Young family in rural Clare to reap the benefits of sustainable living

Bruce and Annie left a life of relative comfort in Suffolk, England in pursuit of a life more in line with nature. 

The couple are the parents of two girls. Annie spoke of how, although she was able to homeschool the girls, and had everything she was told she could ever want in England; something just never felt right.

“We were desperate to live a life where we could meet more of our own needs”, she says.

This feeling led Annie to tell Bruce of her desire to leave it all behind and travel in their camper van in search of somewhere that “felt like home”.

At the time Bruce says he was busy running a business and had just ‘got all the plates spinning in the right way together’ when Annie popped the question of going on the road.

He says he felt “ground down” by having to work hard “ to pay lots of bills”.

The couple decided to part with their four bedroom house, leave the large mortgage behind, and hit the road, ending up in Portugal.

Unfortunately the pandemic threw a large spanner in the works and the travel ambitions were cut short.

The family of four ended up finding an area of land along with a modest house within their budget in a picturesque area of County Clare.

Annie said although Portugal was sunny and affordable, “It just didn’t feel like home”.

One of the reasons the couple say they set their hearts on Clare is that Bruce had found out his great-grandparents had been native to the area.

“I love the whole of Ireland” says Bruce, “but there’s just something about here that felt right”.

The young family completed their move just over a year ago, and are now sharing their home with a growing number of small animals.

Doug the dog (pictured below napping in the polytunnel) came with them from the UK, and Luan the sheep is a more recent addition.

Annie says she got her name as she was born on a Monday.

The family say that due to Luan’s unusual nature the farmer who bred her was unable to keep her, and she risked ending up ‘on a plate’.

Although gentle, Luan does not seem to relate to other animals and prefers the company of people.

The family are also raising two pygmy goats, two cats, two budgies, and two little pigs.

Bruce and Annie say they have no regrets after making their move from urban to sustainable living. Annie encouraged like minded individuals who are considering moving toward more sustainable living to have courage and not to fear the unknown.

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