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Life in a Treehouse

Novembre 2009
Nick Weston sta facendo un esperimento: abitare per sei mesi in una casa costruita sopra un albero vivendo di ciò che riesce a procurarsi nel bosco. Londra non è lontana, ma la vita quotidiana è una vera sfida.

di Louise Johnson

File audio:

Nick Weston
Nick Weston


A young Londoner is very serious about the green lifestyle. He is living in a tree house in the English countryside for six months and he catches his own food from the forest.
Nick Weston, 27, is trying to live as self-sufficiently as possible. He grows his own vegetables, catches fish from the local river and hunts for his meat. Alcohol comes from his own beer brewed from nettles.
Weston’s has worked in set design and this helped him build his tree house which has a proper bed, a balcony and a wood-burning stove. He has no electricity, but uses solar power to charge his mobile phone and has a wind-up radio. It was, however, several days before he heard about Michael Jackson’s death because his radio was out of action at the time.
He admits that he still tries to switch on the light when he goes into his tree house because the habit is so ingrained. Everything takes a long time in the forest – dinner preparations start around mid-afternoon if he wants to eat by 10pm and even making a cup of tea is time-consuming.
Weston thinks we could all become more eco-friendly and that we don’t have to leave our jobs or homes.  
He is also writing a book about food called Wild in the Woods. And you can follow his adventures by logging onto www.huntergathercook.typepad.com

Back to Nature


Speaker: Justin Ratcliffe (Standard British accent)

For the last few months Englishman Nick Weston has been living in a treehouse in Sussex. He doesn’t go to work, but he does hunt and gather his own food and he washes his clothes in a nearby river. Speak Up went to see him. Indeed we apologise to our listeners for any background noise, but it was a windy day in the treehouse.
Nick Weston told us that he shoots and cooks rabbits and pheasants, but he said that gathering wild plants is in fact more dangerous:

Nick Weston (Standard British accent):

There’s a couple of things that are very poisonous like hemlock water dropwort, which grows in rivers. It was growing downriver there, I think it’s disappeared now, with the end of summer coming along. It grows in the ditch over there and in that ditch there’s also a lot of watercress growing but, you know, you have to be able to make that distinction between the two. And also, when you’re picking stuff, you have to be careful, like if I just grabbed a handful of watercress without really thinking about it and there was a bit hemlock growing amongst it, I’d sit there and eat it and would be dead by the afternoon, so you do have to be very careful!

it sure beats working!

But life in a treehouse does have its advantages:

Nick Weston:

I think the best things about living down here is probably not having to go to work and, you know, have to have a boss telling you what to do, and... and not having to deal with things like public transport and commuting and then all the unnecessary stuff you have to pay, like council tax for people to take your bins out and things like that. I mean, all my stuff is either composted down here or I burn it on the fire, it’s just mostly things like this, like food waste. So, yeah, there’s a lot of things I think we pay for in this country that we don’t need to, but I think the other thing that’s really good about... is just being out here and being in the middle of the wood and living your life, I suppose, with your bare hands and creating an existence for yourself and sustaining that, but, yeah, I mean it’s great, especially when it’s nice weather. When it’s not nice weather, it’s all right, ‘cause you could just sit in the treehouse and read.

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he grows his own vegetables - coltiva le verdure da sè.

hunts for his meat - la carne se la procura cacciando.

beer brewed from nettles - birra prodotta con le ortiche.

set design - scenografia.

wood-burning stove - stufa a legna.

to charge his mobile phone - per caricare il cellulare.

wind-up radio - radio a manovella.

to switch on the light - accendere la luce.



pheasants - fagiani.

poisonous - velenoso.

hemlock water dropwort - Oenanthe Crocata, nota anche come ‘Prezzemolo del diavolo’.

with the end of summer coming along - con la fine dell’estate.

ditch - fosso.

watercress - crescione.

when you’re picking stuff - quando raccogli la roba.

I just grabbed a handful - ho appena preso una manciata.

commuting - fare il pendolare.

council tax for people who take your bins out - la tassa comunale per pagare la rimozione della spazzatura.

composted - ridotto in concime.

food waste - avanzi di cibo.

bare hands - mani nude.