Building Skill in Summer students complete bird hide

The live build project of a bird hide which was designed and built as part of our  2011 Building Skill in Summer, was completed last week after months of hard work. Every year, the culmination of the hugely popular Prince’s Foundation Summer School is a live build project, where students get to test out their designs and see the theory put into practice. All students attending the school enter a competition, with the winning design being built. This year our winning students constructed a bird hide at Llangorse Lake in the Brecon Beacons, replacing an older one already present on the site. 

The site of the hide attracts many different types of birds, including wildfowl and waders. Since the construction of the original bird hide the reed beds had grown considerably, obscuring the views and calling for a newer, taller structure.

The competition consulted with, and was judged by, the local community. Using our Enquiry by Design collaborative workshop progress, students worked extensively with local residents and stakeholders to ensure their design identified their needs, requirements and desires. The winning design focused on the need for the structure to be easily maintainable, sustainable and for it to sensitively complement its natural surroundings. All the work was down in partnership with Brecon Beacons National Park. 

The construction began in October 2011 by the Building Craft Apprentices alongside master craftsmen. All of the construction was done in traditional materials and methods, including a thatch roof using Welsh water reed. 

Following its completion, local bird watchers were given an initial tour and said they were very impressed with how functional the building was as well as how brilliantly the beauty of the Craft Apprentices' work shone through.

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