Meet the man who has won 2016's Shed of the Year


While Team GB's Olympians have been battling it out for gold over in Rio, a father-of-four has quietly lifted one of the nation's most coveted titles - that of Shed of the Year.

Kevin Herbert spent eight years building West Wing at the bottom of his Berkshire garden, a shed complete with a loft area, secret bookcase and roof made of grass and wild flowers.

The 42-year-old's labour of love saw him beat competition from fellow "sheddies" and constructions such as the Shed Of Dreams, complete with its gothic feature made from washing machine doors, the Hooting Owl pub shed, built from material shipped from the Polish mountains, and Ilona's Summerhouse, a sunlit hideaway created from recycled pallets, doors and reclaimed paving slabs.

 Kevin Herbert and his shed West Wing in Berkshire.

His shed was shortlisted from almost 3,000 entries and judges agonised over the winner during the Channel 4 show Amazing Spaces Shed Of The Year.

Kevin hid his victory from his children ahead of the programme, which aired on Friday, but admitted he had done "nothing but go on about it" after reaching the final.

With a huge gold crown for his efforts, a winner's plaque and a cheque for £1,000 from sponsors Cuprinol, he admitted he would be getting "lots of mileage" out of his win.

 Kevin Herbert and his shed West Wing in Berkshire.

Kevin, a thatcher by trade, said his shed had been inspired by his childhood days of building tree houses and working on it helped him recover from ill health.

Built from 90% recycled material with two and a half tonnes of soil and turf on the roof, West Wing has three separate sections, a workshop space and a secret bookcase that reveals a hidden room for his and wife Martine's children to enjoy - complete with TV, DVDs and an Xbox - providing relief for the family from their cramped three-bedroom house.

Kevin said the shed is "pretty much finished - it's 99% there" - but admitted that it is still evolving, and he is currently changing the stairs around.

Shed West Wing in Berkshire.

He said: "It is just such a great space for us as a family. It is more like another room of the house, really."

Kevin's family have long given up rolling their eyes when he pops out to work on it, and instead see it as somewhere to escape to.

He said: "They know no different - that is the way it has always been. My little girl, Hazel, always helps me and has the same enthusiasm."

Shed West Wing in Berkshire.

Kevin said it was "bizarre" to win, and said he was looking forward to "winding the kids up" about it.

And he said the victory would give him licence to spend more time out in his shed, saying: "There's always something I've got to do out there. I'll have to make a shelf now to put up my prize."

Andrew Wilcox, founder of the competition, said: "Picking the winner is always a tough decision.

Kevin Herbert and his shed West Wing in Berkshire.

After we narrowed down the sheds to the last few standing, the final decision had a lot of discussion, but there was a clear winner when it came to choosing Kevin's shed.

"I absolutely love West Wing, not only for its quirkiness in terms of its design and use, but also because of the determination that Kevin had to get it built.

"I hope it inspires other sheddies around the UK to build their own amazing spaces in time for Cuprinol's Shed of the Year 2017."