Introduction to Earthworks

Earthworks St. Albans is a registered charity that offers trainees, often with learning difficulties or mental health problems, work experience and training in horticultural and land-based skills. We have a three-acre site in Hixberry Lane, St. Albans. It is managed on environmental principles and we have open days a number of times a year. Members of the public are welcome to visit and buy our produce

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Earthworks staff and volunteers work – and learn – with the trainees to maintain the site, with its gardens, tree nursery, vegetable beds, shade tunnels and polytunnel.

Earthworks also has a stall at the monthly St. Albans Farmers’ Market where we sell fruit, vegetables, herbs and craft produced at Hixberry Lane.

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Earthworks Summer Schools Project

The Summer Schools project is for young adults with learning difficulties who are aged between ages 16-25, offering horticultural training at Earthworks. The project lasts for four days (Tues-Fri) and there are a number of weeks to choose from across the summer period.

We offer a variety of horticultural and landscaping experiences, just some of the tasks may include; seed sowing, basic gardening (pruning, planting, weeding etc.), sawing, and drilling.

There will be daily refreshments (drinks/snacks) included as well as a t-shirt and an end of project BBQ which everyone will be invited too.

There is a subsidised fee of £20 per day per person. The project begins in July and is very popular so we strongly advise applying as soon as possible! We would also love for you to come down and visit before accepting a place on the course to have a chat and see if it is right for you!

If you have any more questions or would like to request an application pack please email Josie: josie@earthworksstalbans.co.ukEW school project

 

Lynette Warren

LynetteIt is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of one of Earthworks’ most long standing trustees, Lynette Warren.

Lynette had been an avid support of Earthworks since the very early days of the charity in 1997. She passionately championed the organisation at every opportunity, devoting her free time and energy to Earthworks for 17 years.

In particular Lynette was dedicated to promoting sustainable choices in horticulture and technology, issues which take precedence in the Earthworks ethos.

Lynette will be deeply missed by many at Earthworks. Our thoughts and sympathies are with her family.

University Placement Student 2014-15 Academic Year

Each academic year Earthworks employs an undergraduate student (usually from a geography or environmental sciences degree program). Each student undertakes a 48 week full time paid placement with us. They become a member of our staff team benefiting from nearly a year’s worth of hands on work experience linked directly to their studies. This also benefits Earthworks tremendously since we have an additional new and enthusiastic team member.

Josie Green is our current student employee and is doing such a good job that we might not let her go back to uni!

“It has been a fantastic placement and I am really enjoying it so far! It’s a unique opportunity to work in a flexible and independent way whilst helping to benefit a charity. I have set up my own project, an educational schools project, you can choose to do something more scientifically based”

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We are now looking to recruit a student to take over when Josie leaves at the end of summer 2014. If you or someone you know is studying a related degree which incorporates an acadamic work placement and would like to know more please don’t hesitate to contact Steve Pike (Placement Supervisor) for more details email Steve.

Earthworks Grand New Build

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If you’ve visited the Earthworks site recently you will no doubt have seen that our new building is really taking shape. Compared to our previous old metal hut it looks more a like a beautiful grand hall! We are sure it will become an iconic part of Earthworks’ future and will hugely benefit both the organisation and our local community.

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Rising up from the ashes of that devastating fire two years ago are grand oak beams and beautiful oak waney edge walls expertly crafted by the team from Harts of Oak (pictured above, left to right: Conner, Dean, our own Phil Maitland, Steve and John). This project has taken a little longer than expected but to see it take shape will make you realise just how special it is going to be. It is also a complex build using ancient techniques and materials, many of which have been painstakingly sourced at discount rates to ensure the build is brought in on budget!

There is still much work to do and we are continuing to fund raise to ensure that the project can be finished. Everyone at Earthworks is exceptionally grateful for the support that we have received from our local community and local businesses which is not only enabling us to re-build after a devastating fire, but is helping to build something very special. We cannot wait to show you the end result in the not to distant future! In the mean time we still need your support so if you can help out in any way by donating money, materials, or expertise we would be delighted to hear from you. Thank you!

Earthworks Joins O’Connor Team to Plant Gardens at St. Albans Cathedral

Ground Maintenance

On Friday volunteers and trainees from Earthworks joined a team from John O’Connor Ground Maintenance (our new neighbours!) to help plant out a beautiful garden within the Cathedral grounds at Waxhouse Gate in St. Albans. Rain showers didn’t prevent the gang from getting stuck in and helping the O’Connor team to plant out ornamental beds with new shrubs and flowers. Together we had the job done in just a few hours.

The new Mayor of St Albans,  Councillor Annie Brewster, stopped by to see what everybody was up to and we enjoyed posing for photographs with her and Matt O’Connor (MD of John O’Connor’s). Keep an eye out for these pictures in the St Albans papers later this week!

After a busy morning we did of course manage to find time to relax with a pot of tea at an adjacent cafe before heading back to Earthworks.

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Building Supplies Wish List

As construction begins on the new site hut we are continuing to fund raise and source materials for this big project. If you are able to help by providing or discounting any of the materials listed below we would be extremely grateful.

http://earthworksstalbans.co.uk/pdfs/WishList.pdf