Conservation Hub Nearing Completion

At last the Findhorn Hinterland Trust Conservation Hub nears completion. The roof is on and our trees have been turned into planks and beams ready to be made into the floor and walls.

It’s been a long and often tough journey from inception some 4 years ago. We were inspired by the vision of furthering the work of the trust but also by the need to move on from the collapsing tractor shed and the two overcrowded and worn-out second hand garden sheds.

Original Tractor Shed built 27 years ago

The building won’t just be a much needed safe storage for tractor and tools. The central enclosed part will provide storage, workshop space and a meeting place for small groups. Outside and under cover will be display space for information about the woods and heath and the work we are doing….. all part of our effort to engage with more and more people around the vital issues of conservation and biodiversity and help them enjoy our magical Hinterland.

Almost all the timber in the building has been sourced from our community woodland.   By thinning out the woodland we have also contributed to its health. Letting in more air and light and creating space allows for the healthier life of existing trees and encourages greater diversity of other flora and fauna. 

Without the generous gifting of time and energy from so many volunteers, the wisdom and experience of professionals and generosity of funders we could have done nothing.

Last winter we were keeping warm by peeling the bark from the trees we had felled. Then, in the summer we got the holes dug and concrete poured for foundations. All the time we were also struggling to complete the financing, obtain planning permission, satisfy the structural engineer and get a building warrant! 

This autumn Sean Brechin arrived and started on the skilled work of constructing the frame from solid tree trunks. There has been much heavy hauling, lifting, cleaning, sawing and chiselling and very careful measuring. Then Ben Moore arrived with his ‘Woodmizer’ mill and produced all the flooring, joists and cladding for the walls for Sean to assemble as a workshop. Thankfully the tractor returned from serious surgery to help us haul the timbers from mill to building site .There, they could be cleaned, treated and carefully stacked ready for use. As well as a building going up we had to dig down, excavating about 100m of 1/2m deep trench for water and electricity…… all with pick and shovel.

It’s with enormous relief and gratitude that we are so near completion. We look forward to all of us enjoying and benefitting from the new ’Hub’.  Thanks goes to the numerous funders and the many who have helped and that includes the significant number of passers by who offered comments, encouragement and appreciation.  

It has very much been a team effort but we are particularly indebted to Jonathan Caddy, FHT Chair, without whose vision and tireless work this beautiful and functional structure would not have come about.

George Paul

Long Term Volunteer and  

Member of the FHT Land Management Subgroup

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Findhorn Hinterland Trust, Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) SC045806
228 Pineridge, Findhorn, Forres, Moray IV36 3TB