Community shed is a real team effort

The opening of the Drygrange community shed. In photo are members of the Drygrange community and Border Forest Trust Woodland volunteers who built the shed in the background.
The opening of the Drygrange community shed. In photo are members of the Drygrange community and Border Forest Trust Woodland volunteers who built the shed in the background.

A new community shed for the use of volunteers working in the Melrose area was 
unveiled this week.

The Drygrange community shed is a collaboration between Greener Melrose, Borders Forest Trust and the architect Peter Caunt.

Built on environmentally-friendly principles, with a foundation of recycled car tyres and a grass roof, the shed will provide shelter and comfort to volunteers working in the community orchard, community woodland and community allotments.

A Greener Melrose has spent three years establishing the community orchard and allotments at Drygrange, with the aim of protecting, conserving and improving the environment, and to promote sustainable developments and to increase resilience to resource scarcity.

The organisation works to raise awareness of the Transition Movement, which “helps communities deal with climate change and shrinking supplies of cheap energy (peak oil)”. Borders Forest Trust is an environmental charity formed in 1996 to conserve, restore and manage native woodlands and other natural habitats for the benefit of people and wildlife.

They meet every Tuesday to carry out a variety of practical tasks in community woodland sites around the Borders, and have a team of enthusiastic volunteers who were happy to get behind the project.

Volunteer team leader Anna Craigen said: “It was fantastic (and very rewarding) to be involved in the whole process.

“We will really enjoy using the new building as a base during future work sessions.”

Peter Caunt, the project’s architect, specialises in huts, tree houses and cabins.

His Heriot-based company, Quercus Building Design, has a strong track record of creating sustainable designs, using locally-sourced materials. Peter also supervised the building’s construction.

The Drygrange hut is located just off the A68.