Plankety-plank: Inside Britain's strangest sheds

A RE-CREATION of the Millennium Falcon, a restored nuclear bunker and a converted camper van are among the off-the-wall designs shortlisted for 2016's Shed of the Year.

Ilona's Summerhouse, a shed owned by Ilona in North Lincolnshire

While most people are happy if they can escape for the odd hour or two among pot plants and rusty old saws, more committed enthusiasts have lovingly put time and patience into creating some of the most eye-catching sheds in the UK.

Their finest efforts have been whittled down from 2,825 to a shortlist of 32, which will battle it out on a Channel 4 programme this summer.

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Sheds have been nominated in eight categories, from pub and entertainment-themed sheds to those with an environmental angle, cabins and summerhouses, workshops and historic sheds.

Ilona's Summerhouse, a shed owned by Ilona in North Lincolnshire

Among them is a restored three-man nuclear bunker, owned by Jim Sherrit in Brechin, Scotland, which is 20ft (6m) below ground and only accessible by a hatch and ladder.

Ilona’s Summerhouse is one of the budget finalists, a sunlit Lincolnshire hideaway created from recycled pallets, doors and reclaimed paving slabs, while the Maggie Ewing is a renovated ex-boat wheelhouse, owned by David Carter in the Scottish Highlands, made from one of the last boats ever commercially built in Caithness.

Other entrants in the Cuprinol-sponsored contest include a shed built on the back of an Austin J4 pick-up truck, a Wild West “saloon” where owner Alistair Baranowski and his friends drink Scotch on the rocks, and a shed that houses a real African dwarf crocodile.

There is even a Star Wars shed, owned by Stephen Gee in Nottinghamshire, inspired by Han Solo’s Millennium Falcon, complete with its own flight deck.

Austin Camper Shed, a shed owned by Stephen Alleyne in Norfolk

Competition founder Andrew Wilcox said: “These 32 sheds include some of the best I have ever seen in the history of the competition, so deciding who will take out top honour as the Shed of the Year 2016 will be tough, I love them all.”

Ilona's Summerhouse, a shed owned by Ilona in North Lincolnshire
Austin Camper Shed, a shed owned by Stephen Alleyne in Norfolk