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Impressive creations battling to be crowned Shed of the Year

2020: Bedouin Tree-Shed by Daniel Holloway

The Bedouin Tree-Shed was crowned Shed of the Year in 2020. It was an eight-year labour of love for expedition organiser Daniel Holloway, who built it around two living tree trunks in his back garden in Blackheath, south London.

When the nation went into lockdown it soon became a sanctuary for the 55-year-old, his wife Beccy, 51, and their children Sam, 12, and 14-year-old Lyza.    

The extraordinary space began life as a conventional garden shed – but has been extended and modified to encompass three levels with a footprint of roughly five metres by five metres.

This Bedouin Tree Shed took eight years to build but it was well worth the effort and is the prize possession of expedition organiser Daniel Holloway

Mr Holloway (pictured) said being in harmony with nature is incredibly important for his family

Mr Holloway (pictured) said being in harmony with nature is incredibly important for his family

It contains a host of treasures from Daniel’s extensive travels through Africa and is built around the trunks of an Ash and an Evergreen Oak.

A wood-burning stove provides comfort during the cold winter months with furniture plundered from skips and reclamation yards. The floor is made of oak planks and follows the contours of the trees inside.

The Bedouin Tree-Shed topped the Nature’s Haven category in a public vote before being awarded the overall title from a panel of judges. Daniel will receive £1,000, a plaque and £100 of Cuprinol products. 

2019: Bux End by Chris Hield

Chris Hield, from Buxton, Derbyshire, took home the acclaimed prize in 2019 for his Lord of the Rings-inspired garden den, Bux End.  The shed, which is built into a hillside, secured the most public votes in the Nature’s Haven category. 

It was then selected as the overall winner, winning Mr Hield a £1,000 cash prize, £100 of Cuprinol products, a giant crown for his creation and a wood plaque.

Chris Hield, from Buxton, Derbyshire, took home the acclaimed prize in 2019 for his Lord of the Rings-inspired garden den, Bux End. The shed, which is built into a hillside, secured the most public votes in the Nature's Haven category

Chris Hield, from Buxton, Derbyshire, took home the acclaimed prize in 2019 for his Lord of the Rings-inspired garden den, Bux End. The shed, which is built into a hillside, secured the most public votes in the Nature’s Haven category  

He said at the time: ‘I’m delighted – and in shock. We are massive Lord of the Rings fans so when we decided to build our own shed we knew it had to be a hobbit hole.

‘It had to fit in with the wildlife and nature that we have cultivated in the rest of our garden so the grass roof was a big feature. Whenever we got any seeds for wild flowers we have just thrown them over the top of the shed and they have thrived.

2018: The Bee Eco Shed by George Smallwood

An eco-friendly, self-sufficient bee shed was crowned Shed of the Year in 2018, beating a converted black cab and an Irish garden pub.  

George Smallwood’s handmade structure is self-watering and houses vegetables, herbs and insects as well as being ascetically pleasing.  

Mr Smallwood, from Sheffield, said winning the 2018 title and a £1,000 cash prize was a ‘welcome surprise’, after beating all of the other competition.

George Smallwood's handmade structure is self-watering and houses vegetables, herbs and insects as well as being ascetically pleasing. Pictured: The Bee Eco Shed

George Smallwood’s handmade structure is self-watering and houses vegetables, herbs and insects as well as being ascetically pleasing. Pictured: The Bee Eco Shed

Mr Smallwood, from Sheffield, said winning the 2018 title and a £1,000 cash prize was a 'welcome surprise', after beating all of the other competition. Pictured: The shed

Mr Smallwood, from Sheffield, said winning the 2018 title and a £1,000 cash prize was a ‘welcome surprise’, after beating all of the other competition. Pictured: The shed

As well as working as a functional shed, on top of the structure, accessible via a set of stairs was a terraced area for Mr Smallwood to enjoy. 

Mr Smallwood said: ‘We hope our shed will inspire others around the UK to create spaces for wildlife in their garden. We’re so proud that our shed has become a habitat for nature in a small urban garden, showing you can always do your bit for making a home for nature.’ 

2017: Mushroom Shed by Benedict Swanborough

Benedict Swanborough, 47, hand-built the winning, wacky shack for 2017 after his daughter Elsie handed him £500 of her own savings and asked him for a treehouse shaped like a mushroom.

Mr Swanborough, of Chiddingfold, Surrey, got ‘carried away’ and eventually spent more than double Elsie’s budget on her dream, two-storey Mushroom Shed.

The shed boasts a trap door, stained glass window and even a glass floor section which looks out onto a stream below at the bottom of the garden.

Benedict Swanborough, 47, hand-built the winning, wacky shack for 2017 after his daughter Elsie handed him £500 of her own savings and asked him for a treehouse shaped like a mushroom. Pictured: The Mushroom Shed

Benedict Swanborough, 47, hand-built the winning, wacky shack for 2017 after his daughter Elsie handed him £500 of her own savings and asked him for a treehouse shaped like a mushroom. Pictured: The Mushroom Shed

He incorporated a ‘Deathly Hallows’ design in brickwork outside the front door to Elsie’s magical hangout to reflect her love of Harry Potter. A circular hammock chair hangs from the exterior so that Elsie, now 13, can relax and take in the views.

And during treetop sleepovers she can gaze at the stars through a glass section in the roof. Inside, fungi paraphernalia includes a carved giant wooden mushroom on the floor and a wall chart entitled ‘Les Champignons’ showing different types of mushrooms.

2016: West Wing by Kevin Herbert

Made from 90 per cent recycled materials and set across three sections, the West Wing includes a bed in loft space, an area to relax and escape, a secret bookcase, a play area, storage and workshop. 

Speaking about his win, Kevin Herbert said: ‘We were up against some tough competition this year as the sheds were more eccentric and impressive than ever before. 

Made from 90 per cent recycled materials and set across three sections, the West Wing includes a bed in loft space, an area to relax and escape, a secret bookcase, a play area, storage and workshop

Made from 90 per cent recycled materials and set across three sections, the West Wing includes a bed in loft space, an area to relax and escape, a secret bookcase, a play area, storage and workshop

‘So I am so honoured and proud that my shed at the bottom of the garden was chosen as the winner of Shed of the Year 2016. 

‘I just want to say a huge thanks to everyone who voted for West Wing – the eight years that it took to build has really paid off!’ 


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