Create, Connect, Cob. | Cob in the Community

What We Do

We are a not-for-profit community interest company of natural builders who create community structures in London using local hands and local materials – primarily cob.

First Hand Experiences
  • Courses
  • Events
Surrey Docks Sculpted Wall
  • Courses
  • Renders
  • Roofs
  • Sculpted Structures
Lauriston School Waste Bench
  • Courses
  • Renders
  • Roofs
  • Sculpted Structures
Brighton Permaculture 3 Day Course
  • Courses
  • Events
  • Ovens
  • Renders
  • Rocket Stoves
Castle Climbing Centre Cob Oven
  • Courses
  • Events
  • Ovens
Play, Sew & Grow Cob Oven
  • Courses
  • Ovens
  • Renders
Telegraph Hill Cob Oven
  • Courses
  • Ovens
  • Renders
Robin Hood Community Garden
  • Courses
  • Ovens
  • Renders
  • Roofs
  • Sculpted Structures
Vauxhall City Farm
  • Renders
  • Sculpted Structures
St. Joseph’s African Cob Hut & Oven
  • Events
  • Ovens
  • Roofs
  • Sculpted Structures
Meadow Orchard – Community Centre
  • Courses
  • Ovens
  • Renders
  • Roofs
  • Sculpted Structures
The Gaia Gallery
  • Rocket Stoves
  • Sculpted Structures
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.

Our Passions

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.

Our Ethos

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.

Our Products

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.

Linda Royles
FOUNDER / DIRECTOR
Linda founded Cob in the Community in 2008 because of her combined interests in sculpting, sustainability and passion for bringing communities together. She completed courses in dry stone walling, lime plastering, Tadelakt and straw bale building. Linda has a certificate in Permaculture Design and is also keen to integrate cob building into the National Curriculum, meditation, music, and family building days.
Dorothy Atcheson
Director
As well as Linda’s life partner, Dorothy loves Cob in the Community’s magical ability to bring people of all ages and backgrounds together in the amazingly soulful and engaging activity that is building with cob. Preferring not to get her own hands too dirty, Dorothy mostly assists on desk-related activities and facilitating trustee meetings.
Alistair Stephens
Cob Mason & Design
Ali Stephens lends his expertise in the form of woodwork, building shelters for ovens and his amazing Pallet Furniture, and is experienced in cob, strawbale and earthship constructions. A skilled graphic design, Ali designed and put together this site and has a wide selection of other work on his portfolio site; www.alistephens.co.uk
Ali Stephens DesignPallet Furniture
Louis Rutherford
Cob Mason
Louis Rutherford joined CIC in 2014. Having studied various forms of natural building with The Brighton Permaculture Trust and Low Carbon Trust at their base in Brighton, Louis went on to found The Gaia Gallery project. He completed his Permaculture Design Certificate in 2013 and holds a MSc in Urban Regeneration from UCL.
The Gaia Gallery
Rachel Dring
Newsletter Editor
Rachel is inspired by how CIC brings people together to create connection with place and materials as well as the potential for low-impact construction on a large-scale. Also the founding director of a sustainable food business, she brings experience and leadership in social enterprise start-up and developing databases.
Dianne Ceresa
Communications
Attracted by the irresistible energy that surrounds everything that CIC does, and by its appeal to both community groups and businesses, Dianne contributes to its communications and marketing. Working in sustainable travel, Dianne relishes the opportunity to be part of an organisation with such a strong local London focus.
Anne Tiedmann
Finance & Strategy
Anne has been involved with CIC since her first build in 2010 where it became clear that it was time to balance corporate life with getting her hands dirty. The medium of cob, working with your hands (and feet) combined with engagement with diverse communities young and old is rewarding. Anne works with Linda on governance and finance.
Radhika Bhagat
Development & Planning
Radhika specializes in leadership development, behavioral assessment, succession planning and organizational change. Radhika’s career to date has taken her across Europe, Asia and Africa. Radhika advises clients operating in fast growing, developing and challenging environments.

Clay Render | Lime Render | Tadelakt Render

We also teach rendering courses!