The European Straw Bale Gathering (ESBG) is a biennial event, which we’re privileged to be hosting in Todmorden, West Yorkshire this year.

Here is a summary of the programme.  Full details will be published very soon.


DAY ONE Thursday 15  August: Straw Bale Tour 

On this opening day, there is a choice between the Mini Tour or the Long Tour:

Mini  Tour: half a day to visit three straw bale buildings in Todmorden and surrounding area.

Long Tour: whole day, with lunch included, visiting straw bale buildings in Preston, Halifax and Bradford.


DAY TWO Friday 16 August: Straw Goes Public

On this second day, we will be hearing all about recent achievements and approaches for increasing the use of straw in the public sector.  We’ll be welcomed to Todmorden by the world famous Mary Clear of ‘Incredible Edible’. Murray Davidson of Hastings Borough Council will talk about the essential business of public procurement. We’ll be exploring the potential for the use of Prefabricated Straw Panels in public buildings with Bjorn Kierulf from EcoCocon.

Wouter Klijn will be discussing the process of wrapping with straw on public buildings in the Netherlands. The award winning Cuerden Valley Park will be telling us about their Visitors Centre and Living Building Challenge. Carlo Micheletti, from the Italian straw bale association, will talk about the engineering dimension of straw bale building. There will also be opportunities to discuss: costs, best practice, green mortgages and insurances for non standard buildings.

In the afternoon there will be a choice of workshops to explore these issues & more in more depth.

Free time – In the evening there will be time to eat at one of the many restaurants in Todmorden followed by perhaps a film, a glass of wine or a meander around the fascinating streets.


DAY THREE Saturday 17 August: Straw in Communities

On day three, we will be hearing about the importance of straw in community building and in building communities! Glynis Kirkwood-Warren will be describing the contributions that straw building has made towards community regeneration in inner-city London. Richard Dormandy is going to tell us all about the amazing community of Tulse Hill and their building of Holy Trinity Church Community Centre.

Jakub Zucha-Wihan will be demonstrating how careful design of cement free foundations helped to ensure the involvement of volunteers in the same project. The increasing importance of Community Land Trusts will be explained. Herbert Gruber will be explaining the importance of professional training in straw building via the STEP programme. In addition there will be case studies of community & residential straw bale builds.

In the afternoon, there will be workshop sessions providing the chance to explore each of these topics in more depth.

In the evening, a buffet supper will be provided, followed by a ceilidh. If you haven’t taken part in a ceilidh you’ve got a treat in store – so remember to bring your dancing shoes! To get you in the mood, you can take a look at the ESBG ceilidh band Head Over Reels here.


DAY FOUR  Sunday 18 August:  Straw Sharing

This is a day for sharing techniques, providing examples of new straw bale buildings, updating and promoting the developments in straw bale building in Europe. It’s also an opportunity for networking.

If you are a straw bale builder, this is the day to make contacts and learn new approaches.

If you are thinking of building a straw bale building this day will give you an insight into how straw bale builders work, where to find them and how to identify who you’d like to work with.

If you are from a public authority, an architect or a planner, you will have time to discover how to make the most of building out of straw.

The day will end with tea and scones – a traditional English treat!

To buy tickets, click here.