Patrick Fulton's treehouse removal
Roe Valley Country Park removes the treehouse
My treehouse was taken down in November 2002.
As I had built the treehouse on public land, which didn't belong to me, I was always aware that it could be demolished. It had been in the tree for nearly eight years, so I was starting to assume that the land managers (the Roe Valley Country Park, near Limavady in Northern Ireland) weren't too concerned or they would have removed the treehouse much sooner.
It now seems that they simply needed someone to foot the removal bill. A visitor to The Treehouse Guide contacted the Roe Valley Country Park and asked them if they could visit the treehouse. The treehouse was built in a rarely visited corner of the park, but it turns out the location was known by the wardens, and now they knew who built it. Once they knew I was the builder I was sent a letter ordering removal. The letter said that they were worried that people would sue them if they were injured climbing the tree, so the treehouse would have to come down.
I must admit I was surprised that a) you can sue a public park if you fall out of a tree, b) you can sue a public park if you hurt yourself on something which they don't own, c) they hadn't shown any signs of this concern for nearly eight years.
I was not able to come over to Northern Ireland straight away, so I agreed an extension with the park to the deadline for removal which didn't seem to be a problem. But when I arrived, a letter was waiting saying that the treehouse had been taken down by tree surgeons 10 days previously. Also included with the letter was a £1000 ($1600) bill.
The treehouse is no more, but I hope that something has come out of it. I appreciated the forest for what it really was after spending so much time up in the canopy of the trees. I learned a lot about treehouses and building in general. I'd like to think that through my web site hundreds of people will learn what it takes to go out and build a treehouse for themselves. Maybe you will find out what it is to be up in a tree, and go well on the way to making up for the loss of my treehouse. Maybe I can inspire you to read through this website, take some notes and give it a go.
If you get stuck, you can write me a message and I will try to help you along. If everything works out and you build yourself a little place in the trees, I would love to add your treehouse to the world treehouse list.