A FAMILY which ran two businesses has left the "rat race" to live off-grid in a woodland community in Somerset.

Kirsty and Nick Tizard moved from Devon to Tinkers Bubble, a near self-sufficient community in December.

The 14 residents at the South Somerset site till the land using horses and a Victorian plough, saw timber using a 1930s steam engine and sell homemade apple juice to local shops.

They grow most of their own food with the occasional help from volunteers who come to Tinkers Bubble to experience communal living.

Washing requires lighting a wood-burning stove to produce hot water in a few hours.

Tinkers Bubble, which has been established for 25 years, features in a BBC Inside Out West documentary on Monday.

Mrs Tizard told the programme: "We both ran our own businesses for quite a few years, we had five children and a very hectic life.

"I had what you might call a midlife crisis - I had a feeling of 'is this all there is to living?'.

"It just seemed a rat race of trying to earn enough to pay the rent."

Mr Tizard described things the family have given up - such as indoor toilets and washing machines - as needless luxuries.

He said that before leaving Devon, he had been "feeling fairly guilty" about what his family were consuming.

"We're not living our life much differently to the vast majority of people on this planet.

"The carbon footprint that we have here is pretty much the same as the global average per person. So we're not really that extreme."

The couple's children help with tasks at the site and have joined the local school.

Mrs Tizard, while lighting a fire to make tea, said: "We've got one daughter who's a bit of a townie.

"She's said: 'Mummy, I can see that this is totally the way for you to live but I want a toilet with walls.'"

BBC Inside Out is on BBC One West on Monday at 7.30pm. It will be available on iPlayer afterwards.