Our cabin in the woods. Observations using design tool ZONES


Zone 00 – The person or people involved. – My family, the other family and visitors. The cabin sleeps up to 7 or 8 people at a squash in 2 double beds and a large sleeping platform for numerous children to squeeze into together. We usually use the cabin as 2 families of 5 people each. We can fit 5 people around the table and on the sofas.

Zone 0 – The centre of activity – The cabinIMG_6821Part of the inside of the cabin, zone 0 (More photos of the inside are below)

The cabin has basic facilities for sitting, eating, cooking, washing and sleeping. The toilet and showering facilities are a short walk away. The cabin sits on a pot approximately       46 X 30 ft and the cabin itself measures  26 X 11 ft. It faces south-west.

Zone 1 – Close to the house and intensively used – Deck and sheds.     IMG_6815The cabin, zone 0 and the deck, zone 1

We store all manner of useful things in the sheds, bikes, BBQ, building materials we are hording that will come in useful one day. The deck is used for sitting in the sunshine, watching the children playing, reading the paper etc. There is a bench (rotten and falling to pieces) and a table and chairs where we eat meals if the weather is kind to us. The deck is made of wood, it is slightly too narrow to seat us all comfortably and it is un-edged, leaving us anxious that baby S will crawl over and fall down the 4 foot drop to the front garden. The deck is open to the sky providing no protection from the rain or sun. We store our boots and shoes here in a huge plastic box with a lid.

Zone 2 – Close to house, managed and used regularly – Front garden.                 The view from the deck looks out to a tiny front garden where we have a fire-pit. The area has scruffy grass, numerous trees on the boundary (See map) and some rambling roses. We have a paved path up one side of the garden leading from the gate to the steps up to the deck and further along the side of the cabin to the sheds and back door. There is a dry stone wall that requires attention along one side with the neighbours. We have put up a washing line alongside the path.

Zone 3 – Semi-managed and used less often – Immediately outside our boundary. IMG_6819Zone 3 looking towards zone 4

There is a space to park our car and a few trees where we have made a swing for the kids. There are neighbouring cabins on either side, one is well used, the other is well-kept but I have never seen anyone there.

Zone 4 – Semi-managed/ semi-wild area. The grassy area and young woodland. Then an open aspect sloping grassed area, a line of trees then a larger sloping field that has recently been planted with lots of native trees. This slopes down gently for maybe 500 metres to a stream, then gardens and one row of house then the road.

Zone 5 – Wilderness. – The woods.                                                                                The woods are a 1 minute walk away from our front door. It is a mixed woodland surrounding an old slate quarry. the quarry pit is filled up with water and fenced off from visitors. The woodland consists of lots of oak trees, brambles, honeysuckle, some holly, silver birch and hawthorn trees. The woods are carpeted by bluebells in May. The woods are open to the public and well used by dog walkers, mountain bikers, horse riders and walkers.

IMG_6830 IMG_6829 IMG_6825IMG_6823

2 thoughts on “Our cabin in the woods. Observations using design tool ZONES

  1. Oh your cabin sounds absolutely divine!
    We have something similar on an island in the middle of the Waikato River that has been in my husbands family for 5 generations. But from where we live it is over 7hours drive, so not a nice quick trip to escape the city!

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