A sustainable, low-impact house in the Peak District

This Peak District self-build overcame planning issues to become a memorable Grand Designs project

By Jayne Dowle | 22 July 2020

This sustainable build, which first aired on Grand Designs in October 2017, presented a unique set of challenges for self-builders Saffron and Fred Baker.

grand designs peak district tv house 2017

Image: Andrew Wall

Ecologist Fred Baker has been familiar with the site where his house stands since he was a boy. There was once a dairy here, but all that remained when Fred and wife Saffron considered buying the land was a concrete barn. The plot sloped steeply so it was unsuitable for grazing, and the cows had wandered off to pastures new.

His family have lived in the area for generations and Fred always wanted to build his own sustainable, low-impact house. The result encapsulates his philosophy: it’s a three-bedroom earth shelter house, built into the side of the valley, surrounded on three sides by ancient Derbyshire soil.

Watch this episode: Peak District, 2017