Family sanctuary wins big in Shed of the Year 2020 awards

For the first time, a Special Commendation was awarded as well.

Cuprinol Shed of the Year winner Daniel Holloway with his Bedouin Tree Shed
Cuprinol Shed of the Year winner Daniel Holloway with his Bedouin Tree Shed

A shed built around two living tree trunks won the big prize in the 2020 Cuprinol Shed of the Year awards, while a school shed took home the Special Commendation.

The Bedouin Tree Shed by expedition organiser Daniel Holloway impressed the judges enough to bag the £1,000 prize money, £100 of Cuprinol products, and honorary plaque.

Taking eight years to build, the shed is built around two tree trunks in Mr Holloway’s Blackheath garden, and has provided a sanctuary for him, his wife and two children.

The winner of the Cuprinol Shed of the Year 2020, Daniel Holloway's Bedouin Tree Shed in Blackheath
The winner of the Cuprinol Shed of the Year 2020, Daniel Holloway’s Bedouin Tree Shed in Blackheath (Daniel Holloway/PA)

Having started life as a garden shed, it now comprises three levels and is filled with travel souvenirs, reclaimed furniture and a wood-burning stove.

“When lockdown arrived, the shed really took on a life of its own, bringing us closer together as a family,” Mr Holloway said.

“Spending time in it taught us some valuable lessons about appreciating what is precious and provided solace for us all during those really uncertain weeks and months. We whiled away many an hour in there listening to music, playing games and quietly reflecting.”

For the first time, the judges also gave out a Special Commendation, which this year went to teacher Ashley Bates.

Mr Bates streamed maths and English lessons from his Shed School in Hinchley Wood, Surrey, during the pandemic.

Winner of the Special Commendation in the Cuprinol Shed of the Year 2020 competition
Ashley Bates, winner of the Special Commendation in the Cuprinol Shed of the Year 2020 competition (Ashley Bates/PA)

“With so many children potentially missing out on education because of lockdown, I thought I had to do something to help,” he said.

“I was stunned how it took off – going from a few hundred followers to over seven thousand in just a few weeks”.

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