Where We Work

05 . 04 . 15

​We feel very fortunate that our workshop is located where it is, not only because of its proximity to the beach and our homes, but because of the environmentally considerate nature of the Mount Pleasant Eco Park, its history and the plans for its future.  We moved here at the start of 2014 when one of the workshop units became available, and it was the opportunity that we had been waiting for.  The six workshops are housed within the largest load-bearing rammed earth structure in the UK, an incredible building that was constructed using sub-soil from right here on site.  Earth is used as a building material all over the world, and it is estimated that around a third of the World’s population live in earthen structures.  Here in Cornwall many older buildings are built from cob, a mixture of clay and straw (and in some cases probably even sand and seaweed!), and these building techniques are slowly being reintroduced as sustainable alternatives to concrete and steel.  The rammed earth walls here are moisture and temperature regulating and offer good thermal mass properties.  They’re also a great colour and texture!

Tim Stirrup, who acquired the land when searching for a workshop for his environmental building firm Pioneer EBC, has developed the Mount Pleasant Eco Park site as a community resource over the last ten years.  As well as the workshops housing business including Otter Surfboards there is a community garden, allotments, an educational space, a campsite in a field that looks down the valley to the sea, and a venue that is used for weddings, theatre events, and a summer music festival.

‘In 2001 when we took over the 42 acre farm it was derelict; an existing potato sorting shed with a steel and asbestos roof was half collapsed and the land was exhausted by 37 years of intensive mono-culture farming. Our aim is to breath life back into the land by increasing biodiversity. Converting the land to organic status was the first step along with the planting of thousands of native trees. Creating a community garden facility and planting wild flower and native-species rich grasslands are also part of the evolving process. These planted areas, along with the SSSI registered valley which borders Mount Pleasant will provide a rich habitat for local wildlife including buzzards, foxes and even the occasional deer!’ – Tim Stirrup

All of our electricity is generated by an on-site wind turbine, and during the winter the workshops are heated by a wood-burning system that is fuelled using offcuts from Pioneer’s timber framed building operation (as well as a few of our offcuts).  We don’t think we could have found ourselves working in a more suitable location, housed in a low impact building where the environment has been considered every step of the way and where sustainability continues to be the guiding principle.  If you join us for a workshop course then we highly recommend camping here (you can check the surf from your tent), and if you’re just stopping by to check us out and say hello then please take the time to look around the rest of this wonderful place.

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