After first working in childcare, Barbara trained as a carpenter and joiner, specialising in roofing as she loved the challenging work and lovely views. In 1989 she started Amazon Nails, a women’s roofing company, and in 1998 she received a QEST Living Earth Scholarship to continue learning about lime plastering and cob building.
Barbara now runs Straw Works – Naturally Healthy Design, and the School of Natural Building and she and her team create beautiful and durable residential and commercial buildings using straw bales and natural materials. All their designs are cement-free (especially the foundations) and zero carbon, and can be prefabricated. Based in Yorkshire and Devon, they provide full architectural design, planning and building regs, consultancy on straw bale projects and practical and theoretical training in straw bale building and natural plastering.