Straw, wool and tyres will make up park visitor centre

Cuerden Valley Park manager, Jim Longbottom, at the site planned for the new visitor centre
Cuerden Valley Park manager, Jim Longbottom, at the site planned for the new visitor centre
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Straw bales, car tyres and sheep’s wool are just some of the unusual materials being used to build a unique new visitor centre at a popular park.

Members of the Cuerden Valley Park Trust want to develop an environmentally-friendly building to house a cafe and educational facilities.

Planning permission for the exciting development has been passed, and the Trust is now aiming to raise £400,000 so it can start work in April.

Trustee Lesley Cryer said: “What we need now is people from the community to help us build their new visitor centre.

“We’re building it ourselves and we need people to volunteer their time and labour, such as skilled builders, electricians, plumbers, plasterers, and roofers.

“We also want people who can help with smaller jobs.

“And we’re asking members of the community to buy a straw bale for £5 or make donations. So far we have £4,100 in small donations.

“It’s wonderful and very encouraging that people are supporting us in this way.

“What we’re saying to people is that this is your chance to make a difference - to help improve your park for everyone, forever.”

The Trust currently rents rooms in The Barn Visitor Centre from the Lancashire Wildlife Trust, but wants its own space to cater for school trips and create a cafe and toilets for visitors, as well as office space for the trustees.

The plans have been drawn up by Straw Works Architectural Designs. Walls will be made of high density load-bearing straw bales with lime and clay renders, and recycled tyres foundations.

The building will have a cedar shingle roof and wool insulation. No concrete, cement or bricks will be used.

It is hoped that the centre will be open by the end of the year.

Call 01772 324436 or email admin@cuerdenvalleypark.org.uk to get involved.