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Oxford Graduate Lives ‘Hobbit’ Lifestyle in Wales

The Hobbit
New Line Cinema

58-year-old Oxford Graduate Emma Orbach decided 13 years ago to shun society and live in a mudhut she built herself and named ‘Tir Ysbrydol’ or “Spirit Land” in Welsh. Emma keeps absolutely no technology or electricity in her home; even when her children visit, they are banned from bringing devices such as cell phones or laptops with them.

Despite living like the female Bilbo Baggins of J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘The Hobbit,’ Emma grew up in a conventional family home and graduated from Oxford. However, in 1993, she and her then-husband decided that they needed to heed the call of the wild and created their own eco-community called ‘Brithdir Mawr’ in the Preseli Mountains near Newport, Pembrokeshire.

They had five years of peace before the officials led them into a decades-long battle due to the fact that they didn’t have any permission to be on the land nor any records on file. But Emma and her husband had divorced by then, and the communes split up into three distinct entities that co-exist quite nicely today. Emma made the tough decision to leave her home with all its luxuries just before 2000, as she felt a “strong pull” to live a more simple lifestyle.

In order to survive in the wild, Emma generates her own food and water and also runs a healing retreat center where visitors pay her donations that cover her council tax payments, repair costs and grain. While this seems to work for her, we wonder if she has perhaps been smoking a bit too much Hobbit pipe weed.

Watch a report on this woman’s unique lifestyle below.

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