image-01 image-02 image-03 image-04 image-05
  • Trailing Intensive

    Dates for 2019

    November 2019

    Trailing intensive

    A complete Trailing immersion a unique programme

    More Info

join the woodcraft school newsletter

About Us

John Rhyder 

john rhyder

John is a naturalist, woodsman and wildlife tracker, he is both founder and Head Instructor at Woodcraft School. 

John has also worked and taught in arboriculture, conservation and habitat management. He has been teaching since 1994 making this a full time career since then. He is a gifted naturalist and is certified through CyberTracker conservation as a Senior tracker. The first, and currently, the only person at this level and therefore the highest qualified wildlife tracker in Northern Europe. John is also works as an evaluator  assessing the CyberTracker system in this region.  To expand his knowlege John has been certificated in Germany, Holland and Spain. He is a qualified arborist and also holds a University certificate in Species Identification and Biological Recording specialising in mammals, reptiles, bats, fungi and woodland plants and trees. John has been endorsed as an instructor in natural navigation techniques through Tristan Gooley and his school of natural navigation. He is also approved to run Managing and Valuing Veteran Trees through the Ancient Tree Forum

John is one of the most experienced authorities in the field of bushcraft in the UK with an impressive pedigree in this arena including being appointed as chief instructor for Ray Mears, receiving his antler handled instructor knife unusually after his first season as an instructor 1997/98. He is the originator of the first accredited bushcraft and related programmes in the UK. He has gained his Accredited Practitioner through the Institute of Outdoor Learning (APIOL). In addition he has written a Bushcraft Award for a leading youth organisation the Woodcraft Folk. John has also been lucky enough travel widely and has studied and led bushcraft, tracking and wildlife tours in Romania, Germany, Norway, Sweden, France, Iberia,  Africa,  the USA and Poland. Within Woodcraft School he specialises in delivering the wildlife, wildlife tracking and ethnobotanical courses

John holds several protected species licences and when not teaching is often called on to use his knowledge of nature and tracking to provide a range of wildlife services. He also writes, and has contributed many articles for various publications illustrated with is own photographs. His first book Woodcraft A practical celebration of the tree is availible from a variety of outlets and directly to students on courses.


Phil Brooke

phil-profile-3Phil has been connected with Woodcraft School for many years initially as a student and now as an instructor. He succesfully completed our ten month Certificate in Bushcraft Leadership and almost immediately began to work for the company and has proved to be an excellent student and teacher of the subject. Phil now runs several of our programmes under license after many years of training with us. These awards are still Woodcraft School qualifications and therefore Phil carries our reputation forwards together with his own. This arrangement reflects our faith in his ability and character as an instructor.

Phil is especially interested and skilled in traditional archery and is a very competent traditional bowyer. In addition, Phil is now a level three tracker through CyberTracker conservation, one of only a handful in the country. Phil continues to study and learn new things and has been succesful in completing all of our programmes giving him an excellent all round knowledge of our core subjects of bushcraft, ethnobotany and wildlife tracking.

All of Phil's adult teaching is done in conjunction with Woodcraft School and when he is not with us, Phil also makes and sells traditional bows and arrows and supplies bow staves. He also works a woodland near his home in East Sussex using traditional management practices which together with providing materials and products for his work, also enhances the conservation value of these sites. If you are interested in any of Phil's excellent bows, arrows and bow staves visit his website here





BCMath lib not installed. RSA encryption unavailable