The Roundhouse Shelter is an ideal restful spot to picnic and look back out over the garden towards the grass labyrinth, seventeenth century facade and lake.
The 2003 roundhouse project was conceived in response to creating a useful space with wood that came from the necessary felling of leylandii trees.
Approximately 5 trees were used in the construction of the roundhouse and the end result is an enclosed structure suitable for activities, such as storytelling, and shelter. On a smaller scale, the project is similar to that of Rippledown Environmental Education Centre in neighbouring Ringwould, which recently erected a large timber longhouse from felled trees.
The Centre welcomes over 2,000 primary school children every year, most for stays of 5 days and the visits can greatly help in shaping the appreciation and understanding of environmental issues in preparation for their adult lives. The timber longhouse project provides an example of recycling a natural material that would otherwise have been waste matter, and the visitors can see at first hand the possibilities of re-using natural materials.
The roundhouse shelter here at the Pines Garden provides an organic practical structure that is an example of the variety of uses for recycled wood. This is further evident by the fence that now stands adjacent to the shelter on the site of the felled trees.
The brush from the leylandii was removed along with the top sections of trunk. The long sections left in the ground became a natural fence, with the felled top sections providing horizontal lengths. The fence allows more light to enter the garden, benefiting the plants and smaller trees that had previously been in shadow as well as visually opening up the garden, increasing the sense of space, light and air.
From an environmental perspective, the garden has achieved the addition of two practical structures, constructed from material that came from the site itself. This has enabled the felled wood to enrich the variety of the Pines Garden, reduce waste and encourage the application of rural construction skills.