A Shropshire couple who spent lockdown creating an idyllic bird-watching sanctuary at the bottom of their garden are celebrating after triumphing in the Cuprinol Shed Of The Year 2021 competition.

Rosie Hoult, a trainee holistic therapist and her retired husband David were crowned winners of the Nature’s Haven category in a public vote – for their tranquil retreat which they have dubbed The Hideaway.

Initially the couple, from Shrewsbury, planned to create just a simple bird table from an oak tree stump, but after embarking on the project, they decided to broaden their horizons, by first adding decking and then constructing the shed, which is decorated in a Moroccan theme.

Rosie explained: “We couldn’t be more thrilled that The Hideaway has been crowned a category winner and we’re so proud to have designed and built an award winning shed which started out as a pleasant distraction and DIY project that grew into a labour of love.

“Building the shed gave both myself and David purpose during a time when all the comfort of routine had gone out of the window. After the bird table and decking evolved, it looked to me like a very ambitious plan and a considerable load of redundant planks, but with David’s determination and skills l got on board with the plans for The Hideaway.

“The Moroccan theme is inspired by a number of things, not least a memorable trip to Marrakech where we spent time getting lost in the vividly bright and colourful souks.

“It was quite a cost efficient project as we were fortunate to have been given a significant number of scaffold boards, framing timber and glazed units destined for a building site skip. I’d say the project came in at approximately £350.”

Rosie, 59, and 65-year-old David credit their shed for bringing them closer together.

Rosie added: "Since completion the shed has become our little haven to escape to. l spend time in it most days either feeding or watching the birds, reading or David and l will sit in there together just chatting and relaxing.”

The overall winner of this year’s competition is Danielle Zarb-Cousin, from Southend-on-Sea, Essex. She built her 70s-inspired Creme De Menthe bar in the back garden of her parent’s house.

Head judge and founder of the competition Andrew Wilcox said: “We have been blown away by the creativity, passion and dedication on display from sheddies across the country. The amount of care and attention people have devoted to their sheds this year is inspiring.

“Entrants have made full use of their sheds, demonstrating how versatile and multi-purpose they can be. Whether they’ve built a pub or bar, a place to socialise, a business or just a space to relax, there seems to be no limit to what they can achieve.

“As we emerge from the pandemic and lockdown restrictions, gardens are places where friends and family can gather and reunite, so it’s wonderful to see sheds play a key role in this.”

Kirsty Woodbine, marketing manager for Cuprinol, added: “The sheer ingenuity demonstrated by this year’s Cuprinol Shed of the Year winners is unrivalled in the competition’s 15-year history.

“At Cuprinol we’re committed to inspiring people to find creative ways to transform their outdoor spaces - whether it’s a vibrant lick of paint on a brand new summerhouse or handcrafting impressive structures from recycled materials!

"We are truly amazed and delighted by the creations we’ve seen this year – they just get better and better.”