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On the 15th of May 2023 the long-awaited office rebuild began with the demolition of our existing offices. For the duration, all of our staff were working in the (fairly cramped) Meeting Room built in 2011 by Future Proof Building with a legacy from Norman Alderson.

The rebuild is being funded by legacies from the late Peter Blood and others, and built by Future Proof Building who build timber frame buildings using local timber where possible, which enables them to produce structures quickly and efficiently with precise detailing, maximum insulation and very energy-efficient buildings that are consistent with passive design principle. Huge thanks must go to Daren Thomas of A-Tec Design for designing the building and doing the drawings for the planning application and building control.
We are truly grateful for everyone’s support.

We plan to record the building process throughout and will be posting pictures regularly.

Bot Office before demolition

The old Barn Owl Trust offices before demolition

Day 1

They began with the old staff Team Room.

Day 1 (2) Day 1 (1)





Day 2

Then they started on the Admin office,Day 2 (2) Day 2 (1)






and reached the roof.Day 3 (1) Day 3 (2)





Day 3

The Admin Office has gone.Day 4 (4) Day 4 (2)





Day 4

Day 4 (5) Day 4 (1)By the end of day 4 only the floors were left.





Much of the material has been reclaimed and everything possible will be recycled.

Day 5 Day 5 2 Day 5





Week 2 – Day 6

The levelling began and our (donated) digger came into its own.Day 6




Day 9

Day 10Some of the shuttering boxes for the new foundation support pads (made from reclaimed timber) are now in position.






By early June we had the block work in position and by the 15th they had been filled and the ground between them smoothed over. You can see from the photographs how stony the ground is here. There is now a wait for the steel supports for the floor to arrive.8th june 2023 15th June 2023







On the 30th the steel arrived and by the end. of the day they were in place. On Monday 3rd July there was wood on the steel and the first uprights could be seen.

3rd July 2023 30th June 2023






The framework was going up fast – 4th & 5th July.

Build 5th July 2023 Build 4th July 2023







More of the framework was up on the 6th and the first sheets of waferboard went up on the 10th July.

10th July 2023 (2)6th July 2023







The view from the LLP on the 10th, you can see the Meeting Room where all the staff are working on the right and our solar panels in the foreground.

10th july 2023 (1)

On the 12th the first load of concrete beams for the floor arrived and the builders began to lay them and they began work on one of the internal partitions. By the morning of the 13th it looked like this.

13th july 2023 (1) 13th july 2023 (2)







By the end of the day on the 13th the beam over the front windows was in position and a lot of the floor was down, making it easier to move around. The space is really starting to take shape now.13th july 3 2023

By the 17th most of the floor was down, just waiting for another delivery of blocks. Then they started on the roof beams, by the end of the 20th the largest part of the building had all its beams.

On the 21st the beams for the conservation team office went in.

22nd july 2023 (1)

Over the next week the roof noggins went in, and the interior boarding went up. On the 31st July it looked like this.

On the 3rd and 4th August the roof boards went on.

Although it was quite dark inside, we took some pictures of the inside space after the roof went on.

On the 7th the first of the window frames went in and on the 8th the framework was added to the roof edges. Insulation arrived on the 9th and by the end of the day some of the walls were insulated.

More insulation arrived on the 10th and more window frames went in.

Later in the day some of the glass was fitted and the roof was insulated.

On the 11th the roof was covered with Sarnafill which has a life expectancy of 40+ years. The following week the skylights went on the Conservation Room making it a dry space.

The following week the builders started adding rigid insulation, breather paper and battens for the larch boarding outside.

Inside, the plumbing and wiring was beginning.

Week 15 – August

Work continued outside adding the rigid insulation, breather paper and battens. Scaffolding arrived and soffit boards were added under the roof overhang. Facia boards were cut to match the Meeting Room, using local larch planks sourced from the Teign Valley.

Week 16 – August

By the 30th most of the facia boards were up and by the 1st, the rodent-proofing, to stop anything moving into the walls, was complete and we had guttering over the main entrance.

Week 17- September

With the start of September, better weather arrived. On Monday 4th the final facia boards and gutter were fitted on the Meeting Room side of the building. Inside the fire alarm system wiring was being installed.

More materials arrived on the 5th. First, we had the insulation for the floors. Then the Siberian Larch cladding, to match the Meeting Room, for the exterior, almost a kilometre of 150mm boards.

Inside the breather paper was being taped up on the ceiling ready for the plasterboard to be fitted.5th september (2)

On the 6th the cladding was started on the back of the building.

By the end of the 7th they were most of the way up the back wall.



Week 18

At the beginning of the week the back wall was almost finished and they began work on the next one. Progress was rapid and by the end of the 12th the cladding almost reached the windows and the top of the door.

On the 15th they began insulating the floor in preparation for the under-floor heating due to be fitted the following week. First came the plastic damp-proof layer and then the insulation. By the end of the day they had done the Conservation and Admin rooms.

Week 19

On the 18th September they began work on insulating the remaining floors, starting with the loos.

On the 19th the plumbers were back to start on the underfloor heating whilst outside the cladding continued, with a break on the 20th due to atrocious weather.

Week 20

Work progressed well on completing the outside cladding this week and starting the small balcony outside the Conservation and Admin Office doors. On the 28th the concrete was laid inside over the underfloor heating pipes.



Week 21

Once the concrete floors were dry the ceilings throughout the building were fitted with plasterboard.

Week 22

Fire regulations mean that all the outside walls also have to be lined on the inside with plasterboard before cladding with the pine panelling that will be the finished surface. The plasterers arrived at the end of the week and plastered the ceilings of the toilet area and the Admin Office.

Windowsills were fitted and the doorway and stairs to the Meeting Room were created.

Week 23

Painting the plastered ceilings was started in the Admin room.

