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Woodcraft “A guide to using trees for Woodcraft and Bushcraft”

This book is  hard to place in a single category, on the one hand it is certainly a craft book on the other a bushcraft book and it also deals with trees, timber, leaves, bark and resins with an ethnobotanical emphasis. It covers several core tradition skills like carving, working bark, the craft of the bowyer, making fire, inks and dyes and a host of other tree associated traditional skills and knowledge. It also explains how to harvest material safely and sustainable and how to maintain tools.

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Read customer reviews for Woodcraft

22 March 2019
“Message to Forest School Folk!”

Message to all forest school facilitators and forest school students. This book is ace!! Tool use, maintenance, woodland management techniques and tree craft. John Rhyder is one of the best teachers on all things woodland too. I recommend this book, and his courses. I’ll be suggesting this to all fs folk joining our courses at Green light Trust ( Suffolk) from now on.
Amazon Customer


19 March 2019
“As enjoyable as being in the woods with the man himself.”

I’ve had the pleasure of participating on a few courses with The Woodcraft School and John Rhyder’s new book ‘Woodcraft’ is literally a written form of some of those fantastic experiences. John’s encyclopaedic knowledge, wit and humour shine through amongst these pages which makes reading and learning as enjoyable as being in the woods with the man himself. Reading ‘Woodcraft’ takes you on a clear and comprehensive step-by-step journey into the world of working with trees and the woodlands they inhabit. From sustainable harvesting to a very detailed section on bow-making with so many handy tips along the way that only a master of his subject can impart. I believe that this book would be a great asset to anyone interested in starting out on their own Bushcraft journey and/or expanding their knowledge and understanding of Woodcraft…
Woodland Dave


5 August 2018
“Excellent book, very well written”

Brilliant book, John has managed to write this book exactly as he would tell it, I can imagine John speaking as I read it. Well put together easy to follow, exactly like one of his courses.
Diarmund Farmer


13 August 2018
“Valuable “resource”

Clear and thorough explanations. Illustrated throughout. John is obviously an expert in his field. Definitely recommend.
Avid reader


 17 July 2018

What an awesome book! I can’t wait for more volumes from John.. This book is such a great aid for anyone wanting to learn more about bushcraft & the natural environment
Amazon Customer


 21 June 2018
“This book is a good field manual”

This book is a good field manual, across many subjects and well explained. I am a scout and will be very useful in my activities.


3 July 2018
“A must for anybody who has an interest in learning practical skills or Bushcraft”

Love it a really good read and written in a way that it is easy to follow
Mr M Anderson-Jones


10 May 2018
“Like being taught in person…”

I have been a student of John’s since 2006 and have had the privilege to pass through the Bushcraft Leadership programme and have been waiting for the completion of John’s book since he told me about it. I am not disappointed. Had I not been able to attend the school and learn from the horse’s mouth, then this book would be the next best thing. Reading it is just like being taught directly by the author and his knowledgeable, thorough and experience filled teaching meets his approachability and friendliness. The book goes into great detail, including mistakes you are likely to make – for example how not to make feather sticks – so if you were learning from this you can know and spot them.

I have quite a large library of books on bushcraft, nature and survival subjects and this book isn’t really like any of them. The title suits it well as it doesn’t cover subjects in the same way or even the same subjects, it really is about woodcraft – crafts using what you find in the woods. There are great chapters on bow making, dyes and bark work that you simply don’t encounter in quite the same way in other books. It is in some of these chapters you really see and feel the passion for the subject.
T Bird


19 March 2019
“Excellent book to have and use.”

Just finished reading this book. What can I say that has not been said already!!
This is a fabulous read and I highly recommend getting this book. Full of information regarding working on different aspects of wood from bow making to making your own wooden spoons to the best ways of working with forestry and of course Bushcraft knowledge. There is a lot of excellent information in this book that John shares from his long experience in Bushcraft and all aspects of working with wood safely.
My only wish is that they would publish a version of this book that is waterproof!! I do take it with me when camping in the forest as I do use what John teaches you in his book….


9 May 2018
“A book to read again and again”

This is a Bushcraft Classic – An incredible amount of information on many aspects of Woodcraft. John Rhyder shares his wealth of knowledge of Woodcraft in a very readable way with lots of practical tips and fascinating personal stories. No matter what level you feel you are at with Woodcraft/Bushcraft you will find something here to interest and inspire you.
As an amateur bowyer the section on bow making really got my attention as John knows his stuff when it comes to bows. I know I will be dipping back into this book again and again.
2 people found this helpful
George Aitchison


3 October 2018
“Superb book. Will lead in the bushcraft genre.”

Read the first 5 pages and you’ll know you are reading a book written by a woodsman who has a deep understanding of both the natural environment and our place in it. The next best thing to attending John’s courses.
Dave Rylance


20 June 2018
“Great book”

Great book, have been to one of Johns courses too and would highly recommend both the courses and the book
Miss Lorna Paton


11 June 2018
“Essential knowledge for the aspiring woodsman or woman”

This substantial book of nearly 400 pages is a well rounded guide on the uses of trees for the outdoors person. It covers everything from safe and sustainable felling and harvesting to fire making techniques, tool selection/maintenance/use to bow making, working with bark and roots, making glues, natural dyes, inks and charcoal. It includes a good number of helpful photographs (including a number of what NOT to do) and a healthy dose of John’s humour. A very practical how-to guide and highly recommended.
S Batty


29 June 2018
“A book for enthusiasts!”

I have just finished reading Woodcraft by John Rhyder. It certainly achieves the goal of it’s subtitle; ‘A practical celebration of the tree.’ This book is clearly the synthesis of a lifetime of learning and experience. I think that no matter how new to the subject, or experienced, the reader will find much that is worthwhile within these pages… whether that is the revelation of new knowledge and information, or the synthesis of things already known. For others John’s book will provide a unique lens through which to regard familiar and well loved things as his sense of humour and personality shine through. As far as the ‘literature of bushcraft’ goes, there is nothing like this. It is lightyears away from the ‘mass market’, ‘lowest common denominator’ books you would find in a highstreet book store. This is a book for enthusiasts.
PS: Please can the 2nd edition come with a nice durable plastic cover so it can be safely read out in the woods!
Lizzie Harrington
Canoe Bob


23 July 2018
“This is a fantastic book for anyone who is interested in practical knowledge …”

This is a fantastic book for anyone who is interested in practical knowledge of how one of nature’s most fundamental resources – the humble tree- can be utilised for outdoor living skills, craft and conservation. Informative, insightful and humorous; the book is easy to read with clear instructions so that following any of the suggestions found within is achievable for any reader. What stands out is John’s attention to detail and thoroughness when explaining the different processes, supplemented by helpful pictures and useful anecdotes! Overall, what is clear when reading is John’s obvious respect and admiration for the natural world which can’t be anything but infectious. The author has lived the subject for many years and this experience shines through. As a result ‘Woodcraft’ comes highly recommended.
Jack Watson