The Battlefield

This is the start of an amazing journey for us, drawing on ideas from childhood, when we built dens in the woods, to designing, building and implementing a cutting edge hideaway.

The paradigm

Throstle Nest is a typical Nidderdale Small-Holding of less than 100 acres of mixed grassland and woodland. The size of the farm has not changed in 100 years, yet the amount of land required to sustain a livelihood from agriculture has increased to approximately 1,000 acres.

The Princes Countryside Fund published an article in 2016 titled “Is there a future for the small family farm in the UK?” The thrust of the article was that agricultural small-holdings require to diversify to survive and the type of diversification will is dictated by the nature of the small holding.

The project

Throstle Nest has already diversified into DIY livery and this has proven to be the right strategy. The next step in the diversification continues to utilize the farm’s uniquely beautiful setting to draw visitors into the AONB to enjoy the countryside, the small villages and market towns.

Tom’s Treehouse meets Flashman’s Retreat

Awakened by the possibilities of tourism and leisure to drive diversification – the challenge was to find the most appropriate implementation – a unique proposition that would be fit into the local environment and fulfill the expectations of visitors.

Inspired by our research on “glamping” and “treehouses” we felt that the most appropriate option was a high-end, treehouse. Of the various concepts we liked Tom’s Treehouse, which the advantages of being compact and freestanding.

Tom’s Treehouse, Camp Wandawega, Wisconsin, USA

Why “Flashman’s Retreat?”

So, why “Flashman’s Retreat”…

Sir Harry Paget Flashman VC, KCB, KCIE is a fictional character created by Thomas Hughes in the semi-autobiographical Tom Brown’s Schooldays, whose exploits in later life are documented in The Flashman Papers, a series of novels and short stories written by George MacDonald Fraser.

Harry Flashman  – the self-aware, shameless, shrewd, cowardly opportunist of The Flashman Papers – was an inspirational anti-hero, much loved by my brother Roddy, who was killed whilst reporting on the war in Chechnya in September 2002. Flashman’s Retreat will support the work of the Roddy Scott Foundation in Georgia.

For those with an insatiable appetite for all things “Flashman” here is compendium of Flashman quotes FlashmansRetreat.Blogspot.


A distinguishing feature of Flashman’s Retreat will be the utilization digital technology. The aim of digital technology is to facilitate processes and we are exploring the opportunities, and perhaps the challenges and limitations of digitization, in the context of holiday lettings – from booking to operation, from advertising to security.

With “smart home” technology this will possibly be a “flash man’s” retreat.

We hope you enjoy following us on our journey.