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  • Practical Ethnobotany and Plant Identification NCFE IIQ Level 4

    New dates for 2019

    April 2019

    Practical ethnobotany & plant identification

    This very popular course is available for booking now

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Certificate in Bushcraft Leadership Testimonials - Class of 2007/08

Ian Holt Jones

Ian-Holt-Jones-90x68"I came onto this course with the iconic fire by friction, living outdoors, at one with nature type idea, but this course is so much more than that and the way John and Nick put their ideas and thoughts across fires you up to learn more. I constantly tried to ask questions that would stump John but failed miserably- the man is a walking encyclopedia of natural history.

The highlight of the course to me was the bow making and the craft side generally, we were taught with patience and good humour and came away with a thing of beauty (my bow) again the knowledge, not just of the crafting of bows but the history behind them inspires you to learn more.

Be warned this course is life changing for the better".

Where are they now?

Ian has now moved to Canada to build up a bushcraft school on his own woodland site.

Andy Basham

Andy-Basham-90x68"It certainly was a fantastic learning environment, a combination of John and Nick's' wide knowledge and experience, together with the superb company. I have become confidant in my teaching abilities and delivery,also, the legal, technical, professional and ethical issues covered were invaluable to me in furthering my career".

Sarah Howcroft Lane

sarahHowcroftLane-90x68"I learned an unbelievable amount about natural history, wild food, craftwork and many other things during my monthly 'escape to the woods' spent at Woodcraft School, both from John with his vast knowledge, and from the talents and experience of the other participants. Being in the woods through the changing seasons was also beautiful and thought-provoking. For me, the Shamanic way of understanding the Spirit in all things, and Bushcraft, which brings us into contact with the practical ways of our ancestors, are inseparable. I now feel much more confident about living – and teaching others to live - outdoors. The course was hard work mentally and physically, but also lots of fun, I loved every minute and am very proud to have completed it – and to count such an amazing group of people as my friends.

Where are they now?

Sarah is teaching her new skills as part of her Shamanic Workshops see: www.shamanism-wales.co.uk

Richard Lees

"You cannot get any better than this course. The level and depth of knowledge from all the Woodcraft school staff is second to none. The course has enabled me to walk straight into a job teaching Bushcraft with freelance offers coming in all the time. I am even helping Professor Gordon Hillman with his new wild food book, opportunities I never previously thought possible. If you want to get on in Bushcraft, you have to do this course.

Not only do you get expert, clear instruction, you also make new friends and end up with a great network of fellow instructors.

When I started the course, I didn't know what to expect, but now my only regret is that the course came to an end, if I could do it all over again I would do in an instant.

Further to this, it is the only accredited course in the country, if you want to teach Bushcraft, the Woodcraft school is the only way to go"

Phil Brown

PhilBrown&log90x90"It can be very difficult to make radical decisions that alter one's life forever. For me enlisting onto the Woodcraft School's Certificate in Bushcraft Leadership was a prime example of such a choice that has completely altered my life.

From the moment I met John at the formal interview I could sense his infectious passion for the subject and his desire to share his knowledge and skills. To be totally honest after being accepted for the course it took me several weeks to throw caution to the wind and follow my dreams. I enlisted and have not looked back since.I have always had an interest in the outdoors, wildlife, conservation, primitive technology and all things that can be included in the term "bushcraft" and completing the Certificate in Bushcraft Leadership has done nothing but increase my aspirations to learn more and be able to share this knowledge with others.

The quality of instruction provided by John and the Woodcraft School team is truly outstanding. Combine this with the most beautiful woodland surroundings and all the necessary elements are there to create a totally inspirational atmosphere in which learning is a total pleasure. The content of the course is such that it puts all those that complete it straight into the outdoor education industry with a series of carefully considered and selected qualifications.

My time on the course was greatly enhanced by my fellow students and their attitude and aptitude, I glad to say that I have met some amazing people that I am sure will be lifelong friends. They were all exceptionally inspirational and we worked as a team to facilitate each others education, especially when it came to learning the Latin names for many trees and plants!

I am very proud of the portfolio and craft items that I produced to meet the qualification criteria and they have proved to be an essential resource for reflection and preparation for delivering lessons. Researching for and compiling the portfolio was a real challenge and something that I enjoyed tremendously, so much so that I am still expanding the several volumes with more information.

The only negative point I can recall was that the 10 months of training had to come to an end. I found it quite emotional on the final session knowing that it would be the last occasion we, as a group, would be together, sharing the experience of learning new skills and living in that stunning woodland setting.

Since completing the course I have been teaching bushcraft on a regular basis, leading youth groups in outdoor activities and been on several expeditions including a week long traverse of the Vercors plateau. I also have bushcraft and expedition work booked well into 2009.

Thanks to John, Caron and the Woodcraft School team for all of your help, support and inspirational instruction during the course.

As I initially stated it can be very difficult to make radical decisions that alter one's life forever – I'm so grateful that I made the leap of faith."

Where are they now?

