Project:  The Hive Hotel Group – Preserving Nature and Luxury with Ancient Woodland Treehouses
Location:  Wildhive Callow Hall, Derbyshire
Status:  Completed

Client Background – The Hive Hotel Group:

The Hive Hotel Group is a renowned hospitality company known for its commitment to preserving historical properties and natural surroundings while offering unique and luxurious visitor experiences. The Group recently acquired a site featuring a historic main hall surrounded by ancient woodland. Their ambition was to maintain the property’s character, protect the natural environment, and create an exceptional visitor experience through the development of treehouse accommodations as well as the restoration and extension of the main Hall.

Project Overview:

The project involved the erection of 11 treehouses within the ancient woodland located to the west of the main hall. This presented a significant challenge due to the site’s designation as ancient woodland, which comes with stringent protections to ensure its preservation. The treehouses were designed to blend seamlessly with the natural environment, offering guests a touch of laid-back luxury while immersing them in the wild beauty of the woodland.

The design and construction of these unique properties was very technical and as such, Blue Forest Treehouses provided experienced design and technical advice in ensuring that these building could be installed within the sensitive woodland without causing harm to the environment.

Key Objectives:

Preservation of Character:

The Hive Hotel Group aimed to preserve the historical character of the main hall and the overall site, while seamlessly integrating modern and luxurious treehouse accommodations.

Environmental Protection:

Given the ancient woodland’s high degree of protection, the project needed to adhere to strict regulations to ensure minimal environmental impact during construction and throughout the treehouses’ operational phase.

Visitor Experience:

The treehouses were designed to provide an exceptional and unique visitor experience, offering one-bedroom and self-contained two-bedroom options for guests seeking luxury in a natural setting.


Ancient Woodland Designation:

The ancient woodland’s designation as a highly protected area posed a significant challenge. The construction of the treehouses needed to avoid disturbing the ecosystem, protected flora and fauna, and adhere to guidelines for minimum visual impact.

Balancing Luxury and Natural Integration:

Designing treehouses that offered luxury while maintaining an authentic connection to the natural surroundings required careful planning and collaboration between architects, environmental experts, and interior designers.

Regulatory Compliance:

The project needed to meet stringent regulatory standards for construction in protected areas, ensuring that the development followed all relevant guidelines without compromising the environment.

Approach and Solutions:

Environmental Assessment:

A comprehensive environmental assessment was conducted to identify potential risks and develop mitigation strategies. This included assessing the impact on local wildlife, soil composition, and the overall ecosystem.

Design Integration:

The architectural design of the treehouses focused on minimal visual impact, utilising natural materials that blended with the woodland scenery. Elevated platforms ensured that the treehouses had minimal contact with the ground and gave visitors the sensation of being in the trees.

Collaboration with Experts:

On behalf of The Hive Hotel Group Planning & Design Practice Ltd collaborated closely with environmental experts, arborists, Blue Forest Treehouses and the local authority to ensure the project’s compliance with regulations.

Sustainable Practices:

Construction methods prioritized sustainability, with measures in place to minimize disruption to the woodland, reduce waste, and incorporate energy-efficient features into the treehouses.

Results and Impact:

The Hive Hotel Group successfully transformed the ancient woodland site into a haven of luxury treehouse accommodations while respecting the environment and preserving the property’s historical character. The project’s key outcomes include:

Seamless Integration:

The treehouses seamlessly blend with the natural environment, offering guests an immersive experience in the heart of the ancient woodland.


The project showcased the feasibility of creating high-end accommodations within a protected area without compromising the ecosystem’s integrity.

Visitor Attraction:

The treehouses became a unique attraction, drawing eco-conscious travellers seeking both luxury and a connection to nature.

Environmental Stewardship:

The project highlighted the importance of responsible development in ecologically sensitive areas, setting an example for future developments.


The Hive Hotel Group’s endeavour to create luxury treehouse accommodations within a designated ancient woodland demonstrates the successful integration of nature preservation, luxury hospitality, and environmental responsibility. Through meticulous planning, collaboration, and adherence to regulations, the project stands as a testament to the harmonious coexistence of human comfort and natural beauty.