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Primary school gets a new eco-makeover

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: October 26, 2012

  • More than 130 people helped to build the new roundhouse at Morchard Bishop Primary School, above, which will have various uses. Right, Paul and Hope Quinn in the new structure, and below, some young volunteers

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Volunteers from a Mid-Devon village have joined together to construct a new roundhouse at the local primary school.

Around 130 people attended the opening ceremony at Morchard Bishop Primary School, near Crediton, to celebrate the creation of the unique structure.

Since January members of the local community, schoolchildren and friends have helped to build the structure as part of the Tanglewood Project designed to celebrate the cultural heritage of Devon.

MP Mel Stride was asked to cut an ivy stand to open the roundhouse in recognition of the project's ethos of connecting people with nature.

As part of the opening ceremony, schoolchildren sang a song called "Our new roundhouse", and the structure was blessed by local minister Reverend Lindsay Starrs.

The children then enjoyed a day of story telling and forest activities as local hurdle maker Nick Downie demonstrated his skills.

Nick Mussell, of the Tanglewood team said: "The building reflects the co-operation and commitment that Morchard Bishop has shown.

"With the worst summer in 100 years the community has battled driving rain, hailstorms, gale force winds and even flooding. Eight months later a beautiful structure has come together with well over 100 people participating.

"Everyone involved can truly say they have made a positive contribution to the community which will last for many years to come."

The structure, which was built from locally sourced materials, is called a reciprocal roofed roundhouse as each beam supports each other.

It will be used as an outside classroom to enrich the curriculum, a shelter, a space for community education, forest schools and as a meeting place.

The longer term aim is that the roundhouse will be one of many built throughout Devon creating a support network of learning and teaching.

The Tanglewood Project is an emerging community organisation whose values are rooted in community; connecting people of all ages and abilities to share traditional skills and knowledge.

It was funded jointly by the school and the National Lottery, awards for all.

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