Friday, 24 June 2011

Bench for RSPB Flatford

I am a volunteer for the RSPB in south Suffolk and north Essex. Usually this involves site maintenance in large woods or on fields which are breeding areas for estuarial birds. But, this year has had an unusual project; making a wildlife friendly garden at Flatford.

The Flatford garden sits alongside the National Trust property at Flatford which is world-famous as the scene of the Haywain and several other Constable paintings.

One thing a garden which will get lots of visitors needs are benches. So, wanting something a little different, I produced this bench in the RSPB workshop using off-cuts of chestnut from other parts of the garden project (the chestnut is local, felled as coppicing to maintain a wood, so about as sustainable as it gets). The shape of the bench does not dictate how you sit on it, you can choose any direction of view. Some of the ideas came from a bench made by Trannon for a museum, though with many modifications to suit outdoor use and the locally available timber.

If the bench proves successful in the garden, I'll make a few more. The 2nd version will have some changes to the seat shape, though will keep the octagonal theme.

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