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Red Sky: Why shepherd’s huts have exploded in popularity

Paul Bennett founded Red Sky in 2015, after a lifetime career as a furniture maker. <i>(Image: Red Sky Shepherd's Huts)</i>
Paul Bennett founded Red Sky in 2015, after a lifetime career as a furniture maker. (Image: Red Sky Shepherd's Huts)

Since 2015, Red Sky has been at the core of the meteoric rise in demand for bespoke shepherd’s huts. 

Each with their own character, features and beautiful structures, Red Sky has perfected its creative process for delivering truly unique, made-to-order shepherd's huts that will last a lifetime. Red Sky is a family-run business located in the heart of the Cotswolds - comprised of dedicated craftspeople, paint finishers and designers who bring a wealth of experience to each project. 

We spoke to Paul Bennett, founder and lifelong furniture maker, about the inception of their business, the intricacies of each project and why shepherd’s huts are a fantastic investment. 

Great British Life:

Q: How did the idea for Red Sky come to fruition? 

A: Having been a furniture maker throughout my career, I had reached a point where I wasn’t content working in management. I have always enjoyed the hands-on aspect and was keen to start a new challenge. Shepherd’s huts have always fascinated me, especially their history that stretches back to the 14th century, as well as the eclectic mixture of styles and influences. 

After retiring and cashing in my personal pension, I started Red Sky with my son Adam who still leads the design and production side of the business. In the beginning, Adam would produce the designs and I would build the huts – during this early stage, our trajectory shifted from stock huts to bespoke products for each customer. 

Receiving a call from David Cameron and developing his own shepherd’s hut cemented our reputation as a company. The resulting attention brought a wave of enquiries and orders, which set us on the path to expanding our services. 

Great British Life:

Q: Can you describe the evolution of your creative process? 

A: As our confidence and workforce grew, we left our original premises at Millets Farm to set up shop in a beautifully renovated barn on Bridewell Farm. In this spacious environment, we have installed state-of-the-art machinery to assist our professionals in their work. Streamlining our creative process has been important - however we do not compromise on our high-quality, bespoke outcomes. 

Hand sketched diagrams have given way to our advanced CAD design system, optimising our process to produce highly accurate workshop drawings. These are then sent down to the production area, where our specialist joiners and paint sprayers ensure that every aspect of the creative process is finished to an exceptional standard. 

Our shepherd's huts are the only ones on the market that incorporate exposed framework - an authentic design that stems from traditional Victorian huts. The traditional design techniques are a speciality of ours - sand-moulded cast iron wheels and a cast iron chassis imbue our creations with a charming, nostalgic aesthetic.

We’ve refined our creation process to the point where we can confidently claim that a small hut will be finished within five working days, the more complex within 10.

Great British Life:

Q: What makes your shepherd’s huts unique? 

A: Every aspect of building our shepherd’s huts, from the minute details to the overarching design, is handled by experienced professionals. The wealth of experience within our team means that we can deliver a product that ticks every box for our customers. 

We always invite our customers for an initial meeting to discuss their wishes and the purpose of their hut. Whether you want a lovely outdoor guest room, an area to read and relax, or you’re not quite sure what you're after – we can advise and assist you every step of the way. Escaping to nature can be challenging in our modern lives. Having a shepherd's hut on your land or in the garden brings calm and tranquillity to your lifestyle.

Whilst every hut we create is unique in its own right, we do provide a few examples to help inform the decision-making. The Homestead is our truly multi-purpose build, large enough to host friends and family as well as a full kitchenette, desks and workstations.  

If you’re looking for something cosy, the Cubby takes inspiration from the huts of the Victorian Era. Complete with a wood burning stove, this iconic structure is perfect for a garden office, spare bedroom or craft room. 

Many of our customers rent out their huts during the holidays, as they are the perfect staycation base. Alongside the joy that shepherd's huts can bring through personal use, they can also become an extremely rewarding investment.

One of our customers, Georgie Lloyd from Gloucestershire, had this to say about our huts: "‘When I started my journey on finding a bespoke shepherd’s hut, I had no idea what to expect. Paul, Adam and the Red Sky Team took me through the most wonderful journey, giving me expert advice and sharing their knowledge to build the perfect hut for me.

"The end product is simply beautiful, and the exceptional high standard of craftsmanship is constantly commented on by my guests - I cannot thank Red Sky Shepherd’s Huts enough."

Great British Life:

Q: How involved are the customers in the process? 

A: We draw upon our sizeable vault of previous projects to inspire and inform our clients to create the shepherd’s hut that they’ve dreamed of. We also encourage them to get involved and provide any ideas they may have – the beauty of our creative system is that if a client comes up with something new, we can incorporate that into our future projects. 

A common question we get asked by customers is whether or not planning permission is required for these shepherd's huts. One of the practical advantages of opting for a shepherd's hut over an extension is that planning permission isn't always necessary - especially if the hut is being used as a spare bedroom. We recommend double checking whether you need planning permission, based on your purchase.

To find out more about Red Sky’s shepherd’s huts, visit redskyshepherdshuts.co.uk or speak to Paul on 07870 223114 to make an enquiry. 



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