Kentish Town ‘eco shed’ with wildflower roof is best in UK

Marcus Shields outside his Kentish Town eco shed, where he stores his many bikes. Picture: Joe Burdo

Marcus Shields outside his Kentish Town eco shed, where he stores his many bikes. Picture: Joe Burdon - Credit: Rosie Hallam/Cuprinol

For most people, the garden shed is the cobweb-covered place where you stick your gardening tools.

But for Scottish landscape architect Marcus Shields, 36, from Kentish Town, the humble shed is so much more.

His eco-friendly design, which has a grass roof covered in wildflowers and is made from recycled materials, has won Best Eco Shed in the UK in the annual Shed of the Year competition.

Built to house the racing enthusiast’s 13 bikes in the garden of the Castle Road home he shares with wife Helen, Mr Shield’s Eco Bike Høøse has won acclaim from shed enthusiasts all over the country.

“I was made redundant so I had a bit of time on my hands,” he explained. “Before we had a really old shed that was falling apart and the bikes were taking up a lot of space in the house. It changed our lives a little bit.

“The roof is planted with wildflowers and bulbs, which attracts bees and butterflies. The flowers look lovely at this time of year. It looks stunning.”

Best Eco Shed is one of eight categories in the Shed of the Year competition, which also includes Best Tardis and Best Garden Office. Each category winner is now up for the top gong, Shed of the Year, which comes with a £1,000 prize.

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The result of the competition will be announced during Shed Week, which starts Monday, July 1.

Mr Shields started work on the construction in 2011 and finished it in spring last year.

He held back on submitting it to the Shed of the Year competition until this year so that photographs of the construction would show it in its best light.

The shed is designed so that water drains off the roof into a tank, which Mr Shields then uses to water the grass roof. Yoghurt pots are used for the shed’s cladding and its front uses recycled plastic sheeting.

Mr Shields decided to enter his shed in the UK-wide competition because he wanted to show friends and family the results of his hard work.

Now it has been featured in the national press, he does not mind if he doesn’t win the overall prize.

He said: “Winning Best Eco Shed is enough for me. It was definitely a worthwhile investment.

“There’s a fox sleeping on the grass roof at the moment. It spends a lot of time in the garden now and it’s a bit of a pest actually but it looks sweet.”