A real-life hobbit village will soon be nestled in the lush forests of a Swedish island, a whimsical housing scheme billed as the first of its kind - but behind the fantasy gimmick lies a genuine interest for sustainable development.

The hobbits, small characters with hairy feet in novelist JRR Tolkien’s fantasy classics, are a model of environmentally friendly living, said British hobbit-house architect Simon Dale. “Hobbits portray people living a peaceful life in harmony with nature,” Dale, 35, told AFP on a recent visit to Stockholm. He was in…