Gifts Today magazine

RHS endorses Plankbridge shepherd’s huts

RHS Wisley Heather Garden to house Plankbridge hut for visitors to explore and enjoy

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has announced its endorsement of the entire range of Plankbridge shepherd’s huts – multi-purpose living spaces based closely on the proportions of original Victorian shepherd's huts.

The hand-built, practical and durable accommodation once allowed shepherds to live near their flock. Today the concept has inspired modern shepherd’s huts that have been adapted for a range of contemporary uses. The Plankbridge range appeals to a wide customer demographic, as a garden retreat, an extension, a garden office, a retirement studio, a spare room or a teenage den.

The shepherd’s huts are also popular with leisure and holiday businesses, including hotel groups and glamping companies, which offer them as holiday lets. Most are made to order, although Plankbridge offers some that are made to popular specifications and supplied ready to buy.

The RHS-endorsed range was made available in September. The huts can be obtained online or through in-person orders via the Plankbridge workshop.

The endorsement will be indicated by an RHS logo, which will be displayed on a small plaque on the door of each hut. Plankbridge is the only shepherd's hut maker endorsed by the Royal Horticultural Society.

From spring 2020, the RHS Garden Wisley’s Heather Garden will house one of Plankbridge’s shepherd’s huts, giving visitors a chance to see for themselves the craftsmanship and skill behind these elegant dwellings.

Plankbridge shepherd’s huts are made by craftsmen at the company’s premises in Dorset. They are built to last for generations.

The Plankbridge team has supplied a wide range of shepherd's hut designs to several National Trust properties, the award-winning Pig Hotel group and Hampton Court Palace garden and annually exhibit at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Strongly influenced by the best Victorian hutmakers and the Arts and Crafts movement, Plankbridge keenly supports heritage craft skills and apprenticeships.

Richard Lee founded Plankbridge along with his partner, Jane Dennison, with the aim of making the ‘finest quality huts in the UK’. He remains strongly influenced by the best Victorian hutmakers, whose design and craftsmanship informs the range of contemporary shepherd’s huts Plankbridge builds today. Plankbridge huts are now shipped all over the world – to New York, Portugal, France, Switzerland and beyond.

Richard Lee, Plankbridge, says: 'Having been exhibiting at RHS Chelsea Flower Show since 2012, when we did an Artisan Garden, we have been impressed with the quality and philosophy of the RHS. We see this endorsement as a significant milestone for Plankbridge, a feather in the cap for the team who work so hard and diligently and a vote of confidence in our products that will appeal enormously to our customers.'

Cathy Snow, RHS Licensing Manager, added: 'Plankbridge is an ideal fit for the RHS, not least thanks to the craftsmanship and attention to detail of its wonderful shepherd’s huts. We are delighted to be able to endorse this example of UK heritage craft skills that has a strong appeal to a worldwide audience.'


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