Our journey began in 2014, when we finally managed to purchase a bit land with the potential to pursue the dream of having a woodland cabin or hut. Learning about the re-emergance of hutting in Scotland was great, especially after hearing tales of how my grandparents and their extended famiies & friends used to holiday at Belhaven, many years ago. My grandparents later became campervanners but my grandad built a fabulous 'green hut' at the bottom of the garden, under a big rowan tree, and had his veg plot next to it. Funny how some things stick in your memory and other things are instantly forgotten but I maintain to this day that the things we remember fondly from our pasts are closely linked to what will make us happiest in our futures. So here we are - several decades later and 5 generations further down the line - achieving a lifetime ambition to live in a hut in the middle of a wood, albeit not fulltime and, as yet, without a visible woodland around it. This is our journey.
2014 - bought land that had previously been clearfelled and never replanted
2015 - began planting native woodland - rowan, hazel, willows, hawthorn, birch, oak, crab apples, elder, blackthorn, Scots pine and elsewhere the self-seeded stuff was mostly left to do as it pleased as we hadn't the time or the manpower to keep it all under control. We do have Sitka Spruce regenerating that will be thinned whenever possible, with the correct help whenever available.
2016 - submitted a pre-planning application to Dumfries & Galloway council for our project, which included huts - no major concerns noted and planning depatment seemed happy for us to proceed with the full planning application.
2017 - Tree and hedge planting, drainage, improving the land as best we could, planting the start of our orchard and doing as many of the repairs and preparatory works as possible.
2018 - Found someone to help us through the planning process - got let down and had to start again
2019 - Found someone else to guide us through planning - got let down again!
2020 - Things almost ground to a halt after the pandemic struck but we finally had someone to (very slowly) guide us through the planning process and eventually found someone to do the necessary drawings after deciding, finally, where we'd like the (first) hut built.
2021 - January - everything completed for the planning app
2021 - February - planning app submitted
2021 - September - planning app finally passed (yes, 7 months owing to pandemic restrictions and staff absences at D&G Council Planning Dept.) Then we had an 8-week weight for materials, many of which had escalated in price by as much as 40%
2021 - November - Hut build began
2021 - December - Hut completed and completion certificate submitted to planning. D&G Council then sent out the rates assessors and we are now awaiting the outcome of that visit,
2021 - December through to April 2022 we will be tree planting and hoping to find some fellow hutting enthusiasts who may be interested in joining us here to build their own huts.
2022 - Let our hutting adventures begin! We are hoping to be able to celebrate Hogmanay / New Year at the hut. It has taken quite some time to dry it all out as it was in construction during storms Arwen and Barra, during which time it had no windows or door. The hut is fully insulated with 50mm Celotex/Kingspan type material, has vapour barrier, is built on concrete sleepers, double glazed windowns in wooden frames and we had a stove included on the plans, which was installed as part of the build. Hut measures 8m x 3m and has a covered decking. The stove, I'd have liked flue pipe going up inside the hut then out the roof but the contractors said safest having it all double skin flue and straight out through the side then up - I'm not looking for criticisms or alternatives - it is how it is.
Being built in wnter means it will take quite some time for everything to dry out so we have Osmo oil ready to paint it in Spring. Inside is pine cladding, as yet untreated, and everything else is locally grown larch, felled and milled locally. The hut was built to my own design and I have to thank @oldtorrlee for her support during all of this, and for her hut design, which gave me inspiration for mine. I'd also like to mention friends @sianandpaul, almost neighbours, who have shared the past months with us while awaiting planning for their own huts - good luck guys and congratulations on finally getting your main plans passed.
See you all in the new year and HAPPY HUTTING TO ALL IN 2022.