Bushcraft is a broad subject and one that is often limited to simply lighting fires and building a den. However, Rewilding is passionate about a deeper and richer understanding of how we can live within and care for the forests, whilst benefiting from the resources they offer.
We see bushcraft as having four major appeals: the first is that you are able to appreciate and respect the wild places we visit; the second is that you gain the knowledge and skills to sustain yourself; third, you spend time outside, in the fresh air being active, and finally, most importantly, we develop qualities as a person that we can apply in other aspects of our lives.
There’s a range of courses on offer, from three-hour fire lighting workshops, all day fire by friction experiences and full weekends to challenge your skills. Whether you’re interested in spoon carving, greenwood working or a weekly Bushcraft Skills Academy.
A three-hour session where we introduce families to some of the essential bushcraft skills. Exactly what we do is dependent on different factors: the weather, your experience, your interests, the season for example. A typical session would include a welcome to one of our camps, some fire lighting, processing fire wood, a craft activity and then cooking a small snack and having a warm drink from the kettle.
Ideal for families, teenagers and adults alike. Arriving at 10am you will be introduced to the four priorities of Bushcraft. The day will then involve focussing on each in turn: to find or building shelter from the prevailing elements, to create flame to warm us and cook with, to source clean drinking water and to explore the food available within that season.
If you’ve already got some bushcraft ability and want to go a little further this is the day we suggest. Here we will identify your entry skills and coach you in whatever skills you feel you wish to develop.
For example, we will delve into all six methods of securing flame: friction; electricity; spark; solar; chemical and compression: ensuring you have a sound knowledge of each. We will refine your tarp set-ups, considering different conditions and seasons, as well as introducing some more developing ways of cooking on the fire.
This day is a challenge and will be busy. We’d expect you to be proficient and safe using essential tools, such as a sheath knife and bow saw. We will look at felling and processing small trees; feathering sticking, fire by friction and cordage.
This experience brings everything together and allows you to experience the woodland at dusk, during darkness and at dawn. Meeting mid-afternoon we will head into the woods and locate a suitable camp. You’ll be guided through setting up your hammock, and then we’ll process fire wood and prepare a hearty communal meal to share.
During the evening, we’ll explore the woodland- seeing what wildlife is moving, before settling around the bushtele that is our fire. In the morning we will enjoy breakfast before doing a greenwood project so that you have a memento of your experience to take home.
This is a challenge! If you’re comfortable doing an overnight wild camp and want to spend time refining your existing skills and considering the finer skills of bushcraft, this weekend caters for you. Meeting at 6pm on Friday we shall quickly make our way to the campsite, rig tarps and hammocks and cook a simple meal. The Saturday will see us considering the finer details of fire making, building an improvised shelter which you will be invited to sleep in for the second night!
We will then explore how we can get more from our fire, baking bread, producing char cloth, pine pitch and birch tar for example. During the evening we will consider how we can source and purify water. The Sunday will see us getting to grips with the bow drill in pursuit of consistently securing an elusive ember- as well as producing your own bow drill set to take home and practise with. All food will be provided, and the communal cooking of meals will be a feature of the programme- we may ponass fish or light a ground oven.
A three month, 12 session progressive bushcraft skills programme intended to develop skills and knowledge, as well as respecting the woodland whilst instilling the safe use of tools- commitment and determination are needed to complete this programme. The programme is aimed at those who are 12-16 years old, it could be used as part of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for the Skills section (speak to your DofE leader to confirm this). It’ll be 2 hours a week, attendance at all/the majority of sessions is needed. Each person will be challenged to:
- Light a fire using 4 different methods
- Produce 3 woodland craft items
- Cook using 4 methods on the campfire
- Build an improvised shelter
- Set up a tarp shelter in 3 configurations
- Source and purify 1L water
- Identify a range of flora and their uses
- Recognise woodland wildlife
Have you seen strange and unusual ways of making fire? Have you struggled to light a fire first time? Even with matches and a fire lighter… This workshop will introduce you to the theory, processes and methods of making fire using different methods. We will consider how we can light fire via: friction; electricity; sunlight; spark; compression and chemical.
Siting and preparing a fire, fire lays and uses will also be discussed. We will even look at how to process wood into feather sticks and how we can use fungi to get flame. If time allows we will make some char cloth and you can have a go at making your fire steel to take home.
Achieving fire by friction is the archetypal bushcraft skill- it is also one of the hardest to learn. Often referred to as fire by frustration, this workshop will introduce you to the skills you will need to create an ember and achieve flame. We shall begin with an overview of the process, before getting straight on with the bows, drills and hearth boards.
There will be an opportunity to head into the forest to locate and select the best woods to create your own bow drill set to take away and practice. We’ll stick the kettle over the fire so warm drinks will be available throughout the day, bring a packed lunch, suitable clothing for being outside all day and heaps of patience!
From a tree to a spoon: come and have a go at cleaving and carving greenwood into a spoon of your own design- a dainty stirrer or give your spoon a quirky curved handle, making it totally unique! The workshop will start with an introduction to the tools and basic instruction on technique, then we’ll split the logs and liberate the spoon!
Dress for the weather and wear suitable footwear to spend a few hours in the woods!
Here we will consider the uses, nuances and qualities of the different wood that grows in the forest. We will introduce you to the tools and basic instruction on safe use and technique, then you can have a look through the variety of things you can make and whittle at your own pace.
You will be expected to identify the tree, it’s characteristics and uses before felling it! Once felled you may wish to use the shave horse to shape a spoon, the bowl mule to hollow a bowl, a hedgehog from willow or a skulk of foxes from sycamore.
We will coach and advise according to what you’re doing. The kettle will be over the fire so you can help yourself to a hot drink throughout the workshop.
This three-hour workshop will help you select tinder and fire wood, lay and light a fire to cook a hearty meal for your dinner. It’s an activity, cooking and eating in one go!
As the fire is becoming established we will prepare the food for the pot- before letting the it simmer away as we relax and ponder the day we’ve enjoyed. A range of menus are available and all diets are catered for. Please let us know if you have any allergies or intolerances.
Are you a foody in the forest? Would you like to graduate from toasting marshmallows and warming beans on the fire? This five-hour workshop could see us baking bread in the embers, ponassing fish on the fire, steaming dumplings on a hand-woven bramble mesh as well as several other courses. All of this in the woodland! There will be enough for six dishes, as well as some tasty snacks.
Where possible we will incorporate foraged greens from the site- maybe making some elderflower lemonade and nettle crisps. We won’t sit down for one huge meal- but we’ll eat as we go. By the end of it, you’ll be stuffed. The cooking will be punctuated by chopping wood to feed the fire- this many dishes need some serious heat! This workshop can run from mid-morning, lunch time or mid-afternoon into the evening- whatever your preference is.
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