Every Green's Favourite Episode of Grand Designs

We were watching the TV the other night, struggling for something interesting and informative to watch, when we just chanced upon back-to-back episodes of Channel 4's Grand Designs.

Now I forget the first episode that we saw the tail end of but the follow-up was the most excellent episode with the woodsman, Ben Law. Ben was working and living in the woods in Sussex for 10 years where he earned a living from coppicing, making wooden furniture and charcoal. His dream was to hand-build a cruck-framed house in the middle of the woods.

With planning laws being tough on building in woodland, and rightfully so, Ben persuaded the planners of his needs to move out of a rusty caravan and into a more permanent structure. With a budget of £20-25,0000 Ben's house was designed to be natural, blend into the surrounding woods and to be self-sufficient.

With no services being piped into the site, Ben is totally reliant on the sun and the wind to put power into an array of 2v, 920ah ex-submarine batteries and he collects enough water from rainfall and a spring to provide

"...enough for probably half a village.."

Ben also grows a lot of his own fruit and vegetables to, but how much we don't know.

That's enough of our praise for the moment, if you want to see it for yourself go to 4oD and watch the original 2003 Grand Designs series 3 episode 5.

What was particularly nice about the show we watched was that it was actually an edition of Grand Designs Revisited. I'd thought for 8 years that it would be great to visit Prickly Nut Woods in West Sussex some time, and Ben now provides occasional tours of his lovely woodland house. 2011's dates are all fully-booked but there are slots upon for a visit next year.

Ben has also branched out and written a number of books and is involved in a number of schemes to teach skills and pass on his expert knowledge. For more information have a look at Ben's personal website.