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. £15.00. This tour will run twice: 9am – 12 noon & again 1.30pm – 4.30pm 

Long Tour: whole day, with lunch included, visiting straw bale buildings in Preston, Halifax and Bradford. £25.00 This tour leaves Todmorden at 8.30am & returns at 6pm. 


DAY TWO Friday 16 August: Straw Goes Public 

(Running Order and Contents may change between now and August)

Arrival & tea/coffee 

Welcome & introduction – Barbara Jones & Eileen Sutherland 

‘Incredible Edible Todmorden’ – Mary Clear 

‘Passivhaus Design with prefabricated straw bale panels’  – Bjorn Kierulf, Ecococon 

Coffee & Tea

‘Public procurement of straw bale buildings: a step up or the straw that breaks the camel’s back!’ – Murray Davidson, Hastings Borough Council

‘Car Tyre Foundations for Public Buildings’ – Jakub Wihan 

‘Living Buildings – an introduction to the Living Building Challenge (LBC)’ – Martin Brown, Fairsnape 

Lunch & networking 

Afternoon: There will be a choice of 4 workshops during this time: 

  • Using straw bale panels demonstration – Bjorn Kierulf
  • Wrapping demonstration Wouter Klijn, 
  • Living Building Challenge  Martin Brown  
  • Structural design & construction materials for natural buildings – Carlo Micheletti 


‘Research into the use of load bearing straw bales in public buildings in Rosny sous Bois – Yannig 

Yes, We Wood!” – Gauthier Claramunt, Dauphins Architecture Julien Coeurdevey, 180° Ingenierie

‘The Health & Well-Being Benefits of Wood Fibre Insulation’ – Martin Twamley, Steico 

‘Case study of the building at Plankstetten Abbey, Bavaria’ – Elke Kirst, Hirner&Riehl, Germany

The conference day ends and you will have free time in the evening when 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 and surrounding area. 


DAY THREE Saturday 17 August: Straw in Communities 

Arrival & tea and coffee 

Community regeneration using straw’ – Glynis Kirkwood-Warren

‘The STEP programme’ – Herbert Gruber, Austrian Straw Bale Network 

Coffee & Tea 

Building as an Amateur’Richard Dormandy, Tulse Hill Neighbourhood Hub, London

High School of Norte de Bon-Secours: feedback on the first straw bale school in Belgium’ – Hugues Delcourt, Eco-Construction Cluster, Belgium

‘How to work with community groups to deliver co-housing’ – Fredi Friederike, STROH Unlimited, Germany

Green Mortgages & how to get them’  

Lunch & networking 

Afternoon: There will be a choice of workshops during this time: 

  • Community Land Trusts & self build
  • Costing your build
  • Case study of self builders
  • Clay workshops
  • STEP 


Real Case Studies from Real People: to be confirmed, watch this space…

Round up and wall notes 

The conference day ends but the fun doesn’t! 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 18th August  Straw Sharing 

Arrival & tea & coffee 

Today there is a unique chance to hear what’s happening in the wonderful world of straw bale building right across Europe (plus Canada)!

  • UK 
  • Portugal
  • Canada  
  • Netherlands
  • Belgium 
  • Estonia 
  • France  
  • Spain
  • Italy
  • Austria
  • Poland  
  • Denmark
  • Slovakia 
  • Germany

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

This final day is 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 and 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 then this day will provide you with an insight into how straw bale builders work, where to find them and to identify who you’d like to work with. If you are a representative of a public authority, an architect or a planner, you will have time on this day to discover how to make the most of building out of straw.