Carymoor Environmental Trust is an environmental education and nature conservation charity, providing inspirational outdoor learning for schools and community groups.
The Trust was set up in 1996 by a small group of enthusiasts and carries out pioneering land restoration and habitat creation work on 100 acres of capped landfill just outside Castle Cary in Somerset. This has created a nature reserve with an extensive range of habitats that is used to provide high quality first hand experiences of the natural world.
The Centre is located near the closed landfill site at Dimmer, near Castle Cary. The site provides a powerful comparison between the newly created nature reserve and a working waste site, which includes a Waste Transfer Station operated by Viridor, a compost operation run by Biffa, and landfill gas generation and pollution control by Valencia Waste Management.
Through our education programmes and demonstrations of renewable energy and sustainable buildings, the centre has developed a reputation that exemplifies environmental good practice.
Carymoor was started by Hamish Craig, a retired navy officer and school teacher. Hamish first came to the site in 1996. Great Crested newts had been found and Hamish, who was then chair of the local Wildlife Trust group, was asked how best to protect them. Hamish subsequently worked with Wyvern Waste, who then owned the site, to set up a visitor centre where people could see the landfill site and learn how to live more sustainably.
The main building is constructed with a green timber frame that uses mostly Douglas fir and a little oak. Two of the external walls use chestnut lath and lime render while the rest are timber clad with red cedar. The timber is locally sourced from a sustainably managed woodland. The concrete foundations are minimal because the timber frame has 'stilts' which stand on concrete pads.