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Man being evicted from self-made straw house on banks of the Severn

Maciej Urbanowicz built the house by harvesting reeds from marshland. Credit: ITV West Country

A man who's been living on the banks of the River Severn in a straw house he built himself has been told he must leave.

Maciej Urbanowicz built the structure by harvesting reeds from marshland. He says that he has enjoyed living a simple life for more than a year, doing odd jobs, and growing his own food.

It's warmer than you'd expect inside, but he has had to brave rats.

"One night I woke up screaming and shouting. I was scared - something warm and fluffy was sleeping with me." "The rat was in your sleeping bag?" "Yes, I think he was more scared than me, finally."

– Maciej telling his story to our own Ken Goodwin
Maciej has lived in the house for more than a year. Credit: ITV West Country

Now he has been served with papers telling him he must leave by the end of the week.

He says a police officer told him someone has complained to the council, and that after he leaves the house will be knocked down.

Maciej moved from Poland 10 years ago, holding down several good jobs, but decided on a simple life of solitude after things fell apart.

He is not bitter about having to leave. Instead he plans to head for Bristol, where he'd like to help homeless people get their lives back on track.

Take a tour around Maciej's unique home with Ken Goodwin:

Maciej says a police officer told him someone complained to the local council. Credit: ITV West Country
He hopes to start helping homeless people in Bristol. Credit: ITV West Country
Maciej has been growing his own food. Credit: ITV West Country