Volunteers at TCV Skelton Grange sculpt cob pizza oven ahead of September open day

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Volunteers are helping sculpt a traditional cob pizza oven ahead of a charity open day at a conservation centre in South East Leeds.

The oven will be the centre piece for TCV Skelton Grange’s Open Day in September and is being crafted with traditional techniques and reclaimed materials.

Six volunteers have started laying the clay foundations on a stone base which will eventually form the shape of a giant dragon’s head.

Rachel, a volunteer at TCV Skelton Grange, was excited to be a part of the project.

She said: “I was surprised to be using glass bottles in the construction but they are perfect for the base because they help insulate and keep the heat in - essential for a good oven.”

The volunteers are hopeful the oven will be finished before the event on Saturday, September 21 when hundreds of visitors are expected to arrive.

The day is an opportunity for the nearby community to experience bushcraft activities for adults and children, enjoy home-made cake and explore the 10-acre reclaimed woodland base on the site of an old power station.

Celebrations will be held with other centres across the country as part of The Big Green Weekend, as The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) charity reaches its 60th Anniversary.

The charity was formed when the first volunteers gathered at Box Hill in Surrey to help protect local wildlife.

The group later became the TCV, which now runs volunteer conservations sessions across the UK.

TCV Skelton Grange is a conservation centre where children and adults go to learn and play in the outdoors.

Children can come on school visits for science and history topics where they experience nature for themselves, such as searching for minibeasts or pond dipping. During the school holidays, the centre runs children’s bushcraft events for eight to 12-year-olds and a summer playscheme.

For more information, visit www.tcv.org.uk/skeltongrange or follow the centre on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SkeltonGrangeEnvironmentCentre.