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Friday, 15 May 2015

Woodland Management Course for Bushcrafters and Forest School Leaders

Bushcraft Education is now offering courses through it's Riddy Wood Project .

The Riddy Wood Project is a not for profit enterprise managed by staff from Bushcraft Education to refurbish and rejuvenate areas of derelict ancient woodland. We have been working on a block of 21 acres of woodland in Cambridgeshire since last winter and are very slowly beginning to restore the coppice with standards management regime that once would have existed there. We hope you can come and join us for one of our courses on woodland management but even if you can't we are looking for backers who are willing to help us move our project forward; you can help by donating to our crowd funding project so we can purchase the equipment we need to really get the project moving. Without the chainsaws, winches, handtools and new trees to plant restoring the woods we are working in will take a very long time and it will be many years before we can invite school children and the public to look at and learn about the wonderful habitats that are deciduous woodlands, PLEASE HELP BY BACKING US;


The first for adults will take place in October this year and you can book your place NOW!

The Woodland Management Course for Bushcrafters will be equally suited to Forest School Leaders and environmental educators who want to learn about sustainable woodland management.

It may be useful as continuing professional development or help you gain experience of managing and sustainably procuring timber for craft projects. It may be something you could embed in courses and training you deliver yourself.

It will include the following;

  • Plant and tree identification - learn to identify native tree and plant species and learn some of their uses and particularly their suitability for coppicing and woodland crafts. 
  • Traditional woodland tools, their care, maintenance and use (bill hooks, axes, draw knives, etc...)
  • Coppicing - the coppicing of native hardwoods and the associated harvesting of material, care of coppice stools and methods of increasing stocking density)
  • Coppice products - the processing and use of coppice material of different sizes, storage, uses and coppice crafts (you may be able to make hazel hurdles, cleft wood fencing, dead hedging and other coppice crafts over the course of the three days)
  • Science and Ecology - How coppicing works and the value of coppiced woodlands. 
  • Wild food- the cost of food is included in the price of the course, although you may have to cook some of it yourself on the camp fire but your instrctors will introduce you to several wild foods over the course of the three days and you may even get a chance to help skin and butcher one of the evening meals. 

There are eight places on the course in October and we intend to run an identical course in February for sixteen (dates for this course will be published in due course).

You will arrive on the morning of the 26th and be introduced to the wood, the management plan we are opperating on and to the tools you will be using. We will do a short session on plant and tree identification and give you some time to explore the woods yourself before starting to do some coppicing.
The evening will be yours and we will cook around the camp fire and you are welcome to use some of the material you have harvested that day to do your own bushcraft or green woodwork projects.

On the 27th we will start with a camp fire breakfast and continue with coppicing until lunch time, you will also learn to layer coppice stems to increase the stocking density of an area of hazel coppice. After lunch we will move on to the uses of coppice products and using the brash we have produced will make some dead hedges, and using some of the larger material we will construct hurdles and cleft wood fencing. 
In the evening you will get to help prepare the evening meal of venison which will itself have been harvested from the same woodland you are working in (this will not be a compulsory element of the course so if you would prefer not to take part alternative meal arrangements can be made).

On the 28th we will cover some of the science and ecology of woodland management and coppicing and continue to process and work with the materials you harvested on the previous days. There will be time before you leave after lunch to cover any specific questions you have or to address any particular practical tasks you wish to try.

Accomodation will be provided in simple woodland shelters equipped with hammocks although you are also welcome to bring your own shelter solutions if you prefer.

The cost of food is included in the price of the course although you may have to cook some of it yourself, the only cooking facilities available will be the camp fire.

Washing and toileting facilities are limited and consist of a composting toilet and a solar shower.  

Book your place with the Buy Now button above or conmtact us for more details or to book directly. 

I look forward to seeing you in October

Geoff 

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