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TYC Eco-build was an 8 week project funded by The National Lottery Fund for ‘National Lottery Awards for All’. We partnered with Greenwood Music CIC and Tavistock Sensory Garden. 


Through the project our key achievements included: 


  • Building community bonds and giving back to local green spaces 

  • Supporting wildlife through the creation of habitats and feeders

  • Developing your skills in design thinking and construction

  • Learning practical woodworking skills 

  • Collaborating as a team and supporting each other  


We all worked to gain a John Muir's award, an environmental award scheme focused on wild places. It is inclusive, accessible and non-competitive, though should challenge each participant.  The Award encourages awareness and responsibility for the natural environment through a structured yet adaptable scheme, in a spirit of fun, adventure and exploration.

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We began the project with a design consultation session at the Community Sensory Garden. We discovered that ducks have been nesting in the fruit and veg beds. So we wanted to create the birds their own spaces to shelter, rest and nest along the canal. Our group of young people also wanted to make Tavistock Sensory Garden, an even more multi-sensory and interactive site, so they decided to make a wooden xylophone. Our participants made their own bird feeder to take home to put in their family gardens. To make these, we cut branches from a tree chosen carefully by the forester as part of their sustainable woodland management plan at caradon woods.  An array of birds have been eating from the feeders, including Jays and woodpeckers. 


Our time was spent between the local green spaces and Caradon woods. During our time in Caradon woods, we ate communal meals, cooked around a campfire. We were conscious in our use of precious resources like firewood, we used composting toilets and rainwater for washing hands and plates. We worked as a group to leave no trace.


As a group we really built confidence with the tools we were using. With the invaluable experience of returning to the same process week after week,  we all saw great progress in our hands-on skills. Everybody challenged themselves to try new activities, foods and processes. We formed new bonds between one another, as we worked together in different pairings  across the project. These new friendships benefit the dynamic of our group going forward. 


‘I have learnt how to use an axe very well, I am going to be cutting firewood as part of my weekend gardening job soon’. 


‘I have enjoyed learning about different trees, Chestnut tree smells like vinegar’

‘I think everyone put in a lot of work and effort, i’m proud of us all’

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