Rural retreat destroyed by arsonists

The Westmorland Gazette: Tim Sands at the remains of his hut Tim Sands at the remains of his hut

A YOUNG teacher who poured his life savings into building a woodland retreat has been left devastated after arsonists destroyed it.

Tim Sands, 24, who lives on-site at Sedbergh School, spent £7,000 and weeks of his time building the hut last year in the forest close to Hazelrigg Lane, Newby Bridge.

It was featured in an episode of Channel 4’s Amazing Spaces in December, 2012.

But on Wednesday night last week it was torched to the ground, taking with it both expensive tools and sentimental items that had belonged to his grandad when he first moved to the Lake District.

The wooden building, built with the help of friends, was uninsured, and the blaze is thought to have caused around £25,000 worth of damage.

Since completing the pro-ject, Tim has spent time there with friends, saying the hut was ‘built with laughter’.

“I’m still paying off debts to the woodyards so it will be a while before I can rebuild it and I’m worried it will just happen again. Plus a lot of things just cannot be replaced. I’m not an emotional person but I shed a tear and I was shaking when I found out.

He worked and saved from part-time jobs before landing the design and technology teaching job in September 2011.

Because his role at Sedbergh involved living on site, he wanted to invest in land or property ‘with a difference’, so that he would have something unique to pass on to his children.

Cumbria Police and Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service are jointly investigating the fire, which they described as ‘suspicious’.

A spokesman for the police said that the fire began some time before 9pm on January 30 and a passing motorist raised the alarm.

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Police are now investigating and are appealing to anyone who may have witnessed anything suspicious in the area to come forward and contact PC Jonathan Murray on 101.

Comments (5)

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10:19am Thu 14 Feb 13

sklanc says...

there always seems to be a rise in vandalism and arson type offences during the school half term holidays ! my best wishes go to this guy for the future.
there always seems to be a rise in vandalism and arson type offences during the school half term holidays ! my best wishes go to this guy for the future. sklanc
  • Score: 0

12:17pm Thu 14 Feb 13

onelocal says...

Happened over a fortnight ago, so can't blame half term and the kids this time. WG a little late with the news.
Happened over a fortnight ago, so can't blame half term and the kids this time. WG a little late with the news. onelocal
  • Score: 0

7:18pm Fri 15 Feb 13

sklanc says...

onelocal wrote:
Happened over a fortnight ago, so can't blame half term and the kids this time. WG a little late with the news.
my point still stands , ask the police or any one who owns allotments or a pcso or anyone living by a playground/ bus shelter etc
[quote][p][bold]onelocal[/bold] wrote: Happened over a fortnight ago, so can't blame half term and the kids this time. WG a little late with the news.[/p][/quote]my point still stands , ask the police or any one who owns allotments or a pcso or anyone living by a playground/ bus shelter etc sklanc
  • Score: 0

9:52pm Fri 15 Feb 13

onelocal says...

This was in the middle of virgin woodland miles from anywhere, hardly near a bus shelter or allotment. If I was Sherlock Holmes, I would be looking for someone who objected to log cabins, built for the benefit of a television program, in the middle of unspoiled forest. But there again, it was probably the kids at half term.
This was in the middle of virgin woodland miles from anywhere, hardly near a bus shelter or allotment. If I was Sherlock Holmes, I would be looking for someone who objected to log cabins, built for the benefit of a television program, in the middle of unspoiled forest. But there again, it was probably the kids at half term. onelocal
  • Score: 0

6:13am Sat 16 Feb 13

Moonbase says...

I wonder why it was not insured?
Was it that there was no planning permission or was this 'Teacher' just plain thick and stupid.
Who would leave 25k outside and not try to guarantee it.
Build a tree house next time.........ermmm..
..perhaps not.
I wonder why it was not insured? Was it that there was no planning permission or was this 'Teacher' just plain thick and stupid. Who would leave 25k outside and not try to guarantee it. Build a tree house next time.........ermmm.. ..perhaps not. Moonbase
  • Score: 0

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