Our Achievements

The First UK Strawbale House with Planning Permission

The first strawbale home ever to receive planning permission in the UK was this one, built in 1996 by self builder Brian Stinchcombe, with the help of Barbara Jones. Built using big ‘jumbo bales’, it took eight people to move one bale, but under Barbara’s direction the walls and roof plate were built in 5 days during a training course in foggy November.

Halifax Civic Trust Award

We recently received Highly Commended in the Halifax Civic Trust Awards 2013

The Outback Centre, in Halifax, was designed by Barbara and others and members of the Straw Works build team installed the straw walls, and lime and clay plasters to produce this outstanding building of natural materials.

From the left are Les Fielden of Jack Fielden Joiners (who carried out all the other work to a very high standard), George Pickles, Project manager (who coordinated all the different aspects of the build), Barbara Jones of Straw Works (design and build), Barbara Harbinson, CEO of Halifax Opportunities Trust and the woman behind the whole idea, without whom this would not have happened.


The Outback centre is a sustainable Community Kitchen dedicated to teaching local people about healthy eating, surrounded by gardens producing fruit, vegetables, salad and herbs.



Manor Park Cafe, London Borough of Sutton

Consultancy by Barbara and built by amazonails, (now the Straw Works contract build team).

Opening Manor Park Cafe

Opening Manor Park Cafe

Sutton’s Manor Park Café opened its doors for business in October 2010. Councillors, local businesses and council staff gathered at a special opening ceremony organised by the café’s new proprietors, Town and Country Catering. The café, which boasts an impressive array of environmental features, was built following a proposal by Sutton Local Committee.

It was built using UK produced straw bales and natural sustainable materials. It will took just three months to build. A building of this type can last for over 200 years. The café serves a wide choice of affordable meals and snacks – many from organic or fair-trade sources, and including healthy options.

It has seating for 20 – 30 people inside and more seating outside. Toilet facilities have disability access and baby changing facilities, and will be open to the public, not just café customers. The building has been designed by amazonails, architectural designers and was also built by amazonails.

To read more, click here.