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Making good use of the Guardian Observer Ethical Award

Two years after Winning the Observer Ethical Awards, here is what the Andover Tress United members have been up to

A Sustainable Club House Volunteer Base and Study Room for Harmony Woods

  1. Choosing

The young green champions have the final say.

A presentation was produced by Grace Davis & Izzy Taylor in 2015, when they were in Y6 at Portway Junior School.  They are now in Y8 at Harrow Way Community School.

The presentation was circulated to all Andover Trees United schools. Hundreds of children had their say and overwhelmingly voted for a ‘Club House’.

We promised it would be up and running in time for planting time at the end of 2017 and we are almost there!

  1. The 2nd installment of £2000…

At our 5th Birthday Tree Party 21st November 2016 Rosie O’Neill from Ecover handed over the 2nd installment and we had enough to make a start.

  1. Trustees and volunteers get to work

A small team comprising architect, landscape architect, engineer, builder and project founder met over the course of 3 months to develop plans. The original idea for a green oak build was too complicated to achieve within the timeframe.

The concept of achieving a volunteer and study room in stages began to emerge:


Shipping container for secure tool storage and emergency shelter – already in place



  1. retain the existing shipping container (used for storing tools etc)
  2. level the ground adjacent to the shipping container and build onto it
  3. using Ecover funds buy a 2nd container or secure site office and transport to site
  4. connect to water supply (brought to the wood 2016)
  5. install wood burner for heating
  6. have ready for community planting day and start of 2 weeks of school planting in the wood – Nov 18th



  1. raise £25000 – use any remaining Ecover money as seed funding
  2. check planning permissions and building consents
  3. connect the 2 containers with a green oak ‘pod’ and clad the containers
  4. build a large south facing roof over all 3 structures – use rainwater run-off to feed into pipework (already installed) to top up the new wildlife pond (constructed 2016)
  5. install solar panels
  6. add composting toilets
  1. Plans are drawn up and work starts on Phase 2
  • May: Amazing! Taylor Wimpey offer to donate a site office and a crane to bring it to the wood – this frees up funds to pay a local landscaping team to level the ground
  • September: site office is craned into the wood
  • October: Volunteers dig deep to connect water & strip a section of wall inside the container to prepare for fireproofing in advance of wood burner installation
  • October: 2 years on and Izzy & Grace get to see the ‘Club House’ they had written about

Timings are tight and preparing for the installation of a wood burner is taking longer than anticipated but we hope very much that we will welcome this year’s volunteers to the wood with a warm and draft-free kitchen and water on tap!

And by early 2018, schools will be able to bring classes to the wood for study days for the first time.

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