Highland carpenter takes lockdown DIY project to the next level by building a giant timber treecastle
It has turrets, heating and a triple-glazed skylight nestled in the rooftop – it’s amazing.
A former furniture college student from Inverness has pulled out all the stops in carpentry with his newly-built treecastle boasting furnishings all made by hand.
Fergus Hart, from near Beauly, has spent most of lockdown collecting wood and working on the mammoth project, which only took him two months to build.
Not one for sitting around with little to do, the 22-year-old said his new DIY ‘hobby’ (profession?) has saved him from boredom amid coronavirus restrictions left and right.
Speaking to The Scotsman, Fergus talked about what it took to erect such a structure, and his motive behind building it.
"When lockdown hit I really didn’t fancy sitting around complaining about things like everyone else, so I put my mind to this to keep me busy,” he said, still sounding chuffed with his achievement.
All the wood – which is Douglas Fir – has been collected by Fergus from the surrounding forest, including off-cuts from other projects in the area found at his local saw mill.
“Furlough also didn’t appeal to me," he continued.
“I strongly feel that if you don’t really need government money, then don’t take it – it can go to other use where it’s really needed.
"So I decided to build this instead.”
Keeping his environmental hat on throughout the project, Fergus has only used materials that pose no harm to the environment to build his fortress – which even has drink cabinets in the turrets.
"Some paints these days have small particles of plastic in them, but I went for a neutral clay paint which is free from these.
"The inside is plastered and coated with this non-offensive paint, and there’s 200mm of insulation, so it stays warm.”
It’s not only protected from the fresh Highland air, but also has a radiator inside and a triple-glazed skylight for when winter really starts to bite.
"I like the window in the roof, it will be good for when we get clear nights, which is once in a blue moon up here with the cloudy weather!”
Despite making a perfect getaway for Brits looking for an adventure, Fergus said the timber castle is currently just for friends and family to enjoy.
He said he has entertained the idea of making a business out of his treehouse-building skills, but said it’s just a thought for now.
"This has mainly been a project to keep me busy when nothing else is really going on,” he added.
"Getting outside each day with something like this to be cracking on with has helped me keep my head through all this.”
When asked about his stash of 5ft 12ft canons which he revealed he has stored nearby, Fergus said they were there on standby to “fight the socialists.”
"I’ve got a fair few, but don’t worry, they are just replicas,” he laughed.
Fergus had plans to go travelling around Central and South America for two years before the pandemic hit the UK.
Having flown out to Costa Rica earlier this year before just lockdown, the craftsman decided returning to the Highlands was his best option as cases started to rise across the world.