A modern-day hermit who has spent four years building his remote shack from clay has been told to leave.

Daniel Pike has created a home entirely from materials found in Merry Hill forest, which is a 15 minute walk from the nearest road.

He sleeps on a mattress made of dried leaves, has fashioned window frames and even a bath out of driftwood.

But now bosses at The Woodland Trust said they own the site and have ordered him to leave.

Mr Pike said: "I am not doing any harm to anyone here. I grew tired with modern life.

"I came out to the woods, starting in a tent and decided to build a home. I won't be leaving."

Mr Pike, who used to work at Tesco Extra, said he had no mortgage prospects and ran into difficulty after suffering a nervous breakdown.

Fed up with the pressures of modern day life he decided to live simply in the self-built home in Carpenders Park.

He said he was living happily in his straw home until an officer from The Woodland Trust arrived and told him he would have to move.

Mr Pike says he has no intention of giving up his Robinson Crusoe existence and has vowed to stay at the site - which can even be seen from Google Earth (below).

Watford Observer:

The 28-year-old vegan began building his idyllic home four years ago when he discovered the location after being made homeless.

''When I first saw the land it was bare but I knew straight away it was perfect," he said.

"The main structure took seven attempts and six months to build.

''We belong to the land, the land doesn't belong to us. I don't think I'm squatting."

Using only materials from the wood, Mr Pike constructed his home from clay harvested from the riverbed and mud.

He has solar panels on the roof which power lights inside. He has also built a bridge and garden, a bathing area and sitting area.

He has even built a filter system from the stream that produces clean drinking water.

Mr Pike continued: "Through being spiritual, positive and adapting to the changes in life I have managed to get through these hard times and become a better person.

"No one knows I'm here. I am so proud of what I have achieved and feel so lucky to call this place home."

Mr Pike, who spends most of his days meditating, said he is always busy thinking about how he can extend his compound.

He said he has enjoyed living a simple life, doing odd jobs, and growing his own food.

The sheltered spot is two miles from the nearest shop, which Mr Pike visits periodically to stock up on food that would otherwise be thrown away.

He lives in the hut throughout the year but sometimes retreats to stay with friends during the harsh winter months.

"The only thing I miss about modern life is a hot shower," he added.

Management at the Woodland Trust said Mr Pike would have to leave.

Gareth Hopkins, operations manager, said: “We are aware of the current situation at Merry Hill and have spoken to Mr Pike directly.

"It is a highly unusual situation and one we are treating with care and consideration. We are working with him to seek a resolution.”