Chatsworth Estate’s ‘organic’ bird hide takes young twitchers into the woods

Peak Architects has designed a beautiful woodland bird hide on the Chatsworth Estate in Derbyshire.  Sited on the edge of a copse of trees adjacent to the Children’s Farmyard, allowing young bird watchers to feel part of the woodland habitat, the hide has a cedar shingle-clad exterior that will slowly turn to a metallic grey, with a birch ply lining.

Peak Architects’ founder and director, Paul Holden, comments: “We were commissioned by the Chatsworth House Trust to design a hide to enable children to feel close to the wildlife and birds in the woodland.

“We designed a subtle, organic wooden structure that is both sustainable and lightweight in construction.  The curves of the simple timber-framed structure take reference from its location adjacent to a ‘HaHa’, a feature of the original Capability Brown-landscaped gardens within the Estate.”

Constructed for only £12,000 and within four weeks, the building is fully wheelchair/DDA accessible and has viewing slots at multiple heights to allow for people of all ages and abilities to use the hide with ease. Because of the limited site access, the hide was partially fabricated off-site by Beau Vale Construction.

As the site falls within the general classification of the Grade 1* listing for the Chatsworth Estate, detailed planning permission was required for the bird hide.

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