12 Sep 2011
The Wild Woman of Exmoor
Her income was from articles for a local newspaper, about wild life and living on Exmoor - it did not amount to much, so she had to supplement it by growing vegetables and hunting for food. All the skins from rabbits etc. she cured and used as floor coverings, cushion covers, and bed coverings. There was no transport where she lived so she walked everywhere, up to 20 miles a day, in a pair of old wellingtons stuffed with straw. Water was hauled back to her caravan from a stream, wood was collected from the hedgerows for fuel for her little stove and fruit and berries that she foraged, were a regular part of her diet.
It was a very hard life, but she depended on no-one and was proud of the fact that she took nothing from the state. Eventually she had to move out of the caravan, due to the fact that her asthma worsened, and moved into a community housing scheme. She never used the electricity in the house or the heating, but slept in front of the fire on the floor, and gave the rest of the house over to her bantams.
Her independance meant everything to her, and the freedom of an outdoor life. She was an incredible woman.