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In Your Garden: Britain’s best sheds are for more than just storage

David Carter's nautical shed (Cuprinol/PA Wire)
David Carter's nautical shed (Cuprinol/PA Wire)

SHEDS are handy places to store gardening tools and other bits and bobs we can’t find space for in our homes.

My own outhouse is jammed full of so much stuff that I can barely close the door.

I have to decant bikes, tools and assorted items before I can even get our lawnmower out.

However, while my own shed is a confused container of jumbled junk, there are many Brits who have turned their sheds into something approaching a work of art.

And now the pick of those are in the running for a prestigious prize.

The best of the bunch have been whittled down from 2,825 to a shortlist of 32, which will battle it out to be named the Cuprinol Shed of the Year.

Following a record-breaking 2,825 entries into the annual competition, the much anticipated list of finalists has been revealed.

The shortlist covers everything from Star Wars to real-life crocodiles, hydraulics to Viking hideouts, 360-degree rotating floors to nuclear bunkers, sheds on wheels to entire shed villages and more.

Tranquility Saloon, a shed owned by Alistair Baranowski in Aberdeenshire (Cuprinol/PA Wire)
Tranquility Saloon, a shed owned by Alistair Baranowski in Aberdeenshire (Cuprinol/PA Wire)

The finalists comprise of the top four sheds entered into each of the eight categories which include Eco, Unexpected, Pub and Entertainment, Workshop and Studio, Unique, Cabin and Summerhouse, Historical and Budget.

From the most outlandish structures suitable for Grand Designs to the ingenious creations of crafty DIY fanatics, the annual competition will celebrate the UK’s most weird, wacky and wonderful sheds.

For the third year running, the shortlisted sheds will feature on hit TV series Amazing Spaces Shed of the Year, airing on Channel 4 this summer.

The category winners will be revealed on the show over the four weeks of programmes, and the eight winners will then go head-to-head in a battle to become the overall winner.

Selected by a panel of shed experts including the competition founder, Andrew Wilcox, George Clarke and his expert team, the winner will receive £1,000 as well as £100 worth of Cuprinol products and a giant crown for their shed.

Public voting to determine the category winners runs until midday on June 8.

Stephen Alleyne's shed in Norfolk (Cuprinol/PA Wire)
Stephen Alleyne’s shed in Norfolk (Cuprinol/PA Wire)

Andrew Wilcox said: “Following a record-breaking number of entries, the competition is just getting bigger and better each year.

“It proves the nation is totally fanatical about garden sheds and the true British eccentricities are being championed.

“These 32 sheds include some of the best I have ever seen in the history of the competition.”

One shed, called the West Wing, and owned by Kevin Herbert in Berkshire is in the running to win the Eco category.

The building has been made from 90% recycled materials including 400 milk cartons in the roof which is covered with growing plants.

West Wing, a shed owned by Kevin Herbert in Berkshire (Cuprinol / PA Wire)
West Wing, a shed owned by Kevin Herbert in Berkshire (Cuprinol / PA Wire)

Tranquility Saloon, a Wild West-themed cabin owned by Alistair Baranowski in Aberdeenshire, has been shortlisted in the Pub and Entertainment category.

He said he built the saloon with the help of friends after he moved out of Aberdeen following 12 years running a Post Office.

Other buildings in his home-built village include a jail, bank, a barber shop and a town hall.

One shed in the running for the Unique category is The Maggie Ewing, a former boat wheelhouse that has been converted into a shed.

It’s owned by David Carter and made from one of the last boats ever commercially built in Caithness.

To see all of the sheds in the running for this year’s prizes and vote for your favourite go to www.readershed.co.uk


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