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  • Wildlife Identification and Interpretation

    New for 2016


    Wildlife Identification & Interpretation

    Starting In April 2016 Unique and brand new course


    More Info

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About Us

We believe the student and teacher form a learning partnership and that this is the core of a successful learning experience, 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. We also believe that as an educational company we must place the same emphasis on instruction as on bushcraft, to that end we work as hard on our teaching techniques as we do on our bushcraft skills. We select the very best of staff to deliver our courses a small dedicated team passionate about, bushcraft, nature and of course, teaching.

The Bushcraft Team

John Rhyder APIOL

john rhyderJohn is both Founder and Head Instructor at Woodcraft School. He has an impressive pedigree in all aspects of outdoor life including being appointed as chief instructor for Ray Mears, receiving his antler handled instructor knife unusually after only one season.

Prior to his teaching career John worked in arboriculture, conservation management, traditional woodland skills and management practices. He holds formal teaching qualifications and has been instructing in outdoor education and natural history regularly since 1994, specifically in bushcraft since 1997. He has made a full time career in the subject since then. John has been featured on television, national and local newspapers and brought in as an expert on many radio programmes. John is especially interested in wildlife, plants, trees and fungi. He is a gifted naturalist and is currently working through the international Cybertracker wildlife tracking accreditation. He also holds a University certificate in Species Identification and Biological Recording specialising in mammals, reptiles, bats, fungi and woodland plants. John has been endorsed as an instructor in natural navigation techniques through Tristan Gooley and his school of natural navigation.

Much of his time in recent years has been spent writing and delivering accredited courses in bushcraft and related subjects and is the originator of the first accredited instructor programme 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 and has really enjoyed the experience deciding to explore this avenue more deeply. John has also been lucky enough travel widely and has studied and led bushcraft, tracking and wildlife tours to Norway, Sweden, France, Iberia and Poland.

  • Accredited Practitioner for the IOL, APIOL.
  • 7407 Stage 1 & Stage 2 teacher training.
  • Advanced Explorer First Aid.
  • First Aid at work instructor
  • First Aid at Work Certificate
  • Level 2 Food Hygiene.
  • Enhanced CRB.
  • Habitat surveying Phase 1.
  • Hedgerow regulations and HEGS Surveying.
  • River Corridor Surveying.
  • NCH Arboriculture.
  • BORDA of road driver training.
  • BCU Open canoe 3 star solo.
  • Surrey Certificate in Arboriculture
  • Chainsaw units Cs 20-21-22.
  • Chainsaw units Cs 30, 31a, 31b, 32a, 36, 37, 42 .
  • RYA Powerboat Level 2
  • Cybertracker track and sign level 3 (Scored 97%)
  • Ucert Biological recording and specices identification

Nick McMillen

nick mcmillanNick completed his instructor training in 2006 and over the years has delivered a good number of courses for us, from leading our school groups to assisting on the instructor course. Originally he had a history of delivering bushcraft and nature based skills to youngsters as part of a Youth Work initiative which he started years ago in Surrey which led him in good practice when working with our challenging young people. More recently, he and his partner Molly have started their own outdoor education business . Such is his ability as a craftsman and bow maker we invite him back to work on our bow making courses as he has made some stunning pieces in the past and regularly challenges John on the instructor archery events! He is a talented craftsmen and is making a name for himself as a superb basket maker, working with bark as well as willow. As a teacher, Nick shows remarkable patience and an ability to listen, apply and get the best out of people and is always ready to lend a hand. Aside from his many skills he is also a gifted, trained artist and always has sell out success at his exhibitions of giant natural history drawings. See his website here.

Some relevant Qualifications

  • NCFE level 3 Cert in Bushcraft and Outdoor Leadership.
  • NCFE level 2 Cert in Creative Crafts in Woodcraft.
  • Basic Expedition Leadership Award.
  • Foundation Cert in Food Hygiene.
  • NPTC Level 2 Cert in Chainsaw
  • CS30.1 CS30.2 CS31.
  • First Aid at Work & Advanced Explorer First Aid.
  • Fully enhanced CRB.
  • Member of the Basket Makers association


Tim Lane MSc. (HERB. MED.)

tim laneTim assists on our instructor course bringing a new perspective to outdoor first aid with his expertise on plants and herbal medicine. He is trained in mainstream medical diagnostic techniques as well as the use of herbs at a more vitalistic level.

He grows his own organic plants and uses wild herbs for manufacturing an increasing number of his own medicines. He has his own private practice, is a mentor to newly trained herbalists and a supervisor at various festivals offering acute and first aid herbal medicine treatment. He is into re-discovering our own traditional system of medicine and in researching and utilising the works of Nicholas Culpeper.Tim has various environmental projects on the go from manufacturing bio-diesel to devising new heating/solar water systems from salvage. He has started a herbal blog site with a few like minded colleagues.

Woodcraft School Courses Calendar