A tranquil space to connect with the world
“A friend had recently purchased one,” explains Gwennie matter-of-factly. That’s all it took to spark inspiration. “It gave us the idea that it would be a wonderful answer to creating a home office base, being self-employed working from home, alongside a growing family.”
Gwennie Fraser is a mindfulness teacher, offering online courses and practice sessions as well as supervising teachers using mindfulness as a health intervention in the NHS. For such endeavours, the shepherd’s hut provides a suitably peaceful backdrop.
“We live 650 feet up in a remote location in Northumberland National Park,” Gwennie explains. “The hut overlooks a meadow looking up towards moorland and is backed by deciduous woodland, so the setting is incredibly tranquil. Close enough to the main house to pop across as needed but separate enough that I can concentrate. It’s an environment that offers inspiration and seclusion. And with the Wi-Fi it’s a space from which I can connect with people all over the world.”
The benefits of being closer to nature
Time and again research has suggested that getting closer to nature is associated with decreased stress, more creativity, reduced attention fatigue and increased happiness. With your choice of large windows, glass walls or sky lights, a Plankbridge shepherd’s hut gives you plenty of natural light and attractive views of the outside world.
It’s a perk that Gwennie is incredibly fond of. “I watch red squirrels in the boughs of the nearby oak trees and watch birds on the feeders outside. I’ve even heard owls landing on the roof! With the door open, it feels like the hut is part of the surrounding woodland. I love the seasonal sounds of acorns pinging on the roof and the sound of a rain shower gently drumming on the tin.”
“I really like the sense of craftsmanship and tradition”
Being closer to nature doesn’t mean being a slave to the elements. Built to meticulous standards, a Plankbridge hut is suitable for all seasons. “The hut offers a cool working space in summer heat, because of the insulation – and a cosy warmed space with a small wood stove in the depths of winter,” reveals Gwennie.
It’s this quality of construction and attention to detail that drew her to Plankbridge. “I really liked the sense of craftsmanship and tradition; the fact that a Plankbridge hut would echo the design and proportions of a traditional shepherd’s hut but with robust attention to practical, aesthetic detail and comfort. I also had a strong sense of the company’s pride in their work.”
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For work, for leisure, for pleasure
When you are free to cordon off designated time and space for your work, it’s easier to enjoy leisure with more pleasure. There’s a lot to be said for that – not least in an era where striving for work-life balance can sometimes feel like cycling a tightrope.
“After we bought the hut, which I use primarily for my work, the list of uses for the hut expanded rapidly,” explains Gwennie of her multifunctional hut space. “It offers additional guest space as the single bench bed can be opened out into a double bed for family and friends when they come to stay. And when the children were growing up they used it for music practice and exam revision. We have even celebrated New Year in it!”
And that’s just the start…
“We have used the hut for quiet family time when someone needs a bit of time out. And often my husband and I will relax in there with a glass of wine on a Friday evening. On a daily basis, I use it for my personal meditation practice. And it also acts as a space of focus and reflection for my creative writing hobby. In short: I use the hut for both work and recreation – and I would say it enhances both in equal measure.”
How would you use yours?
Making the decision to enhance your home with a shepherd’s hut is a journey of discovery. It’s all about creating a space that works for you, your present life and your ambitions for the future. And as Gwennie will testify, we are good listeners.
“Plankbridge were incredibly helpful and endlessly patient with my many initial questions when we were exploring different options.”
Come and take a look at our huts and see how your own shepherd’s hut could do wonders for your working world.
You may also be interested in:
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>> Hut Stories – Play: A customer reveals the joys of relaxing in a shepherd’s hut
>> Working wonders in a shepherd’s hut