The RSPB has built a new training and education centre near Aylesbeare in East Devon, under the guidance of East Devon Nature Reserve Warden Toby Taylor.
The centre is an impressive log cabin, built from trees felled at a nearby reserve. It offers accommodation for self-funded RSPB volunteers who stay for between 6 to 15 months, saving money for the charity which previously housed them in a rented cottage. Adjoining the accommodation is a training area and meeting room.
This is an environmentally friendly site, in keeping with the ethos of the RSPB. The site is heated using a biomass boiler and much of the electrical supply comes via solar panels. Water for flushing and washing machines is provided by a 4,800 litre rainwater harvesting tank.
During the tender process for electrical supply, Devondale secured the contract after visiting the site and offering a competitive design service and price package to provide sockets, cabling, and interior and exterior lighting including low energy LED lighting. Devondale worked alongside local electrician Lewis Voss.
Mr Taylor said: “I spoke to electricians early on, and Lewis was the one who really grasped the concept. I contacted Devondale as soon as I got the go-ahead, and was delighted to accept the tender – after consultation they came up with good product options within the budget.”
The project included unusual LED strip lighting running up either side of the beams in the cabin’s mezzanine meeting room. Sockets had to be wired into the beams, a challenging specification that Lewis was able to achieve.
Account Manager Kevin Coles liaised closely with the Devondale team in Exeter to source products that matched the vision for the cabin at the most competitive prices, enabling the RSPB to have high spec products that fell within the budget.