Welcome to Pinwheel!


Privacy & anonymity.

We wont disturb you during your stay unless called upon or if its absolutely necessary. If you have any problems or questions please don’t hesitate to text or call the duty manager on the duty phone – the current contact number is always displayed below the in/out board at the entrance to the camp and may change during your stay.

Once settled in please familiarise yourself with the departure routine in advance (below) 

Lighting the Ceramic log burner.

The log burning stove must not be left unattended when lit, therefore sadly we are not permitted to light it in advance of arrivals. However, the good news is that it takes no time to light and to heat the treehouse which is extremely well insulated. The key to lighting is to start slowly in order to heat the flu so that smoke is drawn up the chimney from the outset.

1. Open the air intake fully by pulling the lever below the glass door towards you.

2. Make  a Jenga like stacked square of  kindling 4 or 5 layers high at the back of the chamber. Drop a lit firelighters in the hole in the middle being careful not to burn yourself (we will have prepared  this prior to arrival for your 1st fire). Close the door & allow to burn down to a pile of part burnt sticks &  embers.

3. Put a few pieces of kindling on top of the embers as well as a tipi shape of a few small logs with the split side inwards/facing down.  Take care not to burn yourself, close the door.

4. Once the starter small logs are 3/4 burnt down to embers add more logs & close the door (split face in and down again). The fire should be roaring now. once the logs have started to burn you should reduce the rate of combustion by reducing the air intake with the lever below the door by moving it back/away from you. From now on its a matter of managing the speed of burn, if the lever is pushed fully back the fire will burn slowly and for a long time, pull it towards you to increase the rate of combustion.

The outer casing of the log burner is a ceramic heat sink and acts as a radiator for long after the fire goes out.

Don’t be tempted to load the fire with lots of logs or add them too soon as this will cause the door glass to blacken and obscure the view of the flames ( it will still work but won’t not look half as good!)

Don’t dry clothes or towels on or near the wood-burner – this is specifically forbidden by the fire officer. Dont use the log burner with the door open as this too is a severe fire risk.

Be carful when its up to temperature not to burn yourself on the top/sides as they can get very hot.


Fire & Safety

Fire risk is of particular concern in treehouses, therefore please don’t leave the woodturning stove, bbq or pizza oven fires unattended. 

Tea lights and unguarded candles are prohibited – we supply enclosed candle lanterns with candles safely inside for candlelight.

The bbq/fire pit uses charcoal and/or logs, the pizza oven & log burning stove use  logs only. 

Do not move the bbq/fire pit from its safety metal disk as that is the only safe place for it to be used.

Please leave all embers and ash for us to deal with when we are cleaning – properly dealing with ash/embers is critical in order to prevent an accidental fire.

Pizza making

If planning to use your pizza oven please see our lighting the pizza oven page. Frozen dough can be purchased from the Honesty shop if it has not been pre ordered/defrosted for you.

Logs & Kindling

We have refilled your log basket, kindling & firelighters, if you need more logs please help yourself from the log store under the treehouse by your recycling bins. Log refills are complimentary to treehouse guests.

There should be much more kindling and many more firelighters than needed for relighting the log burner, multiple fire pits and pizza oven lighting during your stay. However more can be purchased from the honesty shop if required.

If you would like to purchase anything else from the Honesty shop, please help yourself and make payment on our  woodland shop page.

Hot tub

The hot tub will be left empty and needs to be filled with fresh hot water just before use. It will take a while to fill and its best to use lots of hot water 1st as the metal will absorb some of the heat to start with. The bubbles button is by the hot/cold tap levers.


The mains water is suitable for drinking, the hot water is heated on demand so takes a couple of minutes to arrive, thereafter it is plentiful. 

Electric blanket

There are dual control electric blankets for the colder months, the controls are on each side of the bed by the mattress.


Please store food inside -the squirrels will help themselves in no time to anything edible and unguarded outside! We really don’t want to encourage them with a regular food supply.

No wet wipes

Pleas never put wet wipes down the loo as they block the system and do not degrade in our biodigester.

No noise policy

Please don’t play music or disturb the other guests with noisy behaviour as sound travels in the woods. Guests that flout these rules & disturb other guests will be asked to leave without a refund. Please switch mobiles to silent and don’t shout when using mobiles!

Dairy farming

The woods are generally very peaceful, the sounds of nature & the forest are very much part of the experience. However apologies in advance if once in a while the birds, owls and wildlife are accompanied by the sounds of dairy farming activity and/or country sports. This is very much part & parcel of living in a remote dairy farming community.  Occasionally some of the seasonal farming activities can be noisy and/or smelly… This is not something we can or would want to change & any noise or muck spreading smells are usually short-lived and everything returns to normal before long.


We encourage those that can to switch off their mobiles, laptops etc in order to get the most out of being in the woods. However we are always grateful when guests spread the word on social media (ideally when back home) please do tag us in any posts if you do- @mallinsonswoodlandretreat – thank you.




Please vacate the treehouse by 10 am on the day of departure. We are hard pressed to get everything cleaned & restocked and ready again in the limited time available. 

We are usually (but not always) in the staff kitchen by the in/out boards before 10 am on changeover days if you want to say hello/goodbye or to tell us about anything that may need fixing/attention (thank you in advance as this helps us sort anything out in time before the next guests arrive in the afternoon).


Please empty your general waste, food waste and recycling into the bins provided under/next to the treehouse.

Every council seems to differ – here are the West Dorset categories:

Glass -bottles & jars with metal lids on (no cans).

General waste- plastic film, polystyrene, plastic bags, crisp packets (broken glass wrapped in paper or card)

Recycling – paper & cardboard, tins, hard plastic trays, tbs & bottles.

Food waste – fruit, veg & peelings, meat, fish & bones, tea bags & coffee grounds, egg shells, all other caked and uncooked food (no plastic bags)


Please remember to move your tag on the in/out board to “have departed” so that we know when we can start the cleaning & restocking – thank you.

We hope that you have a great time.

Guy, Sandy, Claire & sheila.