They had been living on the barren landscape of Slaithwaite Moor.
But now a Huddersfield couple have begun a new life in an eco “paradise”.
Prajna Pranab and Kali Prajita, who used to live at an abandoned house in Scammonden, have spoken about their new life in a sustainable off the grid community in Portugal.
The dedicated couple, who moved onto a site on New Hey Road near the Nont Sarah’s pub in January 2014, now live in 10 hectares of land acquired cheaply on a mountainside near the small village of Casal de Serra in the centre of the country.
Mountain views, fresh spring water and an abundance of olive and fruit trees are just some of the delights the couple have discovered on the land, which was bought cheaply by two of their friends for them and others to come live on for free.
They have called their home the Diggers’ Alternative Community and created a Facebook group, which they hope will inspire others to set up similar communities.
Prajna said: “We’d been having a bad time on the moor because of problems with the land owners who had initially let us stay there.
“We moved out in around June and headed straight to Portugal, where two friends had bought some suitable land.
“Unlike in Britain, we have found that the authorities leave us alone in peace”.
He added: “The land was abandoned 20 years ago and when we arrived we had to use a machete to cut through the overgrowth.
“But now there’s a path that winds between our beautiful terraces and there’s a stone house on the land, which we use communally.
“We’re in the middle of restoring it by replacing the wooden flooring and beams but part of its roof is in good condition and there’s a fantastic fire which we heat all day long to cook everything from pizzas, pies and breads to other meals and to dry out wood.
“There’s an abundance of olive and fruit trees which we have been able to live off since we got here along with a vegetable patch we created.
“We get our electricity and power at the moment from solar panels and use mobile internet but plan to build a wood-heated boiler for warm water and use the spring to create hydroelectricity in the near future.
“We’ve also been lucky with the locals in the village, who have welcomed us and helped us to learn new skills.
“In return we help them out and give them some of our harvest and it works really well.
“We’re very self sufficient and only have to buy things when necessary”.
Prajna explained the importance of their living project.
“We want to show people it’s possible to build a community where everyone helps each other and where you can work with nature instead of against it”, he said.
“More people have joined us permanently since we arrived who came initially as visitors and our numbers will just continue to grow”.