Family of six leave city life behind to live 'off-grid' in caravan on cliff

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A family of six have left the rat-race in London behind to live off-grid in a caravan - on a cliff.


Davina Foster, 36, lives in the bubble caravan with her four children, Michael, 15, Saffron, 11, Ruby, 6, and Harry, 18 months, and partner, Todd.

Davina Foster, 36, lives in the bubble caravan with her four children, Michael, 15, Saffron, 11, Ruby, 6, and Harry, 18 months, and partner, Todd. Picture: SWNS

Davina Foster, 36, lives in the bubble caravan with her four children, Michael, 15, Saffron, 11, Ruby, 6, and Harry, 18 months, and partner, Todd. Picture: SWNS

They moved from London to Perranporth, Cornwall, in March 2018 to get closer to nature.

Now, they have set up their own business, Cligga Cliff Farm, and say their lives are almost entirely self sufficient.

Davina said: "My son was nine at the time and we were starting to look at secondaries and thinking about the future and the post office in Grampound came up for sale.

"My other half is a builder and I was a photographer and we thought we'd buy it and convert it.

They moved from London to Perranporth, Cornwall, in March 2018 to get closer to nature. Picture: SWNS

They moved from London to Perranporth, Cornwall, in March 2018 to get closer to nature. Picture: SWNS

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"We fell in love with the idea, put our house on the market, our offer was accepted and our house went up for sale like that."

Five years ago, the family were living in a little house in south east London. Ruby was just born and Davina was idly scrolling through properties in Cornwall.

They ended up renting a tiny house in Perranporth, got the kids into school and ended up buying a derelict old miners' cottage in Redruth.

They have set up their own business, Cligga Cliff Farm, and say their lives are almost entirely self sufficient. Picture: SWNS

They have set up their own business, Cligga Cliff Farm, and say their lives are almost entirely self sufficient. Picture: SWNS

Todd worked on renovating the house while Davina, who had been a professional photographer in London, worked in Spar and the Cornish Pizza Co.

She added: "We had all these bills and all this pressure.

"It was not my ambition from being a successful photographer in London to working in a supermarket.

"And we were beginning to get burnt out by the property thing. Todd and I were used to camping - we met working at festivals - so we rented out the house in Redruth and started to look for land."

Five years ago, the family were living in a little house in south east London. Ruby was just born and Davina was idly scrolling through properties in Cornwall. Picture: SWNS

Five years ago, the family were living in a little house in south east London. Ruby was just born and Davina was idly scrolling through properties in Cornwall. Picture: SWNS

That dream piece of land eventually came up - a 7¾-acre agricultural plot, on the cliffs and right on the heritage coast path.

Instead of the campsite they envisaged, they realised they'd have to actually work the land. But it was too good an opportunity to miss.

The sale went through and they got four Cornish black pigs and some chickens and started working the land right away.

Davina continued: "We rented locally for that time and we were going up there every day working the land.

"It was just a completely empty field. We had to drag containers of water up the hill. On one day our pig arc blew off the cliff and I had to climb down and drag it back up.

"We had no income and we were investing in the land."

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Within a few months, they were running out of money and had no choice but to move out of their rented home and move onto the land.

"We had a horsebox and a shack Todd built out of some pallets and the bell tent. We had some ducks and some geeses.

"We decided to do 28 days camping because that's allowed in the scope of the land. Everyone loved it, we got some great reviews.

"But I fell pregnant over that summer and I was sick every single day and all night. I got insomnia, so I didn't sleep. It was so cold and wet. It just rained and rained.

"And then we went into winter and it was brutal and then in March the Beast from the East came and I swear to god I had snow on the end of my bed and I was eight months pregnant."

Davina and Todd have now established Cligga Cliff Farm at the heart of the Perranporth community and are heavily involved with Plastic Free Perranporth, even setting up a monthly plastic free market.

Now on the first Sunday of every month, Cligga Cliff is there at the forefront of the Plastic Free market selling free range pork and eggs and vegetables as part of a collective.
They've even got cows now and have started their own micro-dairy. They get day old turkeys in July and rear them up for Christmas and have 16 litters of piglets every year.

"By the end of next summer we'll be self sufficient," says Davina.

Cligga Cliff Farm produce is available from Perranporth Plastic Free market on the first Sunday of every month and can be found on its website here.