Haldon Programmes

April-July 2008

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26 April–13 July 2008

Timber Talent South West: Architecture for the 21st Century


Timber Talent South West featured CCANW’s selection of 16 of the most inspiring recent examples of the use of timber in contemporary architecture. Four themes were explored: Span, Mimesis, In Nature and Community.

Exhibition panels showing buildings and themes

General view of Timber Talent South West. Photo Chris Lewis.

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Selected by Juliet Bidgood, Architect and Partner, NEAT, Gillian Fearnyough, Director, The Architecture Centre, Bristol, Adrian Gale, Architect and CCANW Trustee, and Tanya Griffiths, Director, Architecture Centre Devon and Cornwall.

Its South West focus included both recent innovative timber buildings from the region and timber structures made elsewhere in the UK by SW based practices, documented by photographs, plans and models.



The exhibition was toured to the Architecture Centre, Bristol 9 September–9 November 2008 and displayed at a conference at Dartington 12 February 2009 Building with Wood: Local Timber for Local Housing.

University of the Trees: Meeting of Exeter Group

A third meeting of UOT on 21 June involved a workshop/event and a meeting of the Exeter Group. The group invited current members and newcomers to a workshop in the forest (see University of the Trees).

Demonstrating the use of the Sling. Instrument © Shelley Sacks. Photo Chris Lewis.

Architecture Students long term Project

At the end of the summer term 2008, ten third year students from Plymouth School of Architecture undertook a project at Haldon, leading to proposals for an Eco Shelter.

Facilitated by the designer/architect Cameron Scott, students were shown by Forestry Commission staff how trees were planted, thinned and felled. A visit to the local sawmill of Mike Gardner of Woodmanship looked at the process of conversion and how structural tests were made on different cuts of timber.

Forestry Commission staff talking to the students. Photo Chris Lewis.

Following critical guidance from CCANW Trustee, Adrian Gale, architect David Sheppard and the Head of the School, the students developed designs for an Eco Shelter (a covered teaching space) at Haldon and their models were finally exhibited 3 April-23 May 2010.

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Cameron Scott Commission

In late 2008, Cameron Scott was commissioned by the Forestry Commission to create a play sculpture Spiral at Haldon. This was constructed by Mike Gardner of Woodmanship from Douglas Fir grown in the forest and was completed in May 2009. Cameron also drew up his own proposal for the Eco Shelter.

Completion of Spiral in the forest by Mike Gardner. Photo Cameron Scott.

Alan Sonfist Commission

Soon after CCANW opened, we received a telephone call from Alan Sonfist in the US, expressing his interest in our project. Since his making of an urban forest Time Landscape in New York City in the Sixties, Alan had created numerous landscape sculptures around the world, collaborating with each community to reintegrate aspects of an area’s indigenous natural and cultural histories.

He first visited Haldon in July 2006, returning in 2007 to give a talk and workshop, and in 2008 inviting students and others to work with him on a earthwork in the forest. Subsequently, knowing that felling and earth-moving work was soon to be undertaken by the FC, a site was identified and in late 2009 designer/architect Cameron Scott drew up a plan of the area from topographical data supplied by Gareth Morris Partnership.

Cameron Scott and Alan Sonfist working on the design. Photo Clive Adams.

Work continued into 2011 on what Alan named The Celtic Adder Protecting the Ancient Forest. However, lack of funding forced CCANW to move from Haldon in 2013 and the work was never completed.

See also:


  • 2 May: Performance by Veda Hille cancelled
  • 11 May: Workshop/performance by Dartington Gamelan
  • 20 May: In Touch with Timber conference in London
  • 29 May: Build a Brilliant Birdbox workshop
  • 29 May: Talk by artist Lynne Hull
  • 5 June: Forum Timber and the Environment
  • 6-8 June: Contemporary Art Fair, Bovey Tracey
  • 19 June: Forum Timber and Affordable Housing
  • June/July: Schools Tour. In collaboration with Spacex and Exeter Phoenix, local primary and secondary schools visited three different galleries in a single day
  • 5-8 July: Project with artist Alan Sonfist
  • 10 July: Visit to Hooke Park, the Architectural Association’s woodland campus in Dorset
  • 12-13 July: Roadford Woodfair.
Visit with Jez Ralph to Hooke Park in Dorset. Photo Clive Adams.
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July-September 2008

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