The hillbilly hippy who won't give up his shack, not even for £1m

The hillbilly hippy who won't give up his shack, not even for £1m


Branded a ‘hillbilly’ Richard Hayward, 59, lives in a wooden shack and runs a saw mill business with his two sons on the same plot of land he first started renting in 1970.   

Choosing a simple existence, the father of two raised his family on the hill-top site and has worked off the land ever since.


To some, hippy madness, to others, the idyllic dream, but to developers, a gold mine – because since obtaining planning permission a few years ago, the ‘hillbilly hippy’ has become the envy of many receiving offers of up to £1 million for the site.


Having rented for years, Mr Hayward bought the land in 1991, paying just under £30,000 for two acres. Situated in Bulbarrow Hill, near Blandford in Dorset, the beauty spot came with an old wartime radar station, ancillary buildings and a NAAFI building.


Speaking to the Daily Mail, the widower and father of two explained how he originally sought the planning permission so as to upgrade from his wooden shack and build a more comfortable bungalow.


He said: “Within days of getting planning permission offers to buy poured out of the mail sack. The money that was bandied out was ridiculous.”


However, despite never building the bungalow, he’s refusing to budge and describes the area as ‘heaven’. He told the Daily Mail: “This is unique here. I don’t know anywhere else in the country where a man can live as close to nature as you can get, where three people are a crowd and not a vehicle in sight.


“I won’t be going anywhere”


Mr Hayward’s sons, Geoffrey, 39 and Robert, 37, both work on the site with their father.


“We scour the forests for our timber, harvesting oak, pine and spruce but due to demand we have to import much of our hardwood from France


“There are four of us here working full time and I can’t remember an instance when anyone was late to work or keen to get out early.”

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