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Amazing eco-home costs family just £27,000

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The exterior: The eco home took four years to build (Pic. Grand Designs)

The exterior: The eco home took four years to build (Pic. Grand Designs)

BEGINNING with just £500, Simon and Jasmine Dale built a three-bedroom family home made with recycled goods and reclaimed material that’s being called ‘the cheapest house ever built in the Western Hemisphere’.

Living in the sustainable community of Lammas, in rural Pembrokeshire, Simon and Jasmine’s eco-home has been featured on the TV programme ‘Grand Designs’.

The home, made with reclaimed materials including glass, timber and insulating sheep’s wool, encompasses the family’s dream of living off the land with their children, Elfie and Cosmo.

Lammas is a pioneering sustainable village and in return for the right to build on the open farmland, Jasmine and Simon will have to prove that they had become self-sufficient on the seven acre plot within five years. If not, they will be forced to move on.

Featured on Wednesday’s (Oct 26) episode of Grand Designs, presenter Kevin McCloud told viewers: “This won’t be a cramped hobbit house, but a spacious, solid, three bed, low impact family home.”

Simon excavated 12 feet into the hillside in order to build a retaining wall along the back of the property, made from sandbags filled with excavated earth.

The floors of the eco-home are made from rammed earth, polished and hardened with linseed oil. The structure of the building comprises of round timber poles grown locally. The trees were then felled, prepared and cut by Simon.

The same poles were used to construct the roof, which was then covered in a damp proof membrane and insulated with sheep’s wool. A layer of grass was then planted on top for further insulation.

Due to delays caused by Welsh winter weather, the construction of the ‘Hobbit home’ took four years to complete.

In 2012, Simon had to postpone work on the eco home due to the wet weather; however, in the spring of 2013, he begun again, constructing the retaining walls made from hundreds of yellow sacks bought from eBay for 7p each. The sacks were filled with clay, sand and fine stone.

Simon and Jasmine planned to move their family into the property by autumn 2013 but, due to requirements of living at Lammas, they first had to set up a small business.

The family made the decision to postpone the main building work whilst they constructed greenhouses. During this time, Jasmine ran horticultural courses and Simon took on consultancy work in order to increase their original £500 fund.

Four years after beginning the project, Jasmine and Simon estimate that their eco home cost £27,000 to build, including the costs of £5,500 on sheep’s wool insulation and £5,000 work of vegetables used to feed volunteers.

Following the completion of their project, Simon commented: “I don’t think I could quantify it, but I can feel it in my heart when I walk around at the end of the day and see the bats flying round and hear the birds sing.

“It’s been hard and I wasn’t asking for an easy life. I like challenge. To put in a hard day’s graft and be tired at the end of the day. That exhaustion is a nice feeling.”

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Rider of a motorbike taken to hospital following collision with a car

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A COLLISION which involved a car and a motorbike on Friday afternoon (Jun 18) saw one person being transferred to hospital.

Dyfed-Powys Police have confirmed that the collision, which happened at approximately 1.17pm at Dwrbach, Scleddau, involved a white Seat Ibiza and a black Suzuki motorbike.

The Herald understands that the accident happened at a junction near The Gate Inn public house.

The incident caused the road to be closed while emergency services dealt with the situation.

The rider of the motorbike was transferred to Glangwili Hospital for treatment.

A Police spokesperson said: “Dyfed-Powys Police attended a two vehicle road traffic collision which occurred in Scleddau, Fishguard early Friday afternoon, June18th 2021.

“The collision involved a white Seat Ibiza and a black Suzuki motorbike. The rider of the motorbike was taken to hospital.

“The road was closed for emergency services to deal with the collision.”

A rapid response vehicle and an ambulance were dispatched to the scene.

A Welsh Ambulance Service spokesperson said: “We were called to attend a road traffic collision involving a motorcycle at Dwrbach, Fishguard at 1.17pm on Friday 18 June. We sent one rapid response vehicle and one emergency ambulance. One patient was taken to Glangwili Hospital for further treatment.”

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Residents urged to be alert to Covid-19 symptoms following cluster of cases

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PUBLIC HEALTH WALES, Pembrokeshire County Council and Hywel Dda University Health Board are urging members of the public to be alert to COVID-19 symptoms following the identification of a cluster of cases in the Tenby area.

The 22 confirmed cases are linked to social and sporting events and local schools and have generated a large number of contactssince the first cases were confirmed on Saturday, 12 June. 

A number of individuals, including pupils, are currently isolating and close contacts of the positive cases continue to be traced.

From Monday 21 June to Sunday 4 July, a mobile testing unit will be available for local residents in and around Tenby to access if they have symptoms.

This is based at Salterns Car Park, Marsh Road, Tenby, SA70 8DU.  To book a test visit the UK portal https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or ring 119.

Residents can protect themselves and others from Coronavirus by remaining at least two metres away from everyone else, washing their hands regularly, and by wearing a face covering where required. 

The virus disperses in a well ventilated environment, so opening windows and allowing fresh air to circulate is another way to keep ourselves safe.

Residents should take up the vaccine when offered, and self-isolate and get a test if they or anyone in their household develop symptoms.

As well as the three most common symptoms of Coronavirus – a fever, a new continuous cough, or a loss/change of taste and smell – people with any of the following, wider symptoms that are persistent and/or unusual for them are also strongly encouraged to get a PCR test:

  • Mild summer cold symptoms – including sore throat, runny nose, headache
  • Flu-like symptoms, including myalgia (muscle ache or pain); excessive tiredness; persistent headache; runny nose or blocked nose; persistent sneezing; sore throat and/or hoarseness, shortness of breath or wheezing
  • Generally feeling unwell and a history of being in contact with a known COVID-19 case
  • Any new or change in symptoms following a previous negative test

If you have any of the above symptoms, even if you have been vaccinated, please stay home and book a PCR test through the UK portal https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or ringing 119.

When booking your PCR test, you will also be asked about your symptoms: if you have wider summer cold or flu-like symptoms as described above, rather than the classic three symptoms, choose ‘None of these symptoms’ and then choose one of the following options to enable you to complete the booking:

• My local council or health protection team has asked me to get a test, even though I do not have symptoms or

• A GP or other healthcare professional has asked me to get a test.

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Paul Davies submits views to Health Board Consultation

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Senedd Member Paul Davies has fed his views into Hywel Dda University Health Board’s consultation, “Building a Healthier Future after Covid-19.”

In response to the Health Board’s proposals, Mr Davies has made it clear that he opposes any movements to centralise or downgrade services at Withybush hospital.

Mr Davies said, “I cannot emphasise how important this consultation is and so I’d urge everyone across Pembrokeshire to read through the Health Board’s proposals and make their views known. In my submission, I’ve made it crystal clear that the people of Pembrokeshire should not have to travel further for vital health services.

“I want to see Hywel Dda start prioritising Pembrokeshire by investing in services at Withybush hospital so that it can support people living and working across the county.

“There’s still time to feed into the consultation and have your say on the Health Board’s plans. The deadline is Monday, June 21 and you can find more information here – https://www.haveyoursay.hduhb.wales.nhs.uk/building-a-healthier-future-after-covid-19.” 

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