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Home Forums General Discussion Off-grid in the UK

This topic contains 12 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  HannahLevi 2 years, 11 months ago.

Viewing 13 posts - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)
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  • #37148

    Marc_uk
    Participant

    Hi guys, I’m Marcus or Marc for short.

    I’ve been living off-grid in the south of England for a number of years.

    I only just found this website while looking for other people with similar interests.

    I have a few acres which was bare land 3 years ago and am trying to build it into a holding. It’s hard work as I’m living on site with no services except a water tap and very little cash. I’m attempting to make a living at the same time as build some infrastructure.

    Mainly on my own so it gets lonely at times, hence trying to find like-minded friends on the web.

    Loving exploring this site.

    Marc

    #42887

    WrethaOffGrid
    Keymaster

    Hi Marc, and welcome!

    Would love to see and hear about what you have done so far, please let us know what you have been doing to live off grid.

    Wretha

    #42889

    Marc_uk
    Participant

    Thanks for your interest Wretha, where to start?

    I can’t spend long on here now as I’ve been working flat-out today preparing to sell my produce tomorrow at a boot sale/boot fair(flea market)but I’ll be back with more info if you want to hear it.

    I was living off-grid in an old camper while looking for a suitable piece of land. Spent more than 2 years in the van wild camping wherever I could. There’s not many places around here that you can do that as it’s all quite highly populated. It’s an affluent area and most of the rich folks around frown on that sort of thing.

    Land prices were rocketing at the time and I was starting to lose hope of finding anything I could afford when I found this 8 acre piece. Land prices still seem to be rising amazingly, even though house prices in this area have dropped a little. (would you believe around 10,000 UK pounds per acre? – for just land with no buildings or anything)

    Now that I have the land I’ve built a small timber cabin as my current home. Hoping to build something a little larger sometime but for various reasons it’s not possible right now.

    I’ve got 150watts of low grade PV panels, a rather sad collection of batteries (about 8 of them but not all the same), a couple of inverters and various florescent and LED lights. I also charge phones, razor, AA batteries for flashlights etc. from the system.

    Cooking is by LPG gas, and heating also at the moment. I’d love a woodstove but as my encampment is illicit and not remote, the smoke would be something of a give away.

    In this area, as in most of the UK, any development in the countryside or anywhere else, is highly regulated.

    By operating an ‘agricultural business’ I’m able to get permission to do certain development although that doesn’t include residential at the present time.

    OK, I’m cooking and going to eat now, and then off bed as I have to be up early to get to the market.

    Let me know if you want to hear more.

    Marc

    #42890

    WrethaOffGrid
    Keymaster

    Sounds great Marc, I’d love to hear more about your life… it sounds a lot like my hubby and I are doing, we purchased 6+ acres on the side of a mountain, in the high desert or far west Texas. It was raw land, we built a small cabin we like to call our sky castle, it’s very small, we are 100% solar powered with a system we cobbled together ourselves, very much on the cheap! You can click on my username and it will take you to the articles I have written about our off grid life. We have lived this way since Dec 22, 2007, our only regret was not doing it sooner. We are both empty nesters (we have kids from previous marriages) and we are grandparents, but still young enough to live like we do and enjoy it.

    I look forward to hearing more about your adventures. :)

    Wretha

    #42920

    Marc_uk
    Participant

    Thanks for your interest Wretha, I looked at some of you articles and love the look and sound of your ‘Sky Cabin’

    I had a very successful morning at the market last weekend, the best takings of any so far this year. While not anything like the sort of amount that the salary slaves earn in a week it’s ample for my meagre requirements.

    I sell seasonable vegetables together with some cut flowers and various plants grown in pots and containers. Herb plants are selling well this year, in particular mint. I do them in a range of different size pots, but the larger ones seem to sell best. I guess people leave them in the pot and use from them till they are exhausted when they buy another!

    I’m very pleased with the way the veggies sell there, as other local sales are very slow.

    I’ve been working on my solar power system, in between looking after the plants etc. trying to get it better organized. It’s all a bit mix’n’match but I’m attempting to streamline things a bit.

