It’s very easy to say: “Pig ark? We could build it out of pallets.” I know this because I’ve heard it said. And testing my theory of ‘Clare is invariably right in the end so why not just skip to the bit where I agree with her?’ I agreed.

I could tell you about removing ring nails without breaking the precious pallet wood. Or without bending the nails, so you can re-use them immediately. Or about painting wood treatment on marine-ply floor by candle-light because the pigs are arriving the next day. Or about hitting your thumb with a hammer – hard – twice – and still walking home at dusk feeling like you’re having one of the most fantastic days of your life.

But I won’t.

Because that would deprive you of the joys of finding these things out for yourself. Or not. (Whichever comes sooner.) So I’ll just show you the finished product and tell you that I am more tired than I have been for a very long time.

And stronger. And younger looking.

Ark One is made almost entirely from Found Things. I did buy 8mm marine ply for the floor, anti-water and anti-pest treatment, and some nuts and bolts, because this ark is made to break down into its component parts. For cleaning, and transporting into the woods. (More on that in a few months.)

Here’s the front, with chicken mesh holding in the straw stuffing:

Here’s the back, with our new residents rooting around:

And here’s a beautiful thing Clare made to keep our horse shit happy:

Talking of Pepito, the vet saw him the other day and told Clare we should build a shelter for the winter because he’s getting on a bit.

“Field shelter?” she said. “We could build it out of cordwood.”