PhotoHut™: A wildlife photographer’s hide

The PhotoHut™ wildlife photography hide is, at its heart, a traditional timber cabin-style hide. I took the tried and tested format, ramped up the level of comfort, gave it spacious dimensions, considered every aspect imaginable and made them fully functional. I want you to be cool, calm and collected.

The bespoke design is constructed from heavy-duty tanalised timber and the exterior is fully weather-proofed with TGV boarding and residential grade torch-on roof felt. The roof extends 0.5m over the front aspect, providing additional shelter from rain and snow.

Inside, the flooring and walls are fully-lined with hardwood ply, blacked out, insulated with 50mm Celotex, and ventilated to help regulate temperatures throughout the seasons. During the winter a heater will be added to keep out the cold.

There are three photographer stations with spacious viewing, a high-quality machined aluminium plate for your tripod-head and fully adjustable, ultra comfortable, padded swivel chair.

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The PhotoHut™ in detail…

When designing this rather special wildlife photography hide, I was keen to give clients the space needed to move both lens and elbows. Each photographer’s windows is approximately 900mm x 420mm – plenty of room to manoeuvre even the largest telephoto.

This width also mean you’re not pressed against each other, awkwardly rubbing sweaty elbows with total strangers! The standard PhotoHut™ set-up uses WWS® proofed canvas snoots with integral viewing windows or scrim nets, lined with mosquito netting. This can be switched out for ‘all scrim’ or even glazing.

Heavy-duty storm shutters have been fitted to the exterior which are opened via pulleys and cords from within. For continued use throughout the seasons, our PhotoHut™ can also be easily reconfigured for animal subjects requiring additional sound insulation, like raptors. In this case, we can simply switch out the canvas frames and install ultra-clarity 4mm float glass units.

To support your cameras and lenses, there is a substantial 300mm deep, non-flex timber shelf with a choice of a bespoke aluminium tripod-head plates or Manfrotto™ Super Clamps. Around the interior, you have shelving and hooks to stow your equipment and clothing. These hides are for use during the night too, so we want you to be able to stow your kit off the floor – better that than have it trodden on.

A ridiculously comfortable adjustable chair with arm rests will help ensure those long sessions remain as enjoyable as possible. Another important aspect that I considered was the need for adjustability and flexibility. I designed the hides with my friends in mind and they range from Hobbits to towering rowers!

The benefit is that every hide as height-adjustable seats and spacious headroom for my tallest clients – the tallest so far has been 6ft 8in (well over 2m). There are even foot rests for our ‘height-challenged’ photographers. If you fancy a break or a quick nap, simply take down one of the camp beds hanging on the wall.

The PhotoHut™ accommodates up to three photographers, seats bookable in advance via the website. Exclusive hire is also available. There is currently a PhotoHut™ at the Buzzard site – a feeding station for Common Buzzards and Red Kites, situated on the highest point of the farm with spectacular view of surrounding countryside.