How We Do It
Since 2008 we have been building cob ovens, storytelling benches and other cob structures with and for schools, city farms, community growing spaces and other special-interest groups. We also run team-building days and provide ways for organisations to fulfil corporate social responsibility objectives. We are the only organisation of our kind dedicated to using cob building as a way to engage and regenerate communities in London.
We are passionate about working with communities and with clay – in particular London clay because it’s readily available and too often destined for landfill. We use cob because it’s enjoyable and easy to work with – and egalitarian: Anyone can get involved, from a 4-year-old to a granny. We work with our hands – and feet, and tarps, with no machines or specialist tools. This makes our projects very safe and accessible to all ages and abilities.
We aim to engage local communities in a creative building process using as many recycled materials as possible. Bringing community together in this way is not only fun and educational for the participants, but it makes our projects sustainable and low-impact, with an emphasis on creating and not consuming. It’s all about getting back to nature and close to the earth – literally.
Cob Ovens – A wonderful and straightforward way to build and great occasion to bring folks together to share food, ideas and to raise future funds with donations for pizzas, breads and stews.
Cob Benches – Whether you want to provide colourful outdoor seating or want an inspiring place to read stories to children, we work with you to design and build a cob bench that is full of character. If you are a growing group, we can use the process of building a bench as part of a Permaculture Design Course.
Cob Structures – Cob is amazingly versatile. With sufficient time, funds and volunteers, it can be used to build structures as substantial as a community centre (see Meadow Orchard Project), houses, shelters, or out buildings.
What can we do?
Build cob ovens that can be used to engage your local community
Create sculpted benches for storytelling
Offer courses, demos and talks
Run workshops exploring clay as both a building and a creative material
Work with special needs groups using clay and sculpting as a way to feed the mind and soul
Put on special building events such as ‘Music and Mud’ and ‘Mud and Mindfulness’ days
Why work with us?
Working with cob is a wonderfully unique experience and deeply rewarding. It brings people together and inspires a sense of joy, connection and community.
We work flexibly and can offer a range of options to suit your budget.
We offer a range of teaching styles to suit your group’s needs, abilities and interests. We can also supply trainers who have Permaculture Design certificates.
Our expertise ensures projects are completed on time and to budget and are compliant with UK legislation and building regulations.
"Every school should explore the wonders of cob with Cob in the Community!"
"Cob in the Community and Linda were an absolute pleasure to work with. A real 'can do' attitude, lots of fun and a wonderful cob oven, thank you."
Oasis Nature Reserve
"It couldn’t have been better, so much shared learning, so many new people, and all excited to be involved and eager for the next project. This is community engagement at its most creative and energetic!"
Crown Lane Children's Centre