We were asked by Batchwood School to design and obtain planning permission for an outdoor classroom in the form of a roundhouse.


The school pupils are aged between 11 and 16 with a tendency to demonstrate difficulties in social interaction, emotional regulation and mental health issues. An outdoor forestry school had recently been established by Ann Rider, who sadly passed away before completion of the project. Her encouragement of connecting pupils of the school with nature showed promising signs of positive engagement by taking them out of the “normal” classroom and into the woodland.


The roundhouse classroom enables the forestry school to have shelter during the winter months whilst continuing the theme of being connected with very natural surroundings.


With the donation of materials and help of “Friends of Batchwood” from Batchwood Hall Estate nearby the school, Ecovril were able to design, obtain planning permission and build the roundhouse within time and to a modest budget.


The students were taught to make shingles during their lessons, shown how to weave the wattle for the walls and some even wanted to help with barrowing and digging.


Building in the winter months and with a small team proved challenging but thoroughly worthwhile. Every part of this building was hand made from materials donated or sourced from local woods.


Designed and built to last for several decades, in memory of an inspirational teacher, we are sure that this rustic, honest building will inspire and encourage more pupils to enjoy the natural world outdoors.