Bridgend Eco-Bothy* Creative Lives Awards Scotland Winners 2020 *

Based in Edinburgh, Bridgend Farmhouse is a community-owned training and volunteer hub situated between three large housing estates, which are in the highest 15% on the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation. The farmhouse was renovated several years ago, but the surrounding barns were unused and in a state of disrepair – until the local community saw an opportunity to create a valuable space for all to use.

Clearance of the barns began in January 2019, and a team of volunteers have worked since to design and build this unique ‘off-grid’ eco-bothy. All materials are locally sourced, as are the traditional ecological techniques. Volunteers led on every part of the design and build, with a core group of eight and a wider team of around 40. Over 70 local children were also involved, helping design the accessible outdoor play area.

“Volunteers come from all walks of life,” says Will Golding, “including single parents, people experiencing homelessness, mental ill-health and unemployment, retired people, New Scots, students, all with different levels of ability.
“There are many female volunteers, unusual for construction projects, which is testament to the inclusive environment that’s been purposefully nurtured.”

The Bothy will be used by local residents for outdoor play, environmental education, counselling, storytelling, arts, performance and an outdoor classroom linked to the woodlands.

Find out more about Bridgend Eco Bothy in our video interview with the group:

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