Bespoke Bird Boxes By Design

Sowley Farmhouse on the Duchy’s Needwood Estate in Staffordshire has been the beating heart of the Gadsby family for almost half a century. Geraldine and Terry Gadsby took on the tenancy in 1974 and despite the fact that their children have now all grown up and moved into properties of their own, the farmhouse is still the place they immediately think of as ‘home’.

Sadly, Terry died suddenly and unexpectedly in October 2021, leaving his widow Geraldine as the sole tenant in residence. The family rallied round in support of their mum, returning to the fold as often as they could. Son Shaun in particular found solace from his own grief and sense of personal loss by spending time in what had always been known by the family as “the shed”. This was Terry’s private retreat and he would spend many hours a day here tinkering about, sawing, chopping logs, welding, repairing and making things.

Shaun inadvertently found himself following in his father’s footsteps and it wasn’t long before he appeared from “the shed” with a few creative offerings of his own. These generally took the form of artfully designed bird boxes and with the help of his wife Clare who has a keen interest in antiques, Shaun began to seek out small and unusual teapots, cups and saucers to use in his designs.

After posting a few photos on Facebook, his bird boxes attracted a lot of attention and he was soon making them to order. “It’s been so heart-warming to see and hear the positive reaction to my birdboxes,” he said. “I started making them as a very personal form of therapy during a time of mourning and now I find myself running quite a thriving little business. I’m quite certain that dad would have been delighted to see “the shed” finally coming into its own as a creative and manufacturing hub – albeit on a small scale!”

Anyone wanting to commission one of Shaun’s designer bird boxes can contact him via email at