A MAN who has lived the ideal outdoors life for more than 40 years is the subject of a BBC documentary this evening.
Catching and foraging his own food all year round while living in solitude without the luxury of gas or electricity, the remarkable life of Ken Smith takes centre stage in The Hermit of Treig.
After four decades of living wild, the 73-year-old welcomes us into his world and challenges our perceptions of what a hermit is.
Originally from Derbyshire, Ken decided to live life, as he says, “on his own terms”.
After returning from an adventure in the Yukon in his mid thirties, Ken walked from Heathrow airport to a woodland north of Fort William where he stopped walking and found his place in the world.
The film – to be broadcast on BBC Scotland at 10pm tonight – is set in an isolated woodland in the Highlands, far from electricity and phone signal.
Watch the full episode of The Hermit of Treig here
The documentary shows his daily existence, in a cabin he built by hand, living on what he forages and catches.
“If you want to live an independent life, you have to learn how to fish,” he says.
The film shows his extensive documentation of his life, preserving his memories in his diaries and his ongoing love for photographing the nature all around him, as well as his wine-making.
Having made contact with him nine years ago, director Lizzie Mackenzie finally convinced him to let her film him two years ago.
Within that period, Ken’s life changed dramatically. In winter, he suffered a stroke. He was airlifted by Mountain Rescue after an alert was sent out on a GPS tracker he had been given days before.
Ken ended up in hospital for seven weeks where he had to rebuild his strength to return. Ken must face whether he will be able to live out his last years in the wilderness he calls home. The Hermit of Treig, which has been made by Aruna Productions, is also being funded by Screen Scotland.