AN INITIATIVE dating back to the 1920s could make a comeback and see a hut built in a woodland near Gifford.

The concept of hutting in Scotland dates back to between the First and Second World Wars.

Now, plans are with East Lothian Council which would see a hut built in the southern section of Wynd Wood, to the west of Gifford.

According to the plans: “During the 1920s and ’30s, people from inner cities and industrial towns sought a refuge away from the grime, noise and pollution and head out into the countryside whenever they could manage.

“Communities of hutters flourished and these were not honeypot sites or holiday homes built for profit but a working-class, self-motivated need to get away from their daily, hard lives.

“Carbeth Hutting site in Stirlingshire is a living example of a large hutting site, with their huts being passed down through generations and it is now considered a conservation area.

“Without painting an overly bucolic picture of such developments, as these sites were not fancy, they were not really designed, they were not country second homes, but simply built by families who had not very much but just loved the freedom their hut could provide to enjoy a happy place where opportunities to get some fresh air and recreation (fishing, allotments, swimming) were abundant.”

Joe and Layla Tree, described as “keen environmentalists”, have purchased Wynd Wood, with the land, covered with oak and Scots Pine, stretching to more than 2.5-hectares.

A composting toilet is already in place “near, but not too close, to the hut”.

The planning statement notes: “The applicants are going for a contemporary design which they developed themselves.

“It is orientated to have the primary elevation facing south looking over the rolling fields around Bolton Muir.

“Views and solar gain are the obvious reasons for this.

“The northern side is fairly plain but allows for daylighting into the living space.

“An internal mezzanine level is incorporated to allow a loft bed.”

The Tree family live less than 20 miles away from the site and intend to cycle to their hut, which measures about 6.5 metres by 4.6 metres internally, whenever possible.

The plans have been discussed by Humbie, East and West Saltoun, and Bolton Community Council. Rosemary Greenhill, chairwoman of the group, said: “We are still doing our research and have not formed a final view.”