Volunteers start building park’s eco-friendly straw bale visitor centre

Photo Neil Cross'Work begins on the new visitor centre build at Cuerden Valley Park,which is being constructed by volunteers out of straw bales with car tyre foundations
Photo Neil Cross'Work begins on the new visitor centre build at Cuerden Valley Park,which is being constructed by volunteers out of straw bales with car tyre foundations
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WORK has begun on a new eco-friendly visitors’ centre at a Lancashire beauty spot.

Cuerden Valley Park, Bamber Bridge, near Preston, is not only preparing the ground but also running courses for the army of volunteers who will be doing the actual build.

The £400,000 visitor centre is being constructed using environmentally friendly materials including straw and timber sourced from the park itself.

Overseen by a building manager from Straw Works, which specialises in straw bale building expertise, the eco-friendly building will house a classroom/function room, toilet, a café and an office.

Park manager, Jim Longbottom, said: “We are all really excited to see the building take shape after a long period of fundraising and planning.

“We still need financial help to kit the building out and volunteers and materials but we are on the first step to providing the park with a wonderful sustainable new resource and one that will bring in income for the park and help maintain it for generations to come.

“As an independently funded park we rely entirely on grants and/or local fund raising so this building will really belong to everyone who contributes to it in any way.”

Veolia’s executive director, Paul Taylor said: “This project is a great example of how the Landfill Communities Fund can help communities by creating facilities that host important groups, services and activities. The new visitor centre will have a positive impact on the community and a low impact on the environment and we are pleased to be supporting it. I look forward to seeing the building take shape.”

The new building has been boosted by three Landfill Community Fund grants from The Veolia Environmental Trust, the Lancashire Environmental Fund and Neales Waste Management via the Greenbank Trust. There have also been generous contributions from the local community and the park’s Friends group.

Cuerden Valley Park Trust is a registered charity and relies on income from investments, donations, grants and events to keep the park maintained for the benefit of the public. If you can help with the build, provide materials or can help by making a contribution contact park administrator, John Phillips, in the park office on 01772 324436 or by email at admin@cuerdenvalleypark.org.uk.