“Shelters, Shacks, and Shanties” by D.C. Beard (1914)

“Shelters, Shacks, and Shanties” is a quite remarkable book from 1914. Daniel Carter Beard was one of the founders of scouting in America and wrote and illustrated the book based on his first-hand experience organising scout camps. It is packed full of sketch plans and practical details of structures that can be built in woodlands with nothing more than axes and knives – and an army of fearless, enthusiastic teenagers. The designs are also readily adaptable to those of us engaged in 21st century woodscraft, now armed with chainsaws. Some of the details of felling trees and handling heavy logs would also need updating to present-day ideas about safety and acceptable ways of working – not to mention planning issues when building the various designs of log cabin!

Since the book is out of copyright it has been reprinted by various publishers, including the good-quality reprint you can get from Amazon.

The Log Cabin in Old Copse Wood

Old Copse is a 30 acre woodland in Sussex whose management since 2009 has been documented in an excellent blog by Sarah, one of its owners. In 2014 they built this Polish-style log cabin using Scots Pine trunks from the wood itself. I’m going to pick out some of the many interesting details about building the cabin, and link to her cabin posts and videos so you can dig deeper yourself.

Continue reading “The Log Cabin in Old Copse Wood”

Woodland cabin in C4’s Amazing Spaces

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This year’s series of George Clarke’s “Amazing Spaces” features a log cabin being built in a woodland clearing. In the first episode, shown tonight, George visits this larger riverside cabin in the Lake District, built with larch logs taken from the surrounding forest. This is the plan with the smaller cabin he’s going to build, and there was a mention of identifying diseased trees to take. (Ramorum?) This episode also has a house built around a wooden railway carriage, and a couple of amazing locations (pod on a mountainside) and recycling (private jet body turned into a living space.) People in the UK should be able to view the episode for the next month on Channel 4’s 4OD catch-up service.