I met Dave deep in the woods, just as a haze of bluebells had begun to burst into flower. With the help of Ben, an enthusiastic young volunteer recruited through his blogging site, he was hard at work building a prototype ‘shepherds hut’ using a mix of salvaged materials and fresh cut cedar. But the hut is no pet project and Dave is certainly no ‘escape from modern life’ hippie type. Dave is a bit of a visionary and the hut, he was soon to share with me, could help to tackle the housing crisis, providing affordable, easily built, mobile accommodation.
Dave is also a hi-tech greening guru with a growing social media fan base and lots of big ideas. He owned an Internet company with 8 employees by the time he was 21. Now in his early 30s, he has sold out and is using part of the proceeds to fund a year long experiment in the woods, thinking about the problems facing our future and coming up with novel solutions. Despite the lack of a mobile phone signal, he has managed to maintain an active social media presence by walking to his local pub, which has wifi. In fact he earns cash by promoting products through the likes of Instagram and Twitter.
It was fascinating to watch hi-tech mingling into ancient forest. A wireless green jigsaw and a bright yellow stepladder sat amongst dry leaves from last autumn. A semi-homemade composting loo rested rather incongruently and slightly lopsided amongst the trees. The hut was taking shape fast. Let’s hope Dave can find the answers we need.