Litmus Films

Ben Law's Woodland Year

Litmus Films outflanks major broadcasters by gaining access to Ben Law - The Man Who Built His House In The Woods.

From September 2012 - Dec 2013 Litmus Films enjoyed unprecedented and exclusive access to film a year in the life of Sussex woodsman Ben Law.

Ben Law's Woodland Year follows the life and work of the man Kevin McCloud calls 'an extraordinary man – not exactly a warrior for his cause, more the quiet victor' and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall describes as 'Britain's greatest living woodsman with a knack for inspiring others'.

Ben has been a respected pioneer in forestry and sustainability circles for 30 years, but first inspired the general public when his cruck-framed self-build was featured on Channel 4 in 2002. That programme has since become Grand Designs' most-repeated episode, voted all-time favourite by presenter and audience alike.

Yet eco-construction is just one part of Ben's pioneering work and life as a 21st century woodsman. We may not all be able to live and work in the woods as Ben has for the past 20 years, but Ben's values and approach to life are just as relevant if you live in a high-rise. 

Ben is happy to share his hard-won knowledge: he's written classic books on woodland management, woodland life, roundwood timber construction and on his now-iconic self-build. He's appeared on BBC's Countryfile, and Harper Collins published his latest book, Woodsman, in March 2013. 

Since Ben made such an impact on our TV screens back in 2000, broadcasters including the BBC and C4 have tried to make a documentary on his remarkable life but Ben rejected their approaches.

Why has Ben decided to open his (recycled oak) door to Litmus' cameras?

'I felt there to be in Robert and Litmus a genuine documentary maker as opposed to reality television, and that's why I felt comfortable to go with it.'

This project is currently seeking completion funding. It has been endorsed (but not funded) by: 

  • Permaculture Magazine

  • The Woodland Trust

  • Small Woods Association

  • The Ecologist Magazine
  • The Silvanus Trust

  • The Low Impact Living Initiative

  • The Transition Network

  • Green Building Magazine
  • Living Woods Magazine

  • Association of Ecologically Conscious Builders