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Thursday, 24 October 2013

Practical Bushcraft Projects for Countryside Management Students

My students have recently been able to carry out some bushcraft tasks related to their studies of practical estate skills, game bird production and green woodwork.

Over the last couple of weeks they have made several functioning pheasant traps of the sort that would have been used by game keepers to catch pheasants for breeding purposes, nowadays keepers normally use large catchers made of steel mesh or adapted partridge pens with which they can catch dozens of birds at a time. The traps the students produced are much more rustic (despite the blue baler twine) but would still be functional.

The students had coppiced the willow used in the construction of these traps themselves and after some experimentation with trigger mechanisms (they didn't think my suggestion was good enough apparently) they settled on using a split stick trigger and a trip wire with bait being spread underneath the trap.
They will get a chance to test the effectiveness of these traps as well as more modern alternatives in January when they begin to catch up the estates pheasants ready for egg production in the Spring. 
Another recent project was this small basket made from willow and nettles and seen here full of shaggy ink cap fungi;

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