Published: 00:01, 14 August 2014
If you want a room with a view there’s few better places on the Island than one of the newly installed shepherd’s huts at Elmley Nature Reserve.
The three structures were finished at the site earlier this month and are now available for people to hire out for an overnight stay.
Gareth Fulton, who manages the reserve, applied to Swale council for planning permission earlier this year and they agreed to support the project in the hope of encouraging visitors.
All of the huts having running water, ensuite bathrooms and basic cooking facilities.
One of the them is called ‘Vanellus’ and offers a romantic retreat while the other two, ‘Little Owl’ and ‘Samphire’ both have double beds which can be converted into bunks for children.
Samphire offers the guests views of the reserve and the Swale Estuary while those who stay at Little Owl will be overlooking the oak trees which are home to barn owls.
Vanellus was an old railway carriage and has views of the reserve from the end of the bed.
There were a few fears raised about the impact the huts could have on the wildlife, but Mr Fulton and his wife Georgina have reassured those concerned that there will be strict rules for guests and the area will be monitored 24 hours a day.
Mrs Fulton explained they have all been produced sustainably and are eco-friendly.
“This is a unique experience – the only place in the UK you can stay within a nature reserve,” she said.
“The huts reflect the heritage of the marsh as in Victorian times there would have been shepherd’s huts dotted over Sheppey.
“They are very sensitively done and should have no impact on the wildlife and the impact on the landscape is minimal – they already look like they have been here for years.”
Elmley also hosted its first wedding last Saturday. Couples can inquire about having their own ceremony at Kingshill Barn on the site.
Visit www.elmleynaturereserve.co.uk or search Elmley on Facebook page.
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