Photo by Matt Pringle: May 2020

We are thrilled to be partnering with RSPB to renovate a derelict cottage deep in the middle of RSPB’s new reserve in the New Forest, Hampshire, Franchises Lodge, to create a unique residential educational facility. 

Artist's impression

How the site will look once the project is complete:

Illustration: Moorhouse Architecture

Bird's eye view

Take an aerial tour around Cameron's Cottage and the surrounding forest:

Latest news:

 

Project on track for a summer opening

30 March 2021

It was wonderful to see such progress at Cameron’s Cottage last week. Now more than ever, this residential nature outreach centre will be a place where young people can connect with nature, understand wildlife, boost their wellbeing, learn new skills and socialise in an outdoor environment.  Cameron’s Cottage, in the heart of the RSPB nature reserve, is surrounded by pristine ancient woodland and open heathland where young people can experience this unique natural heritage and immerse themselves in outdoor learning experiences.  

Inside the Cottage, the stairs have been fitted and all three bedrooms on the top floor are looking good and all the original windows have been refurbished and refitted. Below, all the other rooms are taking shape and the Cottage has been insulated throughout. The new extension has been clad and will be used for the showers plus a large dorm room which will sleep up to 8. This area is spacious and has been insulated and installation of ducting for the ventilation systems are being installed in the walls and ceilings.

This new extension is beautifully clad with wood all from the reserve which compliments the old brick building. Next to it is the Nature Outreach Centre which is nearing completion and all the solar panels have been fixed on the roof.  Inside the Nature Outreach Centre is a small Field Study Centre which will be used for research projects by University Students and other young RSPB volunteers.

All renewable equipment has been installed inside a security caged outhouse and has been tested and is working which is fantastic. See the flow chart below to show how energy will be created to heat Cameron’s Cottage as well as supply hot water.  All this has been expertly done by SA Energy Ltd. 



We are hoping that the weather continues to improve so that building work can carry on without any hitches. So far our builders, AV Development, have done a remarkable job continuing all the work. Our aim is to complete the project by this summer.

Click to enlarge
The Nature Outreach Centre

The Nature Outreach Centre

The Nature Outreach Centre

View from the back of cottage

The Nature Outreach Centre

Solar panels on Nature Outreach building

The Nature Outreach Centre

Portico at the rear of the cottage

The Nature Outreach Centre

Front of cottage with the wooden extension left

The Nature Outreach Centre

Cottage nestled in the woods


Work continues into Spring

09 March 2021

The solar panels have been installed and the new staircase is in place. Ancient Anglo Saxon burial mounds have also been discovered in the Reserve. 

Click to enlarge
Approach to the cottage

Approach to the cottage

Approach to the cottage

Solar panels are in

Approach to the cottage

Lake on the reserve

Approach to the cottage

Cottage stairs

Approach to the cottage

Inside cottage March 2021

Approach to the cottage

Building continues into March

Approach to the cottage

Cottage March 2021

Approach to the cottage

Clearing the Anglo Saxon burial mounds on the reserve


Building work continues at speed

05 February 2021

Wow, what progress. I was blown away with how much work has been done and what a hive of activity was on site. In a time when so much can sadly not happen, it was so wonderful to see this incredible progress. The construction company AV Developments have done an awesome job inspite of everything.

The place has taken on a new dimension and you can get such a real sense of what it will be like when groups of young people come and stay. The RSPB have the most beautiful reserve in the New Forest and we are just thrilled to partner with them on this exciting project.

Click to enlarge
Front view of Cameron's Cottage

Front view of Cameron's Cottage

Front view of Cameron's Cottage

Solar panel supports

Front view of Cameron's Cottage

Cameron's Cottage with extension and Field Study Centre

Front view of Cameron's Cottage

Field study centre

Front view of Cameron's Cottage

Room with a view, from the field study centre

Front view of Cameron's Cottage

Interior of Cameron's Cottage

Front view of Cameron's Cottage

Interior of Cameron's Cottage


Steady Progress

01 December 2020

Construction work is progressing steadily. The foundations have now been laid for the extension as well as the new free-standing Field Study Centre.  

Click to enlarge
Construction work is progressing steadily

Construction work is progressing steadily

Construction work is progressing steadily

Foundations have been laid for extension and field study centre


 

Cameron's Cottage

Read all about how we came to be partnering with the RSPB to create this wonderful retreat and learning centre deep in the New Forest.

Read more »

Cameron's Cottage Video

Young Ambassador Amy Hall has produced a great video of Cameron’s Cottage before the work begins. Take a look at this magical place, immersed in nature and nestled in the woodlands of RSPB Franchises Lodge in the New Forest.    

View video »