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Green light for HAB Housing's Avon Gorge nature reserve cabin

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Kevin McCloud’s HAB Housing and Hugh Strange Architects have won planning for a volunteers cabin at Avon Wildlife Trust’s newest nature reserve in the Avon Gorge

The new 30m² building has been designed to resemble an ‘off the shelf’ agricultural building and features a canopy made from timber sourced from the trust’s reserve.

The cabin will provide toilets and a semi-seasonal shelter for the volunteers and will host events at the new reserve south of Bristol.

The structure will also be used as a classroom and will feature a ‘bat hotel’ integrated into the canopy and ‘bee corridors’ will be planted across its concrete substructure.

Speaking about the project Kevin McCloud, founder and director at HAB said: ‘What we love about this project is that it’s all about the outdoors – the building is simply a means to allow people to care for and enjoy the ecology of the place. 

‘Collaborating with Avon Wildlife Trust on this project has been a great way to kick off an important year for Bristol - as European Green Capital 2015.’

Hugh Strange of Hugh Strange Architects said: ‘The building is designed to focus people’s attention on the amazing landscape of the surrounding area. But as well as appreciating the grand scale of the Gorge, visitors’ attention will also be directed towards the intimate scale of the cabin’s structure, where bats will be encouraged to nest in the soffit of the timber canopy.

‘It is very much a building through which to enjoy and learn about nature.’

The cabin will be finished prior to the reserve opening this spring, as part of Bristol’s year as European Green Capital. The Trust’s appeal to raise the £120k to realise the vision of Bennett’s Patch and White’s Paddock is just under £10k short of its target.

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