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Monday, 6 June 2016

Bushcraft Show 2016

This time last week I was on my way back from the Bushcraft Show and had a really great time. We were lucky enough to share a stand with Reaseheath College where you will soon be able to study a course in Environmental Archaeology and Primitive Skills which combines Bushcraft and Academia in prefect harmony to prepare you for a career in archaeology, outdoor education or countryside and land management.

This year on the Bushcraft Education stand we offered opportunities for children to do a little bit of fungi ID and paint their own wooden mushroom to take away with them.

Fly agaric was by far the most popular subject for painted mushrooms at this years show. 
This activity proved really popular and by half way through Sunday all our mushrooms had been used up, we really hope that the children who got a change to paint a mushroom of their own learned a bit about fungi ID even if it's just not to touch them until they learn more about them. 

We also did some owl pellet dissections and were able to tell just from the contents of the pellets what small mammals were living almost 100 miles away, in the hedges and ditches of the Cambridgeshire fens where the barn owl which produced these particular pellets lives on the edge of Riddy Wood.  
Owl pellets don't look like much at first glance but if you look closer at just some of the things we found inside this one;

Here we have two field vole skulls and a shrew skull, the red teeth on the skull and jaw at the bottom of the picture distinguished it without any doubt as one of our three shrew species; common, pygmy or water. This one happens to be a common shrew although over the course of the weekend we did find some tiny pygmy shrew remains as well.

We also ran a workshop on trapping and looked at some of the changes in legislation that may soon affect those who use traps in the UK countryside as well as the knowledge we need to effectively and legally use traps.

 For those of you who want to learn more about trapping in the UK book a place on one of our upcoming courses; HERE.

We also did work on the camp fire over the weekend and despite many people commenting that they thought "the char cloth was done" what we were actually making was charcoal pencils; 

It will take some time to use up all the golden syrup we bought so we could use these tins for charcoal making. 

We were also able to show off some of the products made from the wood harvested from our ancient woodland site; Riddy Wood which you will be able to order via our online craft shop, whistles like these will be available to order soon;

Geoffs children normally accompany him to the bushcraft show but this year Michael was unable to attend as he had the chicken pox, but he has enjoyed playing with this whistle and he and the other #bushcraftbabies had great fun at their own private Bushcraft Show in the garden  last week which you will get to read about in tomorrows post on the Bushcraft Education blog. 

It was a great show this year with Ray Mears headlining the event, even if we were too busy to go and listen to his talk on the main stage, combined with perfect weather and a great venue at Beehive Farm Lakes.   

We're already looking forward to next years show.

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