A Blackdown Shepherd Hut located in an AONB

How do you create a Haven while living within an AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty)?  

We caught up with Paul and Carol Smith, who have lived in rural Wiltshire for more than 60 years, and they explained their Blackdown Shepherd Hut story.

A Blackdown Shepherd Hut located in an AONB

Why did you decide on a Shepherds Hut?

Both my wife Carol and I are nearing our retirement years, so having had a small parcel of redundant agricultural land in our family for many years we decided with the help of Blackdown Shepherd Huts to look into the possibility of utilising the land for the commercial use of a shepherds hut for letting to tourists to provide additional income in our retirement. Alan put us in touch with The Clive Miller Partnership who are experienced in planning matters regarding the placement of shepherds’ huts. After a feasibility study, it was decided that our intended use on a sensitive plot in The North Wessex Downs AONB satisfied both local and national planning policy, so we went straight in with our planning application which was successful with permission gained. 

What did you want from your Hut?

As our plot of land is in a lovely rural part of our home county of Wiltshire which we love, our hut will be used for our own use for some weekend getaways for ourselves and also a place aimed at tourists all year round to provide us with retirement incomeWe also have two daughters so it will be a nice family heirloom for us to pass on to them. 

Litet-Hem, a Blackdown Shepherd Hut in Wiltshire


Why did you specifically pick Blackdown Shepherd Huts?  

After looking at three different manufacturers it was upon our second visit that we decided there and then to place our order with Blackdown Shepherd Huts, they were able to provide exactly what we were looking for built to a high standard.  On this first visit not only were we impressed with the build quality from viewing the show huts but also the flexibility to add personal touches to the specification. They were so helpful, helping us in starting the ball rolling by putting us in touch with planning consultants.


Did you come to our Show Garden in Somerset, how was the Coffee?  

Yes, we had two visits to the show garden as well as visiting the Blackdown at the national glamping exhibition. We also had a tour of the factory on this first visit and were impressed with everything we saw. We were also amazed to see that all the joinery items from the cabinetry to the windows were all manufactured on-site by Blackdowns own craftsmen which gave us confidence in the build programme being met due to Blackdown not having to rely on outside suppliers.   It was Alan’s coffee that swung the purchase as well as his help choosing final specification details.


Which of our Huts did you choose and Why?  

We chose the turnkey hut. We loved being able to choose its final layout and the fact that it turned up to the site ready to be connected to the electric, drainage and water supplies and useable straight away after those connections.

What was our Delivery Service like?  

We could not fault delivery from start to finish. Upon placement of our order, you were able to give us an exact delivery date which was met. The team that arrived were on site for less than two hours, it was a very slick operation. Blackdown had put together an extensive user manual which contained all instructions for appliances etc and maintenance details. We were also left with tins of paint for any future touching-up.

How do you feel now the hut is in place, have you used it yet?  

We are extremely pleased with the end product. Externally it has weathered down beautifully having chosen oak cladding. We have used it ourselves for some weekend getaways and our youngest daughter and her boyfriend have used it for a Christmas break. In 2024 we started to use it commercially as tourist accommodation and we are very pleased we have started to get bookings off of word-of-mouth recommendations.  

Paul Smith from Litet-Hem, a Blackdown Glamping location in Wiltshire

What advice would you give to others considering a Shepherd Hut?  

As with any major purchase, we would advise anyone to do their due diligence and view a few different manufacturers. Making the wrong choice would not be good. We would have no hesitation in recommending Blackdown to any prospective purchaser from our own experience. 

Thank you to Paul and Carol for their insight into life.  You can keep up with their story here:

Website: www.litet-hem.co.uk
Instagram:  Litet-Hem


Posted on

April 4, 2024