I’ve run my own business in Todmorden since 1989, initially a women’s roofing and building company (Amazon Nails) now Straw Works (Architects) and since 2014 also the School of Natural Building. Designed & helped build 2-300 affordable & healthy buildings. Author of ‘Building with Straw Bales’ Currently working with 4 other EU countries on an Interreg funded project to increase the number of public buildings made of straw (Up Straw), writing Building Regs for straw buildings, and finalist in design competition for Homes 2030.
I am also working with EcoCocon straw panels as a way of bringing affordable healthy housing to a wider audience. Founder member of the Alliance of Sustainable Building Products, member of the Building Limes Forum and the Association of Environment Conscious Builders and Women & Manual Trades. Woman of Outstanding Achievement Award (UKRC), Lifetime Achievement Award (Women in Construction). Board member of Todmorden Town Deal Board and Todmorden Learning Centre. Worked with the Sisterhood & After project with British Library on my work in Women’s Liberation Movement.
I’m an entrepreneur, carpenter & joiner, designer, teacher, public speaker, member of the local lesbian community and have starred in Dragon’s Den, Country File, with my work on Grand Designs.