A former climate-change campaigner who was frustrated that her work to save the planet wasn't working has opened up as to why she's quit her job and moved to New Zealand.

Lucy AitkenRead, who made headlines more than five years ago for giving up shampoo, says she and her husband Tim, a New Zealander she met during her studies and married in 2005, sold their London home and relocated to a remote farm in his home country.

AitkenRead spends the day with her two daughters, Ramona and Juno, working on their 10ha farm.

She says she wants to raise her children on "empathy" with "no rules", allowing them to fend for themselves for most of the day.

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Ramona, 9, and Juno, 6, are home schooled but they're not forced to learn, instead insisting learning opportunities arise naturally during their daily lives.

She explains that instead of having dedicated time for reading or maths, she believes these issues come up naturally as the girls go about their day, citing Ramona writing her a card earlier that day.

"We live with family rhythms rather than schedules," AitkenRead tells News Lives In The Wild.

"We've got a basic rule of not hurting each other, but apart from that, we don't really have rules, we have a lot of conversations.

"That's a very interesting thing in society is that we usually don't trust our kids to make good decisions for themselves."

She then goes on to further explain the non-conventional approach to parenting she and her husband uses.

"So it starts when they're crawling, and we trust them to interact with their environment," she says.

"We'll often go three to four hours and we wouldn't have seen the kids around the farm.'"

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According to AitkenRead, the girls' only rule is they're not allowed to go to the river by themselves but are otherwise left to explore the wilderness.

Tim and Lucy AitkenRead with daughters Ramona and Juno. Lucy, who was raised by Salvation Army ministers, explains she was raised with a sense of agency, to fight injustice in the world. Photo / Channel 5
Tim and Lucy AitkenRead with daughters Ramona and Juno. Lucy, who was raised by Salvation Army ministers, explains she was raised with a sense of agency, to fight injustice in the world. Photo / Channel 5

They have learnt to cook for themselves and feed their farm animals with no supervision.

Since giving up work, she says it has allowed them to give their children freedom to learn from their environment, and feels extremely privileged.

"We do live an incredibly simple life. 'We've never bought our children a new pair of clothes ever in their lives, we don't buy them new toys.

"A lot of people think the way we parent is wacko and really extreme," she later adds.

"The kind of empathetic and connection-based parenting is inimitably related to the kind of world we want to see.

"Because if people were raised with this kind of empathy, they're much more likely to be empathetic when they're older, so for me it's very much about creating the beautiful world we want to live in."

When quizzed about other education topics such as history and biology, AitkenRead says conversations permeate every day.

"In my own experience, all these topics permeate everyday life, so in just an hour of our day, we'd basically cover all of those topics."

AitkenRead worked as a social campaigner for the charity Oxfam for five years, but explains she eventually grew frustrated by the little change she witnessed when it came to the climate-change crisis.

"Watching the climate-change issue I'd seen very little movement on that in my five years and definitely started to feel a little sense of burnout," she says.

"People that have the power to make a huge difference are not doing it despite all of our work trying to convince them."