Ben Law: Woodland Living in Style


While we TreeHuggers do try hard to present a modernist view of the environmental movement, we aren't completely immune to the age-old back-to-the-land notions so popular with hippies everywhere. See, for example, Leonora's posts on a couple living the good life in New Zealand, or this recent post about a rural, hexagonal, strawbale house in the UK. For some reason, however, it looks like we are yet to post on Ben Law, woodland-living pioneer and subject of a previous episode of Grand Designs (the show that also brought us the hexagonal house).

Ben describes himself as a woodsman, and he makes his living from charcoal burning, wood crafts, and environmental education. He is also the author of two books about woodland living, and he has built his own beautiful cruck framed house hewn almost entirely from materials produced from his own woodland. The following is from the foreword to Ben's book, The Woodland House:
"Ben has proved that it's possible to make a good living as an underwoodsman — coppicing, hurdle making and charcoal burning, simply by working hard and applying good commercial business sense. He's also proved that it's possible to design and construct an elegant, sophisticated and truly environmentally-friendly home from materials around you, providing you design with diligence and sensitivity. And he has proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that great architecture need not be urban, or glamorous or loud."

While we don't expect everyone to return to woodland living, and we suspect it would be a disaster if everyone did, we would like to see more folks like Ben — taking a practical, holistic, low-impact approach to countryside and woodland management. Especially if they build such beautiful houses :: Ben Law:: via site visit ::

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