For some, the idea of living in a wood is exciting and inspirational. For others, it’s just a weird concept.
There are some reoccurring questions I am asked about living in a wood from people sitting on both sides of the fence.
Do you get scared at night?
Nope. When I lived in Leeds I was very wary about walking the streets around where I lived in the dark. I’ve seen numerous bloody fights on the streets and someone was shot on a street close by.
There are less people near the wood and much less crazy idiots who want to punch and shoot people (even though probably more people own guns in the countryside).
All the wild animals fear humans so they pose no threat. Having some wolfs or bears around would certainly make life more interesting, though.
How did you get planning permission?
My step dad got planning permission back in 2000 to build a cabin and run his charcoal and logging business. You may remember Ben Law from that famous Grand Designs episode? Ian pretty much did the same thing a few years before Ben Law. It’s not easy to get planning in woods but there’s loads of resources available on the internet if you are keen to try.
How do you get your electricity?
Like normal people. It comes from the main powerlines on the road. It was installed when the house was built. As long as there are power lines close by, it’s quite simple to get leccy installed. A bit costly, though!
Do you have internet?
Yes, we do. We had dial up when it was a thing, then got BT broadband when it was invented. Unfortunately, the installation of BT Infinity in the village meant our broadband broke. We are three miles from the exchange and the data just doesn’t travel that far, apparently. Thankfully, we get a good EE mobile broadband signal that is way faster than our broadband ever was. Hurrah for technology!
Do you have a toilet?
We do now. We didn’t for the first three years of living here when I was a teen. We just had a spade and 7 acres to find a private spot.
We have our own septic tank for toilet waste which filtrates back into the wood. Good food for the trees, eh?
Are you worried a tree will fall on you?
When it’s really windy I do worry about it. Several trees have fallen over the years and, weirdly, we watched one fall as we sat in the garden last year. It was a still, warm day and it seemed to fall for no reason!
Most of the trees around the buildings have been lopped to reduce their height which reduces the chance of them falling in the wind. Others trees have had their crowns lifted so we don’t walk or drive into their branches. Keeping the trees in check is important so any dead trees or dodgy looking trees around the house and aong the road side are felled and turned into firewood or items to sell in my Etsy shop.
Even though we have several oak trees, I haven’t yet had an acorn fall on my head (touch wood). I know it will hurt when it happens!
What happens when you run out of milk?
There’s a village just over a mile away with everything we could ever need – two shops, several takeaways, a butchers, a hairdressers and a doctors. However, we very rarely run out of milk because we stock the freezer up every time we shop. If you haven’t frozen your milk before, you should try it – it’s life changing!
Do you get firewood from your own trees?
Some we do, but only from trees we have felled that are dangerous, dead or really in the way. We plan to thin out the wood in the near future to give the trees more room and light to grow, which will give us more logs to burn.
Ian buys in timber to chop up into logs to sell, so we mainly use that supply.
Why do you want to be in a wood?
It’s private, it’s calming, it’s full of nature and we feel at home among the trees. I love feeling far away from the hustle and bustle of life, even though it’s right here with me. It’s great not having to worry what the neighbours think of our uncut grass or where we position the wheelie bin on bin day (not that I would actually care).
Do you eat badgers?
We have been asked this. When our neighbours moved in, they wanted to know whether we ate badgers. Apparently, they were informed by a local that ‘them in that wood eat badgers’. It’s now an ongoing joke. We even held a badger themed party with a hog roast that we decorated to look like a badger. It was clearly a pig with charcoal smeared on its head yet some people genuinely believed we were spit roasting a wild badger!
If you have a question for me about what it’s like to live in a wood I would love to hear it. Comment below or Tweet me at @MissJTulip