Look: A-level student builds her very own shepherd's hut
PUBLISHED: 11:54 16 April 2019 | UPDATED: 11:54 16 April 2019
One Ipswich High School student has single-handedly built her own cabin while juggling her A-level studies.
After 475 metres of timber and nearly 500 hours of labour, 18-year-old Isabelle Tucker's shepherd's hut is very nearly complete.
The full-sized wooden hut was for Ms Tucker's Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), which she is completing alongside her A-Levels in economics, geography and design technology.
She said: “Over the past few years I have always enjoyed seeing shepherd's huts at agricultural shows, and having an old wooden flatbed trailer at home, I decided to study the history of shepherd's huts as my EPQ as I wanted to incorporate some of the traditional features in my hut.
“It is not completely finished yet. There is still a fold-down table to make and small wood-burning stove to install.”
A shepherd's hut was traditionally used as a small, portable all-in-one accommodation for farmers staying in fields for lambing season as early as the 15th century.
They are now used more commercially as 'glamping' accommodation at campsites or music festivals.
Ms Tucker undertook most of the construction herself but did have help for practical reasons.
She said: “Making such a large-scale product meant that I needed help with things such as lifting and holding large pieces of timber, or for safety reasons when using machinery.
“I also had help and advice when learning new techniques and how to operate machinery that I hadn't previously used.
“I was fortunate enough to have a large barn at home which I was able to do most of the construction in, although I had to take it out before fitting the roof as it would have been too tall to get out of the barn door once completed.”
Ms Tucker, who will be going to Nottingham Trent university to study for a degree in furniture and product design, is aiming for a career in product design – but her next project may not as ambitious as her EPQ.
She said: “My family and friends were impressed and surprised by the scale of the project as my previous design work has been on a much smaller scale.
“I'd quite like to try renovating an old hut next rather than start from scratch again.”
Nicola Griffiths, deputy head of Ipswich High School, said: “All of our EPQ projects and presentations this year have been brilliant including Isabelle's incredible shepherd's hut.
“The EPQ is highly valued by universities and we find it really helps to demonstrate the skills and knowledge of our pupils.”