Couple Who Live Off-Grid In Wooden Huts Spend Just £25 A Month On Bills
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A couple who live off-grid in wooden huts say they spent just £25-a-month on bills. You can see their unique home here:
Mathew Plumb, 43, and Lauren Youngs, 28, live in 15 acres of woodland in North Monmouthshire, Wales and forgo amenities such as WiFi, TV and even a bathtub.
They share their land, which Mathew’s dad bought for his sister several years back, with their cat Baby, their four pigs and some chickens and say they love their ‘unconventional life’.
When the couple met in 2014, tree surgeon Mathew was living in his van before moving out to the forest where he spent two years living alone.
Mathew told WalesOnline: “Before I came here I thought about buying a house.
"I had almost saved enough for a deposit on a small house in Merthyr, which was all I could afford at the time. Then it dawned on me: what am I going to do with a house?
"I cut trees for a living – that’s what I do and this is who I am. I want to do cool stuff.
We couldn’t do everything we do here while trying to pay off a mortgage.”
Lauren initially moved in ‘temporarily’ but found that when she moved back to London she ‘hated it’ and after losing her event management job during the pandemic returned to the forest, where she’s lived ever since.
She explained: “Mathew got me here on the pretence of doing an art walk and sculpture trail thing and I came here to stay a couple of weeks for that. In the end I stayed for two months.
“When I went back to London I hated it. I had to leave the flat really quickly because I lost my job as an event manager in the pandemic. It was a snap decision really.”
Talking about life in the forest, she said: “It’s cold very often. But I’m getting used to it. It was really weird – as soon as I came here for the first time I had a feeling I could be here.”
The couple use a makeshift shower - a bucket with a hole in the middle hanging from a chain - while the toilet is a hole in a bench within a wooden hut.
And their eco-friendly lifestyle saves them a lot of cash.
“It’s mental how much money you can save,” Mathew said. “I spend nothing on rent, zero on electric as we get all we need from solar panels, and about £25 every six weeks on propane gas. We have four pigs that I breed and 20 chickens we use for meat and eggs.”
While he was once tempted by ‘the modern world’ Mathew says he now knows he’s in the right place.
“I think from my early 30s I realised I didn’t want to live a conventional life. Once I saw timber being milled up in a woodland I thought: ‘Why on Earth do people want to live in bricks?’ I imagine a future where people go back to living in a wooded land and mill timber on site and build sustainable, zero-impact homes.
“We want to start a family and for our kids to live a healthier and happier life than many people get in the modern world. More and more people are taking an interest in going off-grid. I think the pandemic has been a wake-up call.”