Chatsworth Birdhide

Peak Architects, Bakewell, 2016


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Within an extremely limited budget, Peak Architects have designed a beautiful and original woodland bird hide on the Chatsworth Estate in Derbyshire.

Its location on the edge of a copse of trees adjacent to the Children’s Farmyard allows young bird watchers to feel part of the woodland habitat. As the site falls within the general classification of the Grade I listing for the Chatsworth Estate, detailed planning and listed building permission was required for the bird hide.

Peak Architects’ approach was to enable the user to feel as close as possible to the wildlife and birds in the woodland. We proposed a subtle, organic wooden structure that is both sustainable and lightweight in construction, has low visual impact and focuses views towards woodland.

The curves of the simple timber-framed structure take reference from its location adjacent to a ‘ha-ha’, a feature of the original Capability Brown landscaped gardens within the Chatsworth Estate.

The hide has a Siberian larch shingle-clad exterior that will slowly turn to a metallic grey, with a birch ply lining, the silvering of the timber reflecting the wooded background. The bird hide was constructed for only £12,000 and within four weeks on site. As part of the build, 80% of subcontractors, materials and plant were sourced within 30 miles of the site. All building frame components were fabricated off site utilising CNC technology to facilitate the limited construction programme. The building is fully accessible and has viewing slots at multiple heights to allow for people of all ages and abilities to use the hide with ease.


  • Begun: Aug 2016
  • Completed: Sep 2016
  • Floor area: 12m2
  • Sector: Arts and culture
  • Total cost: £12,000
  • Funding: Chatsworth House Trust
  • Tender date: Jun 2016
  • Procurement: JCT Minor Works
  • Address: Chatsworth Childrens Farmyard , Chatsworth House, Derbyshire, Bakewell, DE45, United Kingdom

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