Norwich youngsters help with eco-building

Youngsters are using building techniques of yesteryear to help build an eco-friendly classroom at their school.

Work on a building that will be made out of cob with a natural living roof has got under way at Arden Grove Infant School in Hellesdon.

During the next 12 weeks, the team of builders from Earthed, a company which specialises in cob buildings, will be working on site, teaching and promoting environmentally-friendly building skills with the children.

The pupils will be 'hands on' in helping with the building of the cob walls which will involve them mixing, building and sculpting.

They will also take the lead role in the design and construction of a bench and a cob oven and will take part in carving workshops.

The roundhouse building will be used as art studio as well as a base for outside learning once complete.

Daniel Thrower, headteacher, said: 'We are delighted after many months of planning that this project is coming to fruition.

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'Having won eco-awards at both a local and national level, this project is the next step to continuing the excellent environmental work that the school does. The children are so excited to be involved in a project of this scale.'

Lucy Baker, who leads work on geography at the school, added: 'It is wonderful for the children to work in such a collaborative way with natural and sustainable materials, using techniques that have been used in Norfolk for hundreds of years. It will give them a real connection to their local heritage as well as enable them to understand how homes across the world are built using locally sourced materials.'

The school has funded the project through the support of a grant from Broadland District Council and donations from firms and charitable trusts including Reeves Property Restoration, Fitzmaurice Trust, Paul Bassham Charitable Trust, Stonecraft of Aylsham, Veolia Environmental Services, Norwich Town Close Estate Charity, NSJ Designs Limited and Creative Partnerships.

Andy Jarvis, head of environmental services at Broadland District Council, said: 'This is an exciting and innovative project and we're proud to be supporting the school and pupils in this. We wish them every success with their endeavours.'

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Do you know a group of children who are involved in an innovative project? Call reporter Kate Scotter on 01603 772326 or email