Glynis Kirkwood-Warren was born and raised in Tottenham, North London, Glynis was brought up on the principles of sharing, helping and supporting others, so it wasn’t a surprise to anyone that she would be part of a unique community led project to redevelop a forgotten and unloved local park in the heart of one of the most deprived and misrepresented areas of London. The successful redevelopment of the park was completed in 2012, but who was going to run the newly built strawbale, timber framed passivhaus in the middle of the park? Enter Glynis with another ridiculous idea, a band of passionate locals and a learning curve of epic proportions……
Murray Davidson is Head of Parks and Natural Resources at Hastings Borough Council. Over the last 30 years he has been at the forefront of influencing biodiversity policy and practice in the public sector at the local and national level. As Vice Chair of the Association of Local Government Ecologists he has given evidence to Government Select Committees on Biodiversity and is a member of the British Standards Institute panel responsible for the UK’s first British Standard for Biodiversity and Planning. For the last 5 years he has led the project to provide a new straw bale visitor centre at Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve with European Interreg grant aid. Murray will offer an insight to public sector procurement for the straw bale industry.
Herbert Gruber is chairman of ASBN, the Austrian Strawbale Network and a Natural builder since 1992, straw bale builder since 1999, trainer in straw bale construction workshops since 2006. Documentation of Austrian and European straw bale buildings in books (wrote the study “Building with straw” for the Austrian Ministry of Agriculture and the book “Bauen mit Stroh” and “Neues Bauen mit Stroh in Europa”, presentations, databases and websites (,,,, Cooperation with European Straw Bale Networks. Member of the board of ESBA (European Straw Building Association).
Chris Magwood is obsessed with making the best, most energy efficient, beautiful and inspiring buildings without wrecking the whole darn planet in the attempt. Chris is currently a director at The Endeavour Centre. The school runs two full-time, certificate programs: Sustainable New Construction and Sustainable Renovations and hosts many hands-on workshops annually.
Chris has authored seven books on sustainable building, including:
- Essential Sustainable Home Design (2017)
- Essential Prefab Straw Bale Construction (2016)
- Essential Hempcrete Construction (2016)
- Making Better Buildings (2014)
- More Straw Bale Building (2005)
Mary Clear is a dreamer and schemer; she is living her life on the edge. Mary sleeps like a baby because every day is filled with adventure. She is an Activist, in a hurry to do her bit for a better world. Food and growing are important to her, she believes in the saying “Be the change you want to see”. She thinks nothing can be nicer than feeding a crowd round the kitchen table.
Incredible Edible Todmorden is seeking to make a kinder world; we use food and growing as the lever. We have achieved more than anyone reckoned was possible, by having oodles of passion and a sense of fun. We have no offices, paid workers or worries, we use the gifts and energy of the community.
Bjorn Kierulf was originally an industrial designer and is now a Passivhaus specialist. A Norwegian, he arrived in Slovakia in 1989 – before the revolution. Now he is working on the next revolution in Slovakia – the passive house standard. In the architectural studio Createrra he mainly concentrates questions concerning passive house standard and natural building materials. In cooperation with the Lithuanian company EcoCocon he is developing a modular building system with the use of straw. His visions are cost effective, high quality passive houses built from natural materials.
Hugues Delcourt is the Coordinator of the Cluster Eco-Construction team for Up Straw. Originally an agricultural engineer, he worked over the last years on the conception of green building as a consultant for certifications and recently as an HVAC engineer. He is programming the construction of the new centre for eco-building in Namur in Belgium.
Wouter Klijn is a board member of the Dutch Straw-bale Building Association. Within the Association his attention is focused on the technical aspects of building with straw, on the international cooperation and on the sharing of knowledge and teaching of straw construction methods. About 10 years ago, he was involved in an association that wanted to develop an ecovillage in the area where he lived. And he came in contact with straw. But now it was “straw bale construction”. After 5 days of the ESBG-2009 in Riemst-Belgium, he found himself addicted to this beautiful material.
Jakub Zucha-Wihan’s professional career as a Civil Engineer began in 1996 – upon receiving a Diploma from the Czech Technical University in Prague. But finding passion in his profession didn’t happen until 2002 when he met Barbara Jones at a European Strawbale Building conference. He has been promoting and practising straw bale building around the world with many different strawbale building professionals initially but realises that he keeps being totally inspired by Straw Works and the School of Natural Building. They allow him to take part in something very rare & precious – in something much larger than building with straw…
Richard Dormandy became a vicar in South London in 1989 and for the past 30 years has been involved in personal, spiritual, and social repair and renewal. On April Fool’s Day 2017, Richard’s church near Brixton began leading the community in digging out the foundations for the largest urban straw bale building in Europe. So far, the shell of the main hall has been built, and by the end of 2019 the kitchen, plant room and link will connect the annex to the church. 2020 will focus on the entrance, basement, and stairwell, at the end of which the facility will be basically usable. 2021 will be the year of fitting out. £630k of our £850k budget has been raised, mostly through sacrificial donations by church members.

Martin Twamley is UK Technical Manager of Steico UK Ltd and has 25 years’ experience within the Construction industry having worked for an Architectural practice, a national material supply company and now as the UK Technical Manager of STEICO, who are Europe’s largest producer of wood fibre based materials. With a degree in Environmental Sciences he has a keen interest in Sustainable and Natural building processes and his background gives him a unique understanding of the requirements within this competitive and growing sector.