An off-grid community hidden deep in the woods of the English countryside is home to residents who pay just £120-a-month in rent, and earn cash by selling cider.
The Tinkers Bubble commune is in 40 acres of Somerset countryside that currently houses nine residents, but numbers have fluctuated since it opened in the mid 1990s. The commune comprises of eight self-built houses, made from wood, straw, cob walls and reeds recycled from local thatched cottages.
"We’re money poor but otherwise rich!" the website chimes, adding that money is made mainly through forestry, apple work and gardening.
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Since its creation the commune has seen eight babies born on site.
One resident, Alex, told Positive.News that the self-reliance creates a feeling of "empowerment".
"Most of our food is grown or killed by us. Our fuel is wood we’ve chopped. It feels empowering, we’re not reliant on shops," he said.
Alex, a former civil engineer, relocated to the west country commune two years ago after starting as a volunter.
They explained the lure of the eco-commune, claiming challenges around mental health and isolation in urban society fed into their decision.
"If I look at the crises of modernity, there’s so many aspects, whether it is loneliness, mental health, housing, access to food, climate change – life here provides an answer to a lot of that stuff in one go," Alex said.
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Most that live in Tinkers Bubble in their late-20s to mid-30s, as the strenuous work required to upkeep the commune does not suit older people, Alex said.
The commune has two cows, which are milked by the residents. They also have chickens and grow much of their other food.
They manage around 28 acres of woodland, used to create their own fuel.
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