An Exciting Development…

The building of a new outdoor classroom with specialist accommodation.

After several years of planning and preparations, including months of newt catching (honestly!) building is now well underway.

On the site of our old, and underused, stables building a new building is being constructed that will include:

  • an outdoor classroom – a great space with big sliding doors that open onto a decking with views down our site past the Sky ropes and towards Ashford in the Water in the distance
  • two bedrooms, one with a fully accessible ensuite bathroom
  • a kitchen
  • an outside accessible toilet
  • its own garden
  • it’s own parking
  • energy efficient features, including excellent insulation
  • green energy use in the form of a ground source heating system

Once finished in the Spring the building will be available to be used in many flexible ways, including:

  • as an outdoor learning space for our visiting groups – whether they be day visitors or staying on a residential
  • as ancillary accommodation to our other accommodation – the Lodge, Farm House and campsite – to enable visitors with additional needs to join their peers on residentials
  • as self-contained accommodation for families with members with additional needs

new building plans


During the construction of the new building we will endeavour to ensure that any impacts of the works on our visiting groups are kept to a minimum.  The vast majority of the work will be in the area of the new building, which is securely fenced and is not close to our accommodation buildings, during midweek working hours.  The new building has already been connected to the existing buildings by water, drains, power and a path so any disturbances to the main areas of the centre will be minimal in the future.

If you have any questions regarding this exciting development please do not hesitate to contact us.



The roof is almost finished and it is really taking shape now.  New paving has been put down to link the new building to the main centre.  The electricity has been connected, ground source heating installed and the under floor heating system is now functional.



It’s exciting to start to see some finishes going on, both inside and outside the building,  including roof shingles, exposed internal beams, doors, windows and plaster work.








Some great problem solving skills were shown by the ground source heating bore hole drillers – to avoid the metal tracked drill damaging our new back drive a relay of old tyres was laid ahead of the tracks.

Drilling wasn’t as straightforward as hoped, but drilling over to 80m+ underground was always going to be a challenge.


Extensive pipework has been laid in swirls for the underfloor heating ready for the screed to be laid.  It’s going to be cosy in there!








It was great to meet with the architect and interior designer today to discuss decorations, floor coverings and furnishings – it’s going to look brilliant.

Finishes choices for the new building








Already it is starting to look more like a building.



Today the big crane turned up to start putting the timber frame in place, we will see some dramatic visual changes in the next week or so.  Work has also started on digging trenches across the car park for the power and water for the building.

Crane at Thornbridge Outdoors for the new outdoor classroom with specialist accommodation










The Yurt now has power and the newt fencing around it has been taken down meaning it’s back into full use as part of the centre.

Fencing has been erected around the far side (from the centre) of our carpark to protect our trees throughout the rest of the building project, along with matting to protect their roots where needed.

Within the contractors compound preparations are ongoing for the ‘floor slab’ for the main building.  A large wooden mould has been built ready for the delivery of the concrete, upon which the rest of the building will be built.  It’s exciting to finally (the project has been years in the planning) see the new building underway.

Alongside work on the building itself the contractors will soon be digging trenches to get power and water to the building and drains away from it.  This will involve some digging on our carpark but will be carefully managed to minimise the effect upon visiting groups.


A new path is being created to the Yurt which has now moved to it’s new location nearer the Sky Ropes.  Soon the power will be re-routed and it will be ready to use again.

Yurt and Sky Ropes







The contractors container and cabin are set up on the far side of the carpark, where the bike storage containers used to be.

In the main contractors compound the base of the stables has been removed and clearing undertaken ready to start creating the floor slab of the new building.


The contractors, T&C Williams, have made the most of their 2 weeks onsite.  Work done so far…
•    the building area has been fenced off
•    the site office set up
•    the stables have been demolished
•    a new base has been built for our 9 metre diameter yurt 100m south of its previous location
•    the yurt has been moved, by Albion Canvas who made it for us, to its new home


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