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Coastal Wild Food Course West Sussex dawn
  • 5 day course

    23-27 July 2024

    New-Foundational Ethnobotany

    Based on the utility of plants and trees

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    Europe & The UK

    Dates now available for 2024

    Tracker Evaluations

    Trailing and Track & Sign evaluations

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Advanced Bushcraft Award – Level 3

“What a privilege to learn with masters of their craft and feel their enthusiasm (which is infectious!)”. Luke Newman

Course Content

Suitable for both beginners and the more experienced practitioner, there are no surprises as the material assessed is covered in the course training.

Tool use and maintenance, methods of making fire, managing fire, fire by friction, cordage, spoon carving, sustainable harvesting, minimal impact, plant and tree identification and uses, wild foods, identification of mammal tracks and sign, heat and cold injuries, natural shelters, modern shelters, useful knots and rope work, importance of safe water, water purification

This course is a blend of sound outdoor knowledge coupled with an understanding of nature and its uses. The course equips our clients with the skills needed to feel confident and to live comfortably out of doors regardless of your activity. We cover all of the subjects generally perceived as bushcraft but also explore the natural world and the uses it can be put to. The amount of material covered and the length of the course makes this one of the most in-depth and thorough of its kind. It is an intensive course with all of the skills being taught and demonstrated to a very high level. There is also plenty of time to practice under skilled guidance ensuring students are confident in their knowledge. It has grown to be one of our most popular courses attracting clients from Europe as well as the UK.

The course runs in a five day block followed by a further two day assessment block leaving time for a consolidation period in between allowing you time to practice and perfect your skills.

This programme requires the student to be living in the outdoors and managing themselves, the environment and the camp and resources. With this in mind you are also expected to help out around the site with  tasks such as bringing in water, washing up and collecting firewood.

This course is an ideal programme to progress to the Certificate in Applied Bushcraft

Dates 2023

  • Training 17-22 September 2023
  • Assessment 22-24 October 2023

Dates 2024

  • Training 2-7 June 2024
  • Assessment 7-9 July 2024

If this course is full please contact us to be placed on a waiting list for cancellations.

Should enough people express an interest we may run extra dates.

Course Dates

Advanced Bushcraft Award - Level 3

Please read the following information before booking:

This course is part catered offering an evening meal only and we can accommodate meat and vegetarian diets, if you have allergies, a specific or complicated diet or are a strict vegan then you will have to make arrangements to supplement the food provided with your own provisions. Please contact the office prior to making any online booking if you fall into this latter category if you need to discuss your options.

Price includes an evening meal & camping. Aimed at 18 years and over although we do offer places to younger people at our discretion. Please enquire.

Advanced Bushcraft Award June 2024 Places

Course : Advanced Bushcraft Award

Training: 2-7 June 2024

Assesment: 7-9 July 2024

Start time : 19.00

Completion time: 16.00

Course Leader : John Rhyder

Course Size: 12 (maximum)

Cost per person: £700

Course Reviews

Chrissy Baxter

John and Team- it’s been a massive challenge and I have absolutely loved it (sorry if my face didn’t always show that). It’s a brilliant course and you were fantastic teachers, I’m very grateful x

Jim Todd

Thanks everyone for a fantastic experience. Thank you to you John and Gav and Chris and Evan for sharing your wisdom and knowledge with us and making it so much fun.

Tom Young

Thank you everyone for a wonderful experience. Absolute blast meeting you all and feeling very inspired. Thank you John for well taught, life-enriching knowledge and skills I can carry forwards and share with others now too.
Hopefully see you all by a fire in the woods again soon

Steffi Guenther

It really has been a great balance of all the good stuff!! Precious time in a beautiful woodland with the most friendliest group, while learning useful fun skills from great teachers, challenging oneself and feeling proooud and happy! So much more to learn and try and practise and enjoy. Hope to see you all again one fine day!

Carl Bacon

What an amazing Course, great for beginners and more advanced students. Was blown away regarding the knowledge that our instructor John shared with us, from bushcraft to woodcraft, plant and tree ID and much much more. I went away wanting more, its been the best course I’ve ever taken and it wont be the last course that I undertake with John and his team. Thank you for expanding my knowledge and leaving me excited with what I can learn from the woodlands.

Mary P

Advanced Bushcraft Award Just spent another fabulous week with John Rhyder’s team from The Woodcraft School with instructors Phil Brooke and Joe Garnett, exceptional teachers and Master Craftsmen in their own right. Apart from being inspirational teachers they have the most inventive and patient way of teaching knots, with wonderful visual images to help us along. I haven’t laughed so much in ages. Thanks so much guys and to all the other people on the course, I wish you all lived near me so I could see you every day and looking forward so much to seeing you all again next month. It’s been the most exhausting, intense and exhilarating experience. Lots of sore muscles and a head so full of information it’s going to take me a couple of days to get it all into some sort of order. Lots of practical and theoretical homework now until assessment and accreditation in August……. off now to practice bow drill – my Nemesis!

Mark Lawless

This course is pretty amazing. I went in as a total newbie, slightly nervous of what was to come, but looking for an adventure, and a way to open up my understanding and appreciation of the Natural World. It’s no overstatement to say that I came away with a wealth of knowledge and more of a feeling of belonging to the wild places. I no longer feel like a stranger in the Woods or Forests, but more a part of them. Phil, the chief instructor, is a Legend. It feels as if he comes from a bygone, more honourable era, one where values and morals mean everything. He is so knowledgeable and passionate about the outdoors, and all the different subjects he teaches, that he patiently and expertly guides you through all the different themes, adding anecdotes and facts along the way, keeping you hanging on every word and scribbling notes. But at the same time he exudes a selfless humility and a willingness to help you as an individual, which is priceless. ( I can actually see him wincing as he reads this).You are certainly made to feel very welcome here. Joe, Phil’s second in command, is also great, His knowledge, commitment and helpfulness only seconded by his culinary skills. You won’t go hungry, that’s for sure.

