image-01 image-02 image-03 image-04 image-05
  • Advanced Bushcraft - 2019

    New Course Dates 2019


    Advanced Bushcraft

    New dates available for 2019 on this very popular programme

    More Info

join the woodcraft school newsletter

About Us

We want you to leave our courses talking about what you have learned and not how good our instructors are, if this is not the case you have wasted your money and merely watched us showing off our skills. 

John Rhyder 

john rhyder

John is a naturalist, woodsman and certified wildlife tracker, he is both founder and Head Instructor at Woodcraft School. John also has an impressive pedigree in his chosen subject field 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.

Prior to the start of his professional bushcraft career John worked and taught in arboriculture, conservation and habitat management. He holds formal teaching qualifications and has been teaching since 1994 making this a full time career since then. John has been featured on television, national and local newspapers and has been brought in as an expert on many radio programmes. He is a gifted naturalist and is certified through CyberTracker wildlife tracking accreditation as a track and sign specialist having scored 100% on a specialist evaluation (this is the highest assessed level possible within the system), in addition he has achieved level four in trailing, or following the animal scoring 100%. This makes John the first, and currently, the only level 4 and therefore the highest qualifed wildlife tracker in Northern Europe. John is also qualified as a track and sign evaluator one of only two people in Northern Europe who can deliver the CyberTracker system in this region.  To expand his knowlege John has also been certificated in Germany, Holland and Spain. He 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 has a keen interest and knowlege of plants and especially ethnobotany and is proficent in a number of traditional uses for plants, trees and fungi ranging from bark work to wild food and bow making. 

John is the originator of the first accredited bushcraft 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. He has written many articles for various publications illustrated with is own photographs and continues to explore projects in this genre. 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, the USA and Poland.

John is also the author of Woodcraft A practical celebration of the tree which is availible from Amazon 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 works on several of our programmes and after many years of training with us has been granted a license to run some of our awards independently. These awards are still Woodcraft School courses 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, a recent trailing evaluation, coupled with his existing track and sign score means 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. 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