Border Archaeology employee Makes Cuprinol Shed of the Year 2021 Final With Medieval Haven For Rare Horseshoe Bats

7th June 2021

Becky Roseff, our Special Projects Manager has created a home for rare horseshoe bats and is through to the Cuprinol Shed of the Year 2021 final.

Becky from Colwall in Herefordshire, is one of three sheddies to be shortlisted in the competition’s Nature-Haven category, with her shed Batbarn.

Batbarn was built by Rebecca and Nat, a gardener, to support rare lesser and greater horseshoe bat colonies for their summer roosts.

Designed around the idea of a medieval timber frame post and rail house, the pair hope the structure lasts at least 500 years.

“Being an archaeologist, I saw it as a chance to make a medieval building and learn more about it,” Rebecca says. “So together we looked about Herefordshire, saw how post and rail buildings were made about 600 years ago and are still standing.”

The pair used traditional building methods and sourced materials as locally as possible.

“The interior is fantastic with the big cathedral-like beams, sheeps wool between the boards and the branches around the walls.

“It’s such a good feeling to create a fabulous home for bats, far more of a good feeling than making something for humans, peculiarly.”

Rebecca and Nat built Batbarn through the winter, where they could “feel the changing of the seasons and get to know the local wildlife”.

“Of course getting into the rhythm of using hand tools slows the whole build down but it enables time to appreciate the trees coming into leaf and appreciating the warmth of the sun.”

The competition will now see the 22 finalists go shed-to-shed across the nine categories. A winner from each will be decided by public vote, before a panel of shed experts decide which overall winner will be awarded the giant golden crown.

Alongside eternal shed glory, the overall winner will also receive £1,000, a plaque and £100 of Cuprinol products.

Head judge and founder of the competition Andrew Wilcox said: “The past year has been an incredibly challenging time for all of us and, now more than ever, we’re aware of how important the humble shed can be.

“Sheds are not just unloved, brown structures at the bottom of the garden that house tools and household junk, they are vital spaces where you can go to relax, work on a project or burn off some steam.

“The high-calibre entries this year really prove why we set up the competition in the first place – to highlight the valuable role sheds can play in our lives, in our businesses and the positive impact they have on our wellbeing.”

Kirsty Woodbine, Marketing Manager for Cuprinol, added: “We are overwhelmed by the amount and quality of entries we’ve received this year.

“The sheds were of such a high standard that narrowing them down to just 22 was an incredibly difficult task.

“The level of innovation, imagination and creativity we’ve seen has been incredible, as has the number of people using their sheds as dedicated spaces to help others in their community. This year’s contest has been truly life affirming.”

Last year’s shed-building superstar Daniel Holloway walked away with the coveted title of Cuprinol Shed of the Year 2020 after wowing judges with his nature-inspired refuge Bedouin Tree-Shed, built around two tree trunks in his back garden.

Ashley Bates took home the competition’s first ever Special Commendation in 2020, after setting up The Shed School to help educate children while lockdown closed classrooms.

Public voting for the 15th annual competition opens on Wednesday, June 2 and will close on Monday, July 12.

Check out all of the 22 finalists and cast your vote here.

Shed of the Year is a celebration of the great British shed in all their forms, and this year the much loved competition is celebrating its 15th year! From the miniature to the massive, the modern to the traditional, the cosy to the minimal and everything in between – you’ll find sheds of every shape, size and function in the annual competition.

The man behind the competition, Andrew Wilcox, is also head judge. A passionate sheddie since his youth – his mission is to open the eyes of the world to the importance of the shed. And of course the idea came to him in the birthplace of many other fine ideas, the pub!

This year’s categories are;

Pub & Entertainment
Unexpected / Unique
Nature’s Haven

Source: Democracy PR, on behalf of Cuprinol. “Colwall Archaeologist Makes Cuprinol Shed of the Year 2021 Final With Medieval Haven For Rare Horseshoe Bats” [Press release]. Edited by Border Archaeology