adapt tradition to bring a new generation of builders, designers, developers and clients to a better understanding and respect for materials which have almost perfect credentials in the circular economy, cradle to cradle materials which can be used and re-used almost indefinitely. Earth as a material has powerful properties and yet what people too often think of are it’s weaknesses. Other building materials also have weaknesses but have been more successful in projecting their strengths, what can we learn from this and how do we project that knowledge and understanding? Hearing from speakers working in and out of the earth building world we will plot a course to better understanding, better networks, building bridges to better building.


It’s sure to be a great week, hopefully I’ll see you there!

Click here for full details on workshops, tutors and the conference 

EBUKI – Annual Conference


Agrarian Earth: Earth Building’s relationship with land, tenure and society

Date: 22nd July 2016
Location: Burgh-By-Sands Village Hall
Ticket Price: £125 (Professional), £100 (Standard), £75 (Low wage / Student / unemployed)
Parking: At Village hall / Village green / Pub


Learn clay plastering with me at EBUKI’s Clayfest

I will be teaching clay plastering along with Rebecca Reid.

clay plastering workshop

Focussing on how you can go from site soil, to on the wall! How to test the soil in your garden, then how to amend it to be the perfect plaster mix. Plus lots of plastering tips.

Other fantastic workshops include – rammed earth, turf walling, cay dabbin (cob) and historic repair. So why not make a week of it and come to more than one course?

The final day is the annual Earth Building UK & Ireland conference with lots of interesting speakers lined up.

Full details here:

Community Rebuilds Straw bale internship – Utah

Community Rebuilds is a fantastic organisation operating in Utah and Colorado.

They replace dilapidated housing with super efficient straw bale homes, and use the build as a free training tool.

I built two houses with community rebuilds as an intern and as an apprentice/instructor. It truly shaped my future… and I had a lot of fun!

There are still spaces available for the upcoming builds, so if you think spending 4 months building a house for a low income family, in the most stunning scenery, with the most incredible people, sounds like fun… go here:

Eco Build 2016

eco build 2016 natural building arena

Just finished another fantastic Ecobuild. I was there with Straw Works talking about straw bale building and giving demonstrations. It was a wonderful experience talking to so many people, some who knew nothing about straw and some that were as enthusiastic as me!

The whole team in the natural building area was a massive highlight. Inspired people, doing great things.


See you next year!