Man lives alone as wild hermit for 40 years after horror attack on night out

A 72-year-old man has been living alone in a remote log cabin in the Scottish Highlands for almost 40 years.

Ken Smith, who is originally from Derbyshire, shunned a traditional way of living at the age of 26 after suffering a horror attack on a night out.

He now spends his days living near a remote loch without electricity or running water in a cabin that is two hours away from the nearest road.

The attack by a gang of thugs left him unconscious for 23 days after suffering a brain haemorrhage.

Doctors said he would not be able to walk or talk again following his injuries but he defied their expectations.

Speaking to the BBC, Ken said: "They said I would never recover. They said I would never speak again.

"They said I would never walk again but I did.

"That's when I decided I would never live on anyone's terms but my own.”

Following his recovery, Ken started to travel and became fascinated with the wilderness, leading him to the Canadian territory of Yukon.

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He decided to go off the beaten track and ended up trekking 22,000 miles before returning home to his parents.

Unfortunately while he was gone, both of them had passed away.

The effects of his parents' deaths prompted Ken to continue his walking on his return to Britain.

He claims he walked the length of the country before breaking down to cry at Rannoch in the Scottish Highlands, causing him to cry throughout the rest of the walk.

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Ken told the BBC he then tried to think of the “most isolated place in Britain.”

He says he searched through “hundreds and hundreds” of miles to find a remote area, which led him to discover his future home near the lock and woodland.

Ken built the log cabin by hand and contains a log fire no electricity, gas or running water.

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He grows his own vegetables and says most of his food comes from the loch.

Tragedy almost struck for Ken after he suffered a stroke several days after a film crew had been documenting his life.

He used a GPS personal locator beacon, which he had recently been given, to alert an SOS signal to a centre in Houston, Texas.

Ken was then rescued by coastguards in the UK and after resting for several days, returned to his isolated life in the cabin.

A documentary on Ken, called The Hermit of Treig, was broadcast on BBC Scotland but is now available on iPlayer.

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