The growing interest in living off the grid is a global phenomenon – hundreds of thousands every year are moving off-grid – either because they want to live a cleaner greener life, or because it is a less expensive way to live and allows them more financial freedom – or out of a fear of social and economic collapse, or combination of these factors.
But by the nature of this lifestyle it is low profile to the point of invisibility.
Using online research tools, Off-Grid.Net scraped the Internet and found the 5 UK centres of interest in this lifestyle.
The parishes (the smallest unit of local government in the UK) are in Hertfordshire, Suffolk, Cheshire, Dorset, and Northumberland. These are the places where people take the most about living off-grid, and therefore can be assumed to to be the most interested in living off-grid.
Wolverstone, Suffolk has a huge Marina and as a result many boat-dwellers and van-dwellers are there all the year round. Marina charges are low, and local farmers will allow camper vans or buses to park behind a hedge for extended periods.
Ord in Northumberland is near the Lindisfarne Nature Reserve, so it combines bountiful natural produce with the plants found near the sea, as well as the possibility of sea fishing. It is near the River Tweed which also affords opportunity for living on a boat moored in one of the many tributaries, such as Whiteadder Water.
Henbury, Cheshire is near Macclesfield, with a very low population, and plenty of lakes and small rivers. It is a wealthy area so neighbours might oppose off-grid living if they happened to come across it, and it is home to the world famous Jodrell Bank telescope, so there is top quality internet bandwidth in the area.
Leigh in Dorset is also a very wealthy area, where the local working class cannot find any affordable housing. The landscape is gently undulating and predominantly agricultural, with good quality pasture; cheese and cider are a common product of the area, with at one time every farm possessing an orchard. The small Wriggle River passes through the parish.
Tewin, Hertfordshire is the most densely populated of the 5 off-grid centres. Quintessentially English, with pubs, woods, footpaths and meadows, the parish has 1400 residents of whom over half are in the village of Tewin, a commuter village with a thriving cricket club.
Although it would be a stretch to conclude that there were actually a higher proportion living off-grid in these places, that is also possible. Further research would be needed to prove it. Any academics or others willing to sponsor the research please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
We know of off-grid communities all across the country – but this is the first reliable evidence that interest in concentrated in specific communities.
lt can be hard to find an off-grid community when you want to join one. Off-gridders who are not part of a pre-existing social group. can feel alone and underrepresented in society and media – now they finally have a piece of research that can tell them where to go in their quest for an off-grid community they can belong to.
What are you favourite places for off-grid living in Britain – please leave a comment below or email email@example.com