All this is overseen by John, who also takes some of the subjects, who’s expertise and knowledge is unparalleled. But the overall feeling is of fun. Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot to learn, and this is a very professionally run outfit. The days are long and demanding. But it is all put together in an atmosphere of fun and laughter, making it a joy to be a part of, and you come away feeling a part of a new family. When I’d finished my assessment, I booked up the Bow making course straight away. For anyone with a glimmer of interest in the outdoors and wild places, anyone looking for a priceless woodland experience, just book it up. Don’t even bother looking elsewhere. This is the one. You won’t be disappointed.

Luke Newman

What an amazing experience. From the first day of arrival to the assessment the course was outstanding. A wealth of knowledge shared to us by John and Phil and also the instructors. We felt welcome, looked after, guided and mentored throughout the whole course. What a privilege to learn with masters of their craft and feel their enthusiasm (which is infectious!). As a beginner, I found the course very accessible and felt very much part of a team straight away. There were high standards, and with ample time to practice skills and seek guidance from John & Phil, I felt the structure of the course really worked for me. I have already recommended the school to others and I will continue to do so. Luke.

Ali Aziz

Dear John and Phil, Just wanted to say how extremely delighted i was with the one week advance bushcraft course. The knowledge and wealth of experience you both have as in instructors where second to none. Every day was a fun and humorous atmosphere. I enjoyed the beautiful location. For what the course offered it was well worth the price. I would highly recommend Woodcraft School. Once again a huge thank you to yourselves and to all the team for accommodating my religious,dietary and physical needs. I could not have expected more…10/10

John Aldcroft

A truly excellent course. Very approachable & knowledgeable instructors who gave first class tuition. I’ll be honest though, I must admit I felt like a complete ‘grommit’ on this course, but due to the excellent patience, delivery & teaching methodology employed by the course instructors I never felt too uncomfortable with my own incompetence. This course although tough (for me) has only served to enlighten rather than dissuade me in regards to my bushcraft endeavours going forward. Great course, great instructors, I can’t recommend this course enough!

Alan Linee

A fantastic week in beautiful mixed woodland, the setting, level and knowledge of instruction, course structure and food at Woodcraft School are the very best I have experienced having attended a variety of courses in my study of bushcraft. One difference here is there is no level of hardship, we were there to learn not to test stamina and endurance, that is not to say the course does not challenge you, it certainly does, but in the right way so as to hugely enhance your learning curve, the knowledge shared by the instructors demonstrates a deep understanding and passion for the subject, and whilst you are likely there through an already developed love of the subject you can not help being further inspired as you delve into the layers of this fascinating subject. There is always time to practice and develop your skills between lessons, share ideas and come evening share stories around the camp fire, the giant kettle is always on and great food is shared banquet style round the long table, the instructors were always on hand, sharing stories and never was there any doubt about how happy they were to discuss and share their passion for bushcraft, natural history & primitive living skills.

The course syllabus is all the course detail, I can say that all and more were delivered in the most inspiring structure, having studied and practiced Bushcraft for many years I took the decision to take an accredited course and the benefits of this can not be underestimated, you leave with a study period pre assessment and this is great incentive to further study and of course in turn further develop your knowledge as well as the obvious benefits of accreditation should you wish to teach or develop a career around bushcraft. I do believe the tangible skills and knowledge learnt on this course to be a great foundation of going on to do just this. A huge thank you to Instructors John, Phil and Eleyna for the knowledge shared, great laughs, great food and company.

Jess Rickenback

I’ve just come back from the first part of this course, and I can’t wait for the second! The instructors are incredibly knowledgeable and really enthusiastic. I found the course a very supportive environment for learning, with a good tutor to student ratio, amazing food, and so many brilliant skills to acquire. There really is something for everyone here, from carving and plant and tree ID to water purification and making fire. Also there’s a distinct lack of ‘my knife is bigger than your knife’ machismo that can sometimes occur which is very refreshing. The location of the course itself is lovely, in a woodland with streams and an abundance of birds and mammals. I wish I could do Woodcraft School courses all year round!

Matt Williams

I decided to do this course after looking around for something that would refresh any skills I already had and provide lots of new ones. I also wanted something that carried an external accreditation which would hopefully show a well thought out course with a structured quality procedure. That is exactly what you get here. John, Phil & Dan were on hand to guide everyone through with a level of expert knowledge that you can see comes from years of experience. The location is first class, I only wish it were on my doorstep. The natural history element was the highlight for me. The plant and tree ID and wild food gathering and John’s specialty, tracking, were steep learning curves with lots of new information but highly enjoyable. The course would suit anyone from those with lots of prior experience to someone who is looking for a new challenge. The only downside for me was the 500 mile round trip to be taught by someone who used to live 15 miles away. Highly recommended.

Louise Anderson

Awesome course! I learned so much whilst having huge amounts of fun in a lovely woods. I even enjoyed the assessments! Phil and John were great .. Very knowledgeable, relaxed and had good sense of humour! On site facilities were great .. Including a nice outdoor composting toilet and a shower! The group were fab too … And weren’t into bushcraft just for a knife collection! Lots of people from different walks of life sharing an interest in the natural world, outdoor activities and a desire to improve their own skills. I had a fabulous learning holiday and would do it all again!

Scotty Batty

What a learning curve! Thanks for putting on an excellent course. First class tuition, location and bunch