On Wednesday the plasterers were back and the pine panelling was being cut for the walls.

The bathroom area was the first to be panelled

And now for the Admin Room

24th October – kitchen ready for panelling and Conservation room started. By the end of October the panelling was complete in the Conservation Office

On the 1st November the kitchen panelling was complete and the doors began going on in the bathroom area. On the 2nd all the doors were fitted in the bathroom and the one to the heat pump cupboard in the kitchen.

The framing around the window in the Conservation room was completed and the entrance corridor was now panelled on both sides.

On the 6th November the Air Source Heat Pump arrived along with the water cylinder for the Heat Pump cupboard. Meanwhile the plasterboard was going up in the loos.

On the 7th panoramic photos of the Conservation and Admin rooms were taken. Plumbing was happening in the loos and electric sockets were being fitted.

On the 8th the loos were ready for plastering and the electrician was in again. By the 10th we had working lights in the entrance corridor, the loos were plastered, more of the heat pump gubbins was fitted in the cupboard and the wiring for the electrical circuit board and the network was in position.

All of the pine walls needed 3 coats of intumescent (fire retardant) varnish, so that was started on the 10th and continued into the following week. The kitchen was ordered on the 13th – thank you Howdens for a significant discount. The final bits of plastering were being done on the 14th and the door frames were being varnished. Kitchen assembly began on the 16th and the 17th. Simon, the electrician was here all week. On the 19th volunteer Nick came in to begin painting the bathroom doors, red, blue, green and yellow for the shower room, and the door to the heat pump cupboard (green).

Whilst the rebuild has been going on our staff have been working in the Meeting Room with the Conservation Team on one side and the Admin Team on the other. Two of the CT team have been working from home and we’ve now squeezed another one in on this side. Only one of the six dogs in the office on this day can be seen in the picture. They are all looking forward to moving into the new office!

Conservation Team

5/8 of the Conservation Team

The kitchen cupboard doors went on the week beginning the 20th and the sink was fitted. Lights were working in the Conservation Office; more work was done on the heat pump and on the 23rd the Admin room work surfaces were installed. The shower was fitted and sinks appeared in toilets by the 24th and the electric connection was moved from the Meeting Room to the new distribution board in the new Admin office necessitating a power cut for several hours.

Work began on the outside steps by the main entrance on the 27th and inside the office the thermostats to control the under-floor heating temperature were fitted in each room. Outside lights were fitted on the 28th and on the 29th our outbuildings had the power reconnected and our aviary light were working again, they had all been disconnected in April.

By the end of the week, the 1st December, the outside steps had been filled, the steps to the balcony had been started, the electrical distribution board was completed and work had started on the cupboard to house the board and the server. The underfloor heating was commissioned and switched on.

During the week beginning the 4th, the access ramp to the main entrance was built and the steps were almost completed. With the underfloor heating working the building was warm, reaching 21°C. The cupboard for the electrics was finished and all the rooms were cleared in readiness for the flooring, due to be installed the following week.

The flooring company arrived on the 11th and scraped up the floors in preparation for the ‘smoothing and levelling compound’ which is applied before the flooring can go down. Unfortunately the concrete floor hadn’t dried out enough despite the underfloor heating being on since the 1st and the humidity was too high to start the work. It has now been delayed until January which means that the toilets and the skirting boards have to wait too. We had hoped to move in over the Xmas break but the delay means that its likely to now be mid January.

It’s now 2024 and we are almost there.3rd january

We have had some issues with the fire alarm system over the Christmas break, but the installers came in to fix it on the 2nd. The folk from the flooring company also arrived on the 2nd January and began laying the gloop on the concrete that goes below the vinyl flooring. With the under floor heating on all over the Christmas break the new building is wonderfully warm.  The floorers were here until 5th and then back on the 8th. On the 5th Jo began putting in the posts for the railings around the outside steps and ramp.  On Saturday 6th HCO David and IT Alan spent the day moving the server, hubs and routers into the new cupboard in the Admin Room and making sure all the network points, phone line and 4G connection would work when everyone was back to work on Monday. New overhead cables had to be brought to the building and routed through to the new hubs. Unfortunately, we discovered that despite the fix on the 2nd there is still an issue with the fire alarm system so the guys have to come back again.

On the 8th Jo and James were working on the railings outside the office whilst the flooring folk were making progress inside the building.

The work surface was fitted in conservation room and during the week of the 15th January, staff began moving into the new warm workspace. They were delighted to have an energy efficient, warm workspace, no more cold feet and best of all, no more going out in the cold and rain to use the compost loos! We also have our Meeting Room back, so have somewhere to welcome visitors, run workshops, have meetings, and offer refreshments to the folk that attend our LLP and other events.

We were delighted to hold an official opening ceremony for our new offices on Monday 26th February. Daren from A-Tec Design was invited to cut the ribbon and a cream tea was provided in the Norman Alderson Meeting Room for staff, volunteers, Trustees and all those involved in this project. David Ramsden, Head of Conservation, gave a speech and hand-made wooden leaves bearing the names of the three kind supporters who left us legacies and enabled this project to happen, were placed upon our Memory Tree.

Congratulations to all our team who worked and coped extremely well under adverse circumstances for 10 months. Our grateful thanks go to Jo, Joe and James from Future Proof Building who built such a beautiful space, Daren Thomas of A-Tec Design for designing the building and doing the drawings for the planning application and building control, Simon the electrician who spent a lot of time here, and all the other tradespeople involved in the project.

Special thanks must also go to Peter Blood, Arthur Cooper Stafford and Maureen Theresa Bird who were thoughtful enough to leave generous legacies to the Trust and make the whole project possible. The new office has provided the Trust with a secure and comfortable working environment for staff and volunteers for years to come.

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