We are delighted to be able to show off our new-build, on the site of the Little Lodge. The new lodge creates an outdoor education hub, complete with classroom, and self-contained showering and changing facilities. Demolition of the Little Lodge was on 3 December 2019 and the foundations were laid last February. The frames were installed by March. The first lockdown put things on hold until construction could resume in June. In later summer, work went full-on to lay underfloor heating pipes, connect these to the biomass boiler system, fit the washing facilities and install lighting inside and out. We are just putting the finishing touches to the building, whose official name is the Russell Hub after one of Wiston Lodge’s founders and board member Judy Russell.
The Little Lodge served us well since the 1980s. Its initial use was to provide additional accommodation to the main house. Subsequent uses included storage of outdoor clothing and equipment, providing a place to get changed and an office for instructors. Initial plans for a refurbishment were put aside in favour of a new build, which is made possible thanks to Clyde Wind Farm SSE renewable development fund and LEADER.
The hub is packed with modern functions, but complements our much-loved Victorian main lodge. The rear, facing the woods, will be retractable, mixing the shelter of a modern building with our outdoor education mission. This gives Wiston Lodge a single, purpose-built space where inside learning can blend into outdoors, with equipment, clothes changes and showering all easily provided for under the same roof. Multiple showers and toilets include features designed to meet additional support needs. Cleaning is also optimised, with wall mounted toilets and rounded wall-to-floor joins. Around the exterior, the timber cladding will age with its surroundings.
Here’s a selection of pictures showing the journey over the year to now, and we’ll bring you more once the interior is complete!