Once upon a time, people across Britain had the freedom to build a weekend hut or a cabin-in-the-woods on land they rented or bought for a few pounds. All that changed in 1948 with the Town and Country Planning Acts. In Scotland, there is a growing movement to get some of that freedom back. How can we do the same in England and Wales? I think the first step is to start with cabins-in-the-woods and “Woodland Hutting”.
“Woodland Hutting” involves a hut or cabin-in-the-woods which satisfies the following conditions:
- It is built within plantation woodland or in accordance with a management plan which protects an Ancient Woodland site.
- It is not visible from outside the wood, or if in new woodland, it will not be visible when the wood matures.
- It is largely built of renewable materials, especially timber.
- It has no formal foundations and can be removed leaving little or no trace.
- It has an internal floor area of about 30m2 or less.
- It is owned and primarily occupied by the same individual or family, whose primary residence is elsewhere.
These conditions are designed to address concerns about ecological damage and impact on the local environment and neighbours.
Read more on the Hutters.uk page about Woodland Hutting, which covers legal routes for increased hutting, finding land, and next steps.