Bringing the Log Cabins to Life
Swinney Wood has been in my family for many years. It is a place of outstanding natural beauty where I have always felt completely immersed in nature.
I often dreamt of waking up at Swinney Wood, surrounded by wildlife and all that nature has to offer. With this in mind, the idea to build log cabins emerged, allowing all who visit the opportunity to experience my dream.
Ten years on, I can finally say Swinney Wood Log Cabins has come to life.
“Nature is not a place to visit, it is home“
– Gary Snyder
Swinney Wood is a beautiful woodland filled with wildlife, overlooking land with World Heritage status. Obtaining planning permission was incredibly difficult and took almost three years. Finally, in April 2017, we received the green light and began working.
Due to the site’s slope and the need to protect nearby tree roots, we opted for pile foundations as the best solution. Each log cabin sits on twelve pile foundations, drilled 4m deep and filled with concrete. The design allowed for moving the piles 0.5m in either direction if large tree roots were encountered.
After the foundations were set, we constructed steel frames for the log cabins. A crane, a telehandler, and numerous workers were needed to install all sixty-four steel beams.
The first two cabins, SEREIN and PETRICHOR, arrived in March 2018. They had been hand-scribed during winter 2017 at an airfield in Wales, so assembling them on site was quick. They arrived as tree trunks on a lorry.
It took only four days to construct both cabins. Each log was lifted over the trees and put in place with a crane. The logs fit together without screws or bolts, so their weight alone held the cabins together. APRICITY and KOMOREBI were built next, and by August 2018, all four cabins were completed.
You might wonder why it took another eighteen months to finish the site. The main reason was shrinkage. Each log in the cabin needed to dry out, losing 10mm-12mm in size and about six tonnes of water. Since the cabins had eight logs stacked high, we had to account for 96mm of shrinkage. This made attaching anything to the log walls challenging. Installing windows, doors, stud walls, and porches required special care and extra time.
Our love for Swinney Wood stems from its stunning natural beauty and the diverse wildlife it supports. With this in mind, we’ve made a concerted effort to preserve and enhance the area by planting over 700 native tree species and more than 1500 hedging plants. Additionally, we’ve installed bird and bat boxes, owl and bird of prey nesting boxes, bug and butterfly houses, and bird feeders throughout Swinney Wood to encourage and support the thriving wildlife community.
Bringing Swinney Wood Log Cabins to life has been a labour of love, and the result undoubtedly justifies the time and effort invested. These log cabins are a true marvel, seamlessly blending into the captivating natural environment they inhabit. I sincerely hope your stay at Swinney Wood leaves you as enamoured with this remarkable place as I am!