Is this the UK’s best treehouse? Taverham family in finals of nationwide hunt
- Credit: Archant
A Taverham family could be living the high life after their treetop creation put them in the finals of a hunt for the country's best treehouse.
Matthew and Becki Jennings were inspired to build their very own Faraway Treehouse after six-year-old daughter Ruby finished reading the Enid Blyton series The Faraway Tree.
Over two months, with hard hats on, Mr Jennings, an architectural technologist, and Ruby spent the weekends bringing the idea to reality, collecting recycled wood from the local area.
Now, wildlife presenter Steve Backshall and a panel of judges has put the Jennings' creation among the top in the UK, as part of a Center Parcs competition which will see the winner enjoy a break at one of the holiday village's new luxury treehouses.
Mr Jennings said: 'I always wanted a treehouse as a child and we feel really strongly about Ruby spending time outdoors, so it's been brilliant to build our own version together.
'Although she's small, Ruby was really involved in the building process and would be right beside me with her hardhat on – often asking when we can go back outside to keep working on it. It's now the centre of play in our home and Ruby is forever adding things to her Christmas list to keep improving it – last year it was a ship's bell.'
He said the family was 'keeping our fingers crossed' that the judges would crown them as winners.
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Ruby's treehouse now has a blue wooden door, steps and windows at the base of the tree and her family says, whatever the season, she spends much of her time outdoors, eating her meals and bird-watching in the treehouse.
Martin Dalby, CEO of Center Parcs and another judge on the panel, said: 'I do like to spend my spare time working with wood in my own workshop at home so being asked to be a judge for this competition has been a real privilege. The quality of the treehouses entered has been absolutely fantastic and it's been great to see that families have spent time together building, decorating and enjoying them.'
At the end of June, the Elveden Center Parcs unveiled four new two-storey treehouses, which with prices starting from £2,699, include woodburners, Sky TV, private decking with a barbecue, an external games den and an outdoor hot tub.
Elveden is the third Center Parcs site to get the treehouses, after Sherwood and Longleat, which the company says have been at full occupancy since they launched.
Entries can be viewed on Twitter using the hashtag #UKTopTreehouse and on Center Parcs UK Facebook page.
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