Hermit who lives in a clay house in the middle of the woods is ordered to leave his home



Daniel Pike from Watford has been told to leave his house situated in the woods. Daniel Pike has built a remote shack made out of harvested clay from the riverbed, mud, as well as other materials that he found in Merry Hill forest. This modern day hermit sleeps on a mattress made from dried leaves, and has built window frames out of driftwood.
Unfortunately, The Woodland Trust representatives said that they own the site so he has to evacuate the land. However, Mr. Pike argues: “I am not doing any harm to anyone here. I grew tired with modern life”.”I came out to the woods, starting in a tent and decided to build a home. I won’t be leaving.” What made him decide to move there was the fact that he didn’t have money for a mortgage and his recent nervous breakdown did not helped his situation, on the contrary. Tired of the pressure of our modern times, he wanted a simple life, isolated from all the potential noise and stress, in his self-built home located in Carpenders Park.


12P05 Daniel Pike lives in the wood -  eviction threat from Woodland Trust


12P05 Daniel Pike lives in the wood -  eviction threat from Woodland Trust


12P05 Daniel Pike lives in the wood -  eviction threat from Woodland Trust


12P05 Daniel Pike lives in the wood -  eviction threat from Woodland Trust

Mr. Pike started building his unusual home four years ago, when he came across the location after becoming homeless. ”When I first saw the land it was bare but I knew straight away it was perfect,” he stated. “The main structure took seven attempts and six months to build”. ”We belong to the land, the land doesn’t belong to us. I don’t think I’m squatting.”

37 Responses to “Hermit who lives in a clay house in the middle of the woods is ordered to leave his home”

  1. saddique says:

    Does he live alone. Or with some one.. I cant live alone.

  2. Mark says:

    He has an Offical page check it out. Stop him going homeless , I think it’s amazing! Good to him , leave him be or give him a job looking After the woods!

  3. Rosencrentz says:

    Too bad he did not know you can’t use driftwood for your windows!

  4. allen S. says:

    Just because he doesn’t think he’s squatting doesn’t mean he isn’t. I admire him for building his own house but he should have done it on his own land.

    • Velvet says:

      That’s a nice ass kiss for the law, but here’s some truth of the real world:
      Where does one get the money to buy land these days? And even if you do buy land you’re still restricted to what you can do with it; you can’t just build a house without permission, you’re not allowed to live in a temporary structure. (Can you see why we have a housing crisis yet? Aside from all the land owned by people who don’t even have a right to live here.) Wherever you work, its never enough to pay rent never mind buy a home. You move somewhere cheaper, transport to work gets more expensive; no money saved. You get a job somewhere else and you get paid less and still pay the same ridiculous percentage of your wages in rent if not the same. Without a deposit, you can’t buy land. You can’t save up because all your money goes in rent and bills… So where are people who can’t afford homes or rent supposed to go? The council will not house you unless you’re physically disabled (they don’t help mentally disabled people any more) or up the duff – the real reason so many young girls are pregnant, to fiddle the system.

    • Dick Van Dyke says:

      How is a homeless man going to buy land? he’s not squatting if he’s in the forest, this is how everyone used to live, just because it’s not normal now, it doesn’t remotely mean it’s wrong.

  5. Eric Swatzell says:

    This should be the norm and not the exception.

  6. Thomas says:

    Freedom is to be free. The true criminals are the ones that deny you that freedom. stand up to your rights Mr. Pike. Fight oppression.

  7. steve says:

    i do not see any solar panels. however i do see a waterwheel in the stream. could be mistaken about where he gets his electricity ?

  8. Robert says:

    Ummm. Yeah, you are squatting. The land is not yours.

  9. Jack Mason says:

    He is not squatting. Modern “life” is a horrible hell, and he and we all deserve to be able to live away from this horrible, horrible place.

    If he imrpoves the land he is on and lives peacefully, does he really hurt anyone? And who would demand a man like that live back in the same life that breaks him and many others? Only the truely decadent and degenerate would demand he make money for a house he made with his bare hands.

    Worship your money while you can, it will fuel your funeral pyre.

