Thursday, 12 April 2012

Woodland skills course

Yesterday I had a busy day teaching woodland skills/bushcraft to a group of 10 in a nice section of woodland within a country park. It was a one day course to test the site and introduce these sort of events into the county councils annual event programme. I'm glad to say it was a great success with all leaving happy and well informed.
I wanted to fit in as much as possible but also allow time for the students to practice skills demonstrated and ask questions if they were unsure.
Laura was a great cook and willow weaver, and James led the tree felling which gave me a break from the day job. Both were a constant help on the set up and take down too, and helping the students throughout the day.

Setting up

We covered

Knife use and sharpening.
Fire lighting methods including friction firelighting.
Campfire cookery and gadgets.
A walk in the woods finding resources,cordage, tree ID, and locating wildlife.
Tree felling using hand tools.
Shelter building.
Willow weaving berry pickers.


The camp kitchen and brew stop, well visited by all.

 Breads, cakes, soups and sausages all finished off. 
My favourite is still banana and chocolate cooked in the embers.

 Obtaining materials and woodland works. 

I'm now paying for a day constantly bending legs and kneeling, but it was definitely worth it.

Shelters started. These will be finished by the next group of forest school visitors.

All sorts of other subjects were discussed briefly, but as there are so many outdoor skills to teach we had to keep some back for another day to spend a proper amount of time on. Overnight camps were requested by most folks for next time, with time allowed for them to practice general campcraft in the evening on there own or in small groups.

Looking forward to the next one already as it is a pleasure to spend time in the woods practising and passing on skills to enthusiastic and friendly people.