A FAMILY have sacrificed life’s comforts and their two businesses to live off-grid in a woodland community in Somerset.
The Tizard family have swapped their indoor loo and washing machine to live in the Tinkers Bubble commune – where they grow their own food, live in the woods and rely on 19th-century technology to survive.
Tired of the “rat race” of running two businesses, the family upped and left their home in Devon to move to the near self-sufficient community in south Somerset.
Among 40 acres of woodland near Norton-sub Hamdon, Yeovil, the 14 residents till the land using horses and a Victorian plough, saw timber using a 1930s steam engine and sell homemade apple juice to local shops.
They grow most of their own food with the occasional help of volunteers, who come to experience communal living.
Pedro Brace, who joined the community 10 years ago, said that if anyone needs to wash they light the wood-burning stove “and a couple of hours later you can have a hot bath.”
Tinkers Bubble has been going for 25 years – and is set to feature in a BBC documentary on Monday.
Mum of the Tizard family, Kirsty, told the BBC: “We both ran our own businesses for quite a few years, we had five children and a very hectic life.
“I had what you might call a midlife crisis – I had a feeling of ‘is this all there is to living?’ It just seemed a rat race of trying to earn enough to pay the rent.”
Dad Nick added: “Over a long period of time I started feeling fairly guilty about consumption of things, of stuff that we buy constantly that we don’t necessarily need.
“Christmases get fairly raucous, we used to buy them lots of presents and I just started to become aware of the wastage that we get from everything that we buy.
Nick and Kirsty’s children have taken to the change and have joined the local school.
However, Kirsty said: “We’ve got one daughter who’s a bit of a townie.
“She’s said ‘mummy I can see that this is totally the way for you to live but I want a toilet with walls!’”
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Nick has said he felt guilty about his impact on the planet while living in Devon, adding: “We’re not living our life much differently to the vast majority of people on this planet.
“The carbon footprint that we have here is pretty much the same as the global average per person.
“So we’re not really that extreme.”
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