    I hope he does well, finds a better site, and leaves permanently and many do as well.

    • Lakotasue says:

      I agree with you, Jack, but the people who own the land don’t. Why don’t you invite him to live in your yard?

    • Janice says:

      My husband and I have 40 acres of land that we bought in 4 different tracks. No one gave it to us. I would not be willing to lose it because someone had a slip and fall on my property.

    • Brad says:

      Here’s your chance to put your money where your mouth is and invite him to come and live with you.

  10. Shane says:

    I really like what he has done but there are a few discrepencies in the story.

    The ‘Wilderness’ Home is actually in Zone 7, London. He is less than a mile from the closest Station which is a direct train to Euston. The ‘woodland’ that it is built in Merry Hill is London’s youngest forest. The 76ha wood in Hertfordshire was arable farmland until 1996.

    A quick look on Google earth shows that his ‘clearing’ shows up at some point after 2013.

    • Tric says:

      It always surprises me when people are supportive of this type of behavior. So, if I decide you’re not using your house (in a way that I think is appropriate) I can come, live in it, cut down your trees, erect uninspected buildings and cause YOU to be liable for MY livelihood? Forget that you own the land… I want to escape responsibility – you can support me, YOUR resources are MINE because I don’t want to work/pay for my own. But, he was clever in his work, so, it’s ok.

  11. Brita Poulsen says:

    Bless you Daniel!

  12. Kirk says:

    If they do not make him move or everyone will start building camps on this land. If it was my land he would be gone in a heart beat

  13. Barbara says:

    Go to northern Cali where the Deadheads are. They’ll leave you alone.

  14. Isla says:

    Perhaps land ownership should be rethought. If we take this to a larger scale, all land can potentially be owned and landLords can evict us all into… where? We all have a right to occupy space on this EARTH

  15. Shaun Thomas says:

    The land is no more property of the woodland trust than it is any sovereign person born of this earth

  16. Jim says:

    Did not delegitimized the entire article for me…

  17. Cc says:

    If he’s on someone elses land.. he’s tresspassing. Period. Would you leave him on YOUR land? I think not. Its great what he’s made but hes not entitled to someone elses land.

  18. OM says:

    For those who say he should do this on his own land, would that were an option. It absolutely should be, but government can’t stand people who do this kind of thing on land they have clear deeded title to either! With our current government systems, land is one thing no one can truly own. It’s a sad state of affairs.

  19. Dale C Jackson Sr says:

    I think if I was a rich man, I would buy about 250/500 acres of land, and allow homeless people to live on it, maybe in small cabins

  20. Jp says:

    Google maps doesn’t do photos every year so just because something shows up on 2013’s doesn’t mean it wasn’t there any time after whatever year they last did photos of that area

  21. jerry hulett says:

    every one need a place to live

  22. Andrew says:

    Why is it that he has to leave.He is not hurting anyone by being there.Unless the owner has a plan to build a house in that area.Or he likes what he did and he wants to move in when he leaves.if that is the situation then make sure you take it all down before you leave.

  23. Jim Brown says:

    I am a landowner, and I would not allow a squatter on my land, for several reasons. I am sympathetic to this young nan’s desire to live free and in solitude, but he does not have the right to take what belongs to another. Owning land is a privalege afforded those who work hard to pay for it and pay taxes on it.

  24. Joe says:

    Why isn’t this guy on the show Alone? It would be a walk in the park…

  25. Brandon says:

    Honestly to tell you the truth. Not a single American citizen owns their own land. Look up eminent domain people. You dont own the land, the government does. At any time they feel like it, the government can tell you to get off that property. We dont own our land or home. The government does, you just pay the government rent (property taxes), and at any time the government can come in and end that rental agreement. Tell you to pack your shit and get out.

  26. Brad says:

    Fascinating little hidden homestead. His entitled attitude towards the landowners bothers me, though. They are the ones who will have to cart out several truckloads of his trash.

  27. Andrew G says:

    How do I contact Mr. Pike? I have a place in the south of France (27 acres) where he would be welcome to rebuild his home. Would love to get in touch and discuss this with him.

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