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Climate is a challenge for forest living Rhynie recluse


By Pat Scott

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Jake Williams isolated croft house in a forest near Rhynie is barely visible in the snow.
Jake Williams isolated croft house in a forest near Rhynie is barely visible in the snow.

Life just got wilder for the Rhynie recluse who recently featured with Ben Fogle in new Lives in the Wild.

Jake Williams lives deep in Clashindarroch Forest and has experienced record depths of snowfall in the past ten days.

Jake Williams enjoys having people to entertain. Picture: Callum Mackay.
Jake Williams enjoys having people to entertain. Picture: Callum Mackay.

Fogle 's Channel 5 programme went in search of hermits but discovered that Jake did not fit the criteria for life as a hermit, enjoying the company of others whenever he could have it.

In the programme, viewers saw Fogle help Jake fill his log store which would be inaccessible from outside but is attached to the house so that Jake can still keep warm without going out into the snow.

His ancient Land Rover, ripe for restorationis almost totally buried in snow.

The Airbnb caravan, high up in a tree adjacent Jake's house, where Fogle slept, has been much in demand for post lockdown visitors after appearing in the programme. Jake has cleared the snow from its roof to ensure that it survives.

Close to three feet of snow has fallen and formed into drifts around Jake's property but he has no outdoors thermometer so has no idea of the temperature..

Living off grid , to secure a 4G signal he must wade through the snow to his road end and responded by e mail to The Huntly Express.

He told us: "I have a bag of tatties and plenty of everything else. Somebody just came past with a big tractor and cleared the track. I was mildly disappointed as I have already been for a vaccination and was enjoying having no reason to go anywhereand can be sure that anybody who does come past will have made an effort to get here."

Jake has lived at Bogancloch for over 30 years and says the recent snow is the most he has ever seen, although a few years ago it came close.


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