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SRUC Students’ Project Pushes the Final Frontiers of Conservation

Published Wednesday, 14th November 2012 in Study at SRUC news


Countryside Management students from SRUC Oatridge are using Earthship technology in a bid to enhance the local environment.

The project will see them building a wildlife hide at Binny Craig from old tyres.

The concept of the Earthship originated in New Mexico in the USA, these inspiring buildings are constructed with waste materials that maintain a constant temperature all year round.

The fifteen students, who are all studying for a Countryside Management HNC, decided to use the Earthship theory to build the hide with a wall designed to allow the public to view the birds that live on the site. The Earthship will face south and be designed to allow sunlight to penetrate in a way that allows the hide to maintain the same temperature.

Hazel Templeton, one of the students, says: “This is a great way to use unwanted materials to create something else that is positive for the environment and for the community”.

SRUC are experienced when it comes to working with waste having just last year burnt rotten wood and recycled materials to reduce a dump on the hanging side of Binny Craig, a hill formed by a basalt plug, between Uphall and Linlithgow.

As part of their course students are challenged to make a difference to their local environment and after working on Binny Craig last year it was clear that more could be done to improve the site, especially with the large amount of old tyres traditionally used by farmers for silage.

It was then this year’s students approached Earthship Fife – home of Britain’s first Earthship – and met Greetan Van Der Dussen, a volunteer from this organisation, to discuss the potential of building a wildlife hide at Binny Craig. Greetan assured the students that the project was viable and his enthusiasm for the idea built up their confidence in it.

Work on the hide has already begun and it is due to be finished in May 2013, when the students complete their HNC.

Sarah Reay, Countryside Management course tutor, says: “This is a large project and what has been achieved so far has been phenomenal”.   

For more information please contact Emilia Barrero, Marketing Officer, Oatridge Campus on 01506 860 400 or email

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