What better place to Inspire them........What better place to learn?

What better place than The National Trust’s own Footprint building, its eco-base at St Catherine’s Woods near Windermere in the Lake District National Park?

Built in 2006 the Footprint is a fine example of sustainable development in action and provides a fantastic resource for exploring and learning about the world first hand. The Discovery Programmes, themed around personal and public actions and choices and the impacts on landscape and environment, are a brilliant introduction to sustainability for Primary school groups (with the option to travel free to the Footprint by train from Lancaster). For older pupils and students the Footprint itself is a fascinating and stimulating case-study and a great subject for exploring issues surrounding sustainability through a programme tailored to your group. Shorter visits and talks can provide thought provoking experiences for a variety of parties.

The Footprint was the first building in Cumbria to be constructed with straw bale walls, and the first of this kind built anywhere by the National Trust. It's a beautiful and inspirational space. The low environmental impact development also has used car tyre foundations; local timber frames, floors and walkways; an oak shake roof; clay and lime plasters; highly efficient glazing and sheep’s wool insulation.

As well as its funky design and green materials, the construction was innovative in the way in which it was built. The National Trust used a conventional building company for the majority of construction but where possible within the schedule, opportunities for training, skills development and hands-on involvement were created, through undertaking aspects of the building as practical training courses and volunteer opportunities. Hundreds of people lent a hand this way, and hundreds more visited the building site on an organised event.

For up to date school and other news, and information of activities at the Footprint, check out the NewsBlog page which includes upcoming public events.

Photos taken during the Footprint's build in 2006 including the courses and volunteer work are found on the on the Construction pages, along with some background information and facts. Teachers and group leaders and students interested in the learning opportunities and resources available should check out the Learning pages. Information about renting the Footprint for your own event or meeting are found on the Room Hire page. Finally, the Estate gallery shows why St Catherine’s is such a wonderful place to visit with your group.