Reality of the rural living highlighted in C4 TV programme

By Zoë Uglow   |   Reporter   |
Sunday 3rd April 2022 11:00 am
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Max and Alex Manners owners of Libbear Barton
Max and Alex Manners owners of Libbear Barton (Cornish & Devon Post )

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SINCE the series premiered on Tuesday, March 15, many viewers may have been wondering where in the West Country is the home of the hit reality TV show ‘The Simpler Life’, which sees a group of people eschewing modern comforts and living like a USA Amish religious community similar to the one featuring in the 1985 Harrison Ford movie ‘Witness’ .

The Channel 4 show has been continuing in recent week and in fact the location used is a beautiful farmstead, Libbear Barton, in Shebbear, North Devon.

Max Manners, Libbear Barton’s general manager, said:  “The premier of The Simpler Life on Channel 4 left viewers in no doubt that living in the countryside is not for everyone. But even the most city-centric of us still love to occasionally escape there on holiday. We specialise in family friendly holidays for those who enjoy the outdoors but want to know that there is plenty to do indoors too should the weather not be perfect…which it occasionally is not!”

But if people are looking for the “simpler life” experience they won’t find it there now. Having undergone a recent refurbishment, viewers would have difficulty recognising the accommodation. Gone are the sparse, candlelit bedrooms and stripped back furnishings that would be found in an Amish community. Instead, people can expect to find stylish, modern, country homes offering the highest level of comfort.

Despite the departure from the Amish tradition of eschewing modern life, Max and Alex Manners, who run the site, still aim to create a business that is as sustainable as possible. Solar powers a large proportion of the sites’ energy requirement with the rest supplied through green renewables. The water supply is delivered from an on-site borehole and windblown trees provide fuel for heating in the winter months. The couple also aspire to a level of self-sufficiency.

“We have been inspired by what the contributors were able to achieve in a short time”, explains Alex Manners. “We aim to continue to cultivate the land for vegetables and raise our own meat much like they did on the show. Holiday guests will be able to collect eggs and pick veg for the table during their stay — hopefully inspiring them to live in a way that minimises their impact as much as possible.”

To find out more about Libbear Barton visit www.libbearbarton.co.uk

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