A thrifty Cornwall couple manage to live off just £1,250 a year by forgoing modern luxuries and living a bare-bones existence.

Sarah Simpson, 27, and Nigel Mepham, 44, survive on just the essentials, living rent-free in a Cornish coastal fort in exchange for looking after the land.

The couple's lifestyle is similar to that of 1970s TV favourites Barbara and Tom from sitcom The Good Life.

Nigel constructed the couple's home from scavenged timber while second-hand solar panels provide electricity. The only gadgets are a laptop and an old iPhone given to Nigel by a friend.

The couple grow their own fruit and vegetables, making jams and preserves to carry them through the winter months.

Credit: SWNS

Sarah said: "It is hard. We have no running water and we dig compost toilets. But when you give up luxuries, you gain freedom and time.

"It is a pretty cheap existence without the stuff you tell yourself you need."

For food, Nigel and Sarah also smoke fish, meat and vegetables on a hand-built cooking contraption and forage for mushrooms, berries and herbs.

Nigel said: "A lot of our time is spent just existing - gathering food, gathering wood, gathering water. We are pretty much living like they did in the 1930s.

"It's not the lifestyle for everyone, but it's better than the rat race."


Credit: SWNS

Credit: SWNS

Their wooden hut is situated on the stunning Kingsand peninsula, where homes sell for up to £750,000, but they're currently saving for an upgrade.

Once the couple finish their stint in the hut at the end of the summer they plan to move into a floating home, nicknamed Noah's Ark, which will consist of huts mounted on a barge with a chicken pen and vegetable garden.

Nigel said: "I've wanted to build a raft to live on ever since I read Tom Sawyer."

They will move there with their two dogs and four chickens.

The couple met one another two years ago at a campsite where Sarah was living in a tent to save money on rent and Nigel was doing odd jobs.

"I realised I was in a beautiful setting. I didn't want to leave. I didn't need that much anymore," explained Sarah.

Credit: SWNS

But the couple decided to give up life on the campsite when they got an offer from the Rame Conservation Trust to live rent-free.

Since the move the pair have become expert recyclers, often trawling through skips to find anything salvageable.

He said: "I've always been a bit of a magpie. Every day people are burning usable stuff, burning wood that's still got 20 years of life in it. The first cabin I built, all I had was a saw, a hammer and some reused nails. I've built five now, and lived in tree-houses and teepees."

Featured Image Credit: SWNS

Stewart Perrie

Stewart Perrie is a Trending Journalist at LADbible. His first job was as a newsreader and journalist at the award winning Sydney radio station, Macquarie Radio. He was solely responsible for the content broadcast on multiple stations across Australia when the MH17, Germanwings and AirAsia disasters unfolded. Stewart has covered the conflict in Syria for LADbible, interviewing a doctor on the front line, and has contributed to the hugely successful UOKM8 campaign.

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