    Marc

    #42922

    Marc_uk
    Participant

    Sorry Wretha, I meant ‘Sky Castle’ of course :-)

    #43096

    Mountain
    Participant

    I really enjoyed reading this so thanks for sharing this Marc. We have a couple of acres in Norfolk, and we’re kind of playing at the hybrid lifestyle of early semi-retirement and ‘earning’ a wage in the conventional sense for a couple of days a week. We do grow our own vegetables, we have some chickens and our next couple of pigs turn up tomorrow, so we’re having a go.

    Your comment about the markets resonated with me, as I’ve done boot sales before and you’re right, earning thirty to forty pounds at a boot sale or similar would be a pittance to my friends but to my partner and I, it’s enough to buy some groceries or food for the dogs as an example.

    I look forward to reading about your progress. Good luck.

    #43098

    Nick Rosen
    Keymaster

    Hi Marc

    I am appearing on Rado Solent tomorrow to talk about off-grid. Do yo live in their cachment area?

    #43102

    Marc_uk
    Participant

    Unfortunately not, but it should be available on the web to listen or download. What time are you on? – or any other reference?

    #43103

    Jay
    Participant

    Hi Marc,

    Just saw your book on amazon. Long time follower of your videos and I am really happy you wrote a book about your experience. I will certainly buy a copy when I get some cash together. One question for you a little off topic. How did you cope with all the rain ? I myself hate rain and was wondering do you naturally like it ?

    Thanks,

    Jay

    #43105

    Marc_uk
    Participant

    Hi Jay, I think you must be confusing me with someone else. Mark Boyle perhaps?

    #43151

    Lily Rose
    Participant

    Marc

    Thank you for replying to my post about living off grid in the UK.

    Have you read Rob Roy book “Timber Framing for the rest of us” ISBN 0-86571-508-4

    It is about a man that designed a house for a woman and three teenage daughters to build out of wood. It is using these principles that we built Aylmer’s Palace. It is 65 square feet and I am sure you will be able to live in it.

    I could send you some photos as I don’t know how to post photos on this forum or if I can. If you want to see what we have built email me at lily.rose49@yahoo.com

    I will send you some. It took us 2.5 years to build on a part time basis. Just my husband and I built this.

    Lily Rose

    #50094

    HannahLevi
    Participant

    Hi Marc (and everyone else here :) )

    I’ve really enjoyed reading this thread. I’m new here and there looks like here will be a wonderful source of information, I really like the sound of what you are doing Marc and you sound like a vessel of off-grid knowledge. My name is Hannah and I live with my partner, on a old small holding near Lancaster, uk. We are currently living in a static van and use a 1960’s tourer as guest accommodation. We’re hoping this year to get off grid and we’d like to  meet like minded people along the way. We are planning to spend the next few months visiting, staying and volunteer with people/families/communities who are living sustainable lives. We’d love to help out with anyone’s projects and be an extra couple pair of hands for anyone who might like to exchange their knowledge and ideas for our help. We are hoping to find folks who could accommodate us from a few days to a couple of weeks and we’d be happy to help with your projects or jobs that need doing.

    We  live within a small family community, there a chap who lives in the farm house, my father who lives in a ex-park home and my brother and his lady friend who live in a static. Between us, we keep turkeys, chickens, a couple of cows, a small herd of sheep (and our first year of lambs) Gloucestershire pigs, a pack of dogs, a cat and a parrot. We produce alot of our own meat and collect eggs from the lovely chickens.

    My partner and I’s goal is to get off grid and to live more sustainably. My brother has already kindly installed a wood burner for us, which we use for heating and has the potential of a back boiler for hot water. We have the space and time for growing alot of our own food but it is something we have only played with. We’d now like to learn more about growing our own vegetables/fruit, harvesting rain water, using renewable energy and living a lower impact life. I feel very strongly about living in harmony with nature and feel there is alot more we could be doing.

    We’ve got a great space to work with and there is so much info online, but we’d like to spend a few months living it first hand with other people to learn and grow.

    If anyone needs an 2 extra pairs of hands, please do get intouch, my email is hannahcarpenter1@hotmail.co.uk

    Thanks for reading and I’m looking forward to learning alot from this site.

    Hannah and Levi :)

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