Five years on Ben Fogle returns to the wild with Strontian family

Presenter Ben Fogle and the Goddard family outside their home near Strontian during filming last summer. NO-F13-Ben-Fogle-New-Lives-In-The-Wild-Se-14-Ep-6-18-scaled.jpg
Presenter Ben Fogle and the Goddard family outside their home near Strontian during filming last summer. NO-F13-Ben-Fogle-New-Lives-In-The-Wild-Se-14-Ep-6-18-scaled.jpg

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Broadcaster and adventurer Ben Fogle has been in Lochaber for the latest episode of his new television series, Return to the Wild.

Broadcast on Tuesday evening but still available on Channel Five’s catch-up service, Ben was revisiting the Goddard family, who five years ago were living a wild and weather-beaten existence in an off-grid static caravan on the Isle of Rum.

But this time, he discovers that mum and dad, Nic and Ady, plus teenage children Davies and Scarlett, now live on the mainland and have swapped their caravan for an actual house near Strontian.

Still remote and surrounded by wilderness, they tell Ben they have altered their circumstances to make wild living work for them.

Ben learns why they left Rum, if the children continue to be home schooled and what their hopes are for the future. He takes a dip in the freezing loch, helps collect firewood and discovers this family’s determination to ‘never be normal’.

The Goddard family, from left, Davies, Ady, Nic and Scarlett - featured in the latest episode of Ben Fogle's New Lives in the Wild Revisited which was broadcast this week. NO-F13-Ben-Fogle-New-Lives-In-The-Wild-Se-14-Ep-6-08-scaled.jpg
The Goddard family, from left, Davies, Ady, Nic and Scarlett, who featured in the latest episode of Ben Fogle’s New Lives in the Wild Revisited which was broadcast this week.

Nic, who also pens several regular columns for the Lochaber Times explained this week what it was like meeting up again with Ben and having a film crew once again dissecting their lives in the wild.

‘Very early last year the TV company got back in touch to say they were doing a follow- up series and asking if we would do it. We explained we were no longer on Rum and considered ourselves to now be living more of a New Lives In The Mild,’ she said.

‘Long story short, they convinced us that the reasons we had for being on the first show still held true – that we had something interesting to say and we would appreciate a professionally filmed documentation of the beautiful place we live now.

‘Last July, during the lift in lockdown, a pared down crew and our old friend Ben Fogle came to visit us and filmed a catch up show. I took Ben swimming with me in the loch, he got to cross examine our now adult children about quite what their unconventional childhood had meant to them and generally find out what we are doing now.

Presenter Ben Fogle caught up with the Goddard family, from near Strontian, five years after visiting them on a croft on Rum.

‘This time we will be watching from a sofa, in a house, on a TV, unlike the previous show where we actually saw it slightly after the rest of the world thanks to unreliable island internet and off-grid power supplies.’

Without giving too much away for those who have yet to watch the programme, at its conclusion, Ben says he found his visit to the Goddards ’empowering’.

And he adds: ‘Just because you have a dream doesn’t mean it can’t change along the way.’