What a glorious day to start construction on Cameron’s Cottage
It feels like a long time ago that we first saw the huge potential of a run down Cottage in the middle of the newly acquired RSPB nature reserve in the New Forest.
In 2018, the RSPB took ownership of this 1000 acre site, which they consequently named Franchises Lodge reserve, and it quickly became apparent that this "secret forest" holds many real wildlife treasures.
“We have been working with the RSPB since 2017 about finding a place in a reserve where young people can stay and experience nature first hand. The moment we saw this Cottage, we both saw the huge potential to create a unique place to engage budding naturalists from all walks of life. We have worked tirelessly these past 2 years to create a place that will instil a life-long love of nature to the next generation. It feels like a very fitting legacy in Cameron’s honour. ”
Corinne Bespolka, Cameron’s mother.
Although we have encountered challenges, the support has been tremendous. The RSPB has spent so much time with the New Forest National Park Authority and the local community to make sure we are working together. Once the Architect Joe Moorhouse (Moorhouse Architects) was on board, plans and drawings were sympathetically drawn up. The result is a low-impact facility that will sleep 18.
The site has security fencing all the way around
Cameron's Cottage is off-grid and it’s been exciting discovering how to make it as green and sustainable as possible. The renewable energy will include solar panels, a heat recovery ventilation system that generates heat through air as well as an Ecorock sewage treatment system.
Work begins inside the cottage
A few months ago, RSBP selected AV Developments to carry out the work, together with SA-Energy who are responsible for renewables. They will renovate the Cottage, build an extension as well as construct a Field Study Centre right next to the Cottage. This open-feel Field Study Centre will be an area where educational activities can take place, with a small laboratory room attached that will be used by University students to carry research projects.
Illustration: Moorhouse Architecture
Estimated completion is June 2021.
Please have a look at thebeautiful drone video footage filmed recently by RSPB on our website:
Thank you to everyone for helping us make this happen. New friends, old friends, family, supporters, nature lovers, conservationists and every single supporter, we are very grateful to have you be part of our journey. We could not have done it without you