Footprint - National Trust

Photo courtesy of Cumbria County Council
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The Footprint is the first straw bale building in Cumbria, and the first for the National Trust. It is a low environmental impact development and now its up it provides a beautiful and inspirational indoor base for the groups who come to St Catherine’s near Windermere on an educational visit, demonstrating sustainable development in practice. It’s a highly innovative project, not only in the choice of materials that were used to construct it (straw walls, used car tyre foundations, sheeps wool insulation, timber frames, floors and walkways and an oak shingle roof), but in the approach taken to getting it built.

Where possible within the schedule, opportunities for training, skills development and hands on involvement were created, through undertaking aspects of the building as practical courses. A number of National Trust staff and hundreds of volunteers helped out in all manner of ways on the building.

Venue Type:

Environmental or ecological centre, Garden, parklands or rural site

Opening hours

Please check the National Trust website before visiting.

Admission charges

Charges for bookings vary and are available upon request


  • National Trust

Additional info

Facilities are available only through prior booking

Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

Leaving a Footprint

Full or half day workshop for Key Stage 1 and 2. Considers sustainable building materials and their properties, design, choices and decision-making using our new and inspiring eco-classroom as a stimulus for learning.

How to obtain

Call 015394 88409 or email for more information.

Sonic Postcard

5 minute film explaining how this unique straw bale building was constructed.

Who Lives in a Place Like This?

Full day workshop for Key Stage 1 and 2, covering natural habitats, shelters, choices and basic needs in human and wildlife systems.

How to obtain

Call 015394 88409 or email for more information.

Footprint - National Trust
St Catherine's
LA23 1NH




01539 488409

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.