The Habitat House at Lower Mill Estate in the Cotswolds has officially launched - an entirely fresh concept in terms of sustainable living and arguably one of the most exciting housing designs to be revealed this decade.  

Conceived by award-winning practice Featherstone Young, which is renowned for its striking yet ecologically sensitive design credentials, The Habitat House concept has been developed to both visually blend with The Estate's natural landscape as well as create enhanced opportunities for birds and other wildlife. The House’s form was conceived as emerging from the landscape rather than being imposed upon it, as is usually the case with a more traditionally-shaped house.

The first Habitat House property has been handed over to its new owners, with a show home also built and many more to come within the Estate. The development offers homeowners direct water access onto Spinney Lake, which is stocked with trout and accessible all year round for watersport activities such as canoeing, kayaking and paddle boarding. Plots benefit from both front and rear gardens and on plot parking. Prices start from £750,000.

Lower Mill Estate has worked closely with Featherstone Young to ensure the specification of The Habitat House model creates minimal impact on the existing landscape in three ways. Visually, by adapting a low lying form using natural materials that complement the landscape; ecologically, by creating habitat opportunities to replace those effected by building work; and sustainably, by adopting best practice passive and active energy efficiency features combined with low impact materials. As part of the standard specification each house comes with an air-source heat pump and underfloor heating.

Notable design features include a sloping 'living' wildflower roof providing habitat for invertebrates, a spine wall structure which follows the slope of the faceted mono-pitch roof, stone chimney and hanging tile facades (which are great for bats to roost under) that are intended to age and weather to complement the surrounding landscape.

Since it was founded 19 years ago, Lower Mill Estate has been at the forefront of creating fresh design concepts to vacation home-buyers, all of which put the habitat first.

Owner Red Paxton commented: “The vision is for The Habitat House to very much become the house of the future but within the realms of the finest ecological credentials. Our purpose all along has been for residents at Lower Mill Estate to live side-by-side with nature and enjoy the wildlife protected throughout the year. This unique concept will suit design lovers and habitat lovers alike.”

Sarah Feathersone of Featherstone Young adds: The Habitat House draws together two main threads running through our work: a contextual approach to materials and form and a stimulating and inspiring quality of spaces. These combined with the beautiful landscape and wildlife of Lower Mill Estate offers a distinctive and alternative architecture quite literally at one with nature."

Set in over 550 acres of prime British countryside, Lower Mill Estate offers the perfect balance between outdoor living and rest and relaxation, amid acres and acres of space, eight lakes and two rivers, for a great British escape. The idea behind the Estate is to live surrounded by nature, enabling owners or those renting homes for a short period, to live in complete safety among like-minded people who want to build their own beautiful, architecturally-advanced homes and immerse themselves in the natural environment.

The extensive facilities include a Pevonia spa with three pools, including a heated outdoor pool, and bike trails along the River Thames. Lower Mill Estate is the ultimate in Cotswold living, with the best sunrises and sunsets in middle England. Lower Mill Estate was established by the late Jeremy Paxton and is run by his family, who have turned the concept into one of the most successful luxury holiday developments in the UK. 

For more details, please visit: +44 (0)1285 869 489 

For media enquiries, contact Paul Charles, Sarah Rigler or Debra Fisher at The PC Agency – via  or +44 (0)20 7768 0001


About Habitat First Group:

Habitat First creates private, vacation home communities that share a love for mother nature. By combining excellence in architecture, interior design, facilities, security and service, homeowners can escape from the rigours of big city living. Habitat First offers an oasis of space where families can holiday comfortably and responsibly, safely explore and re-energise in acres and acres of natural habitat.

About Featherstone Young:

Featherstone Young is recognised as an important contributor to distinctive, contextual architecture. We design buildings that stimulate, rather than dictate activity and that offer flexibility and longevity. The practice and has won many awards for their work including the prestigious RIBA award for Ty Hedfan a new house in Wales, SERICC Crisis Centre and The Dellow Arts & Activity building.