Retreat to the trees
There's nothing like getting back to nature and a tree house allows you to do that with adventure and style. Tree houses are getting ever more popular for adults and children alike and John Lennon, Winston Churchill and even Caligula were fond of seeking sanctuary in the treetops. Here we look at the things to consider for building a tree house and the benefits that they bring.
Not just for kids
Although tree houses were traditionally designed as dens for children, adult tree houses have enjoyed a rise in popularity. More so now than ever, people appreciate the benefits of escapism that a tree house brings. And if you do have kids, having a tree house is a great way of encouraging them to play outside and let their imaginations run wild.
Sarah Trotter, Director of Squirrel Design Tree Houses Ltd. says:
"Whilst the recession caused people to hesitate over last winter, there is a definite growth in more recent times to find a 'justified luxury'. We're also seeing a concerted effort from parents to get 'technology-bound' children out into the garden and into a tree house."
What type of tree?
The perfect tree for a tree house would be middle-aged and healthy. Recommended species include apple, oak, ash, fir and beech but steer clear of elm and sycamore as they're prone to disease. Disease can occur at root level so check for signs of decay. If you have trouble picking the right tree out, a tree surgeon will be able to help you.
If you're building a den for children the structure shouldn't be much higher than 1.5m above ground to ensure safety. You may need to apply for planning permission and you will definitely need to adhere to building regulations.
Holiday up a tree
For a vacation with a difference you can now even holiday in the trees. Richard Hammond, the eco-travel expert, recommends some of the best tree houses he's found for vacations around Europe. Read about Richard's recommendations here.