Phil is now working for Woodcraft School teaching school groups on year long programmes.

Nick Gallop

Nick-Gallop-90x68"When I started on the course last September I really couldn't have predicted that ten months later I'd be so confident in my abilities. I started without much idea of the direction the course would take me and very unsure of my ability to communicate my skills to others. At every step of the way the course has provided me with a ton of new things to think about and new avenues to explore.

It's been a great learning experience and I now realise how much effort's gone into achieving this. When I finally got the portfolio into a near finished state I felt really proud of it and the work that had gone into it over the course. I'm glad to say the portfolio has proved more helpful than I'd imagined. Now it's finished I realise I'm left with something which will be useful to me going forward and hopefully will continue to be updated as time and experience goes on.

To be honest I was a bit upset that I wouldn't be coming any more - there was a tear in my eye as I set off for the last time on that familiar journey along the A272. This soon dried as the realisation of what I now have hit home - the confidence and skill to make what seemed like a fairly distant idea into a reality.

It's been a real pleasure. Thanks for all your help over the course. I really can't imagine gaining such a wide range of practical and professional experience from anyone else".

Spring 2009 sees the launch of Skills For Wild Lives,Nick's new company offering wilderness living skills, craft & nature awareness www.skillsforwildlives.com.

George Aitchison

George-Aitchison-90x96"Being an Outdoor Pursuits Instructor for many years I always felt my knowledge was somewhat lacking when it came to teaching Bushcraft skills. I was comfortable with certain skills such as teaching fire making and shelter building but lacked the confidence in many other areas such as teaching tracking, plant ID and craft work.With the help of John and Nick over the last year this lack of confidence has been dealt with. The course has not only expanded my knowledge in many Bushcraft subjects it has improved my teaching techniques immensely.When I look over my completed portfolio I am amazed at all the subjects we covered in a relatively short period of time. The course has introduced me to many new subjects in the field of Bushcraft and given me the confidence to explore them on my own.As a bonus I have made many new friends who I can network with and get support from when needed."

Where are they now?

George now occasionally works as a freelance instructor and also runs his own Bushcraft courses with the Cadet forces including the new 'Bushcraft Expedition' for the Duke of Edinburgh's scheme.

Tom Pienkowski

Tom-Pienkowski-90-x-90"This past year has been a great opportunity to build practical outdoor skills and experience in a beautiful environment with the excellent instructing by John Rhyder and his crew. The course covers a wide range of highly useful subjects which go beyond simple Bushcraft skills and equip the student with the knowledge of how to actually manage an area for sustainable use and the other aspects of running such a company. Also its been great fun!!"

Where are they now?

Tom is studying enviromental conservation with special intrest in the utilasation of natural resources by local communities as well as doing his ML training. He is going back out to africa for more tracking and bushcraft over the summer aswell as czech republic for a tradtional farming placement.

Mollie Butters

Mollie"Doing this course was the best decision I've made. I was initially uncertain as to what it would involve and whether I would be able to learn and master all the skills in the time. But as soon as the course started, I Ioved every minute of it and really enjoyed the time to learn and be in the woods.

The group were fantastic to spend time with and I have made some great friends and a good professional network to share ideas with and gain support when needed.

With the vast knowledge, experience and patience of John and Nick we were well supported and encouraged to produce detailed portfolios and learn as much as we could in the time available. The experience has giving me the confidence and motivation to keep learning and seek as many opportunities as possible to be out in the woods.

The site is beautiful woodland to live and learn in and the roundhouse and wood burner much needed in the winter months.

I particularly enjoyed all the craft aspects, from the initial stages of sourcing materials through to the finished product. Looking back over the 10 months I can't believe how much I have learned, I would happily do it all again and am proud of all I have achieved."

Mollie is now working for Frontiers educational charity as an Outdoors Education officer, changing the lives of young people.

Scott Woolsgrove

scottwoolsgrove90x90"I really enjoyed my year with John, Nick and my new found friends. The course structure was excellent with both Nick and John's exceptional knowledge of Bushcraft. There was a huge amount of information covered - not only practical bushcraft, but also the ever changing business legislation. The course gave me the much needed confidence in delivering the subject as an instructor. Also, it musn't be overlooked that each of the students made their own valuable contribution to the course - we were learning all the time."

Where are they now?

Scott now has his own business making handmade bushcraft knives www.skbushcraftknives.com and is now starting his own business - www.earthcraftuk.com which offers educational programmes in Bushcraft, Woodland Crafts and Forest Schools.

Tim Hutton

timhutton"every month for 5 days you live and sleep bushcraft in the woods under the open sky. Apart from the excellent overall content of the course the best bits were that we learned by doing and not just from listening; the craft and nature awareness stuff was really good; it was inspired by nature rather than what you need to survive in the wild. It amounts to the same thing but with less suffering, and more understanding. Other good stuff was sitting around the campfire, whittlage in the roundhouse and the group spirit behind it all."

Where are they now?

Tim has his own company offering yurts and yurt holidays in Cornwall www.yurtworks.co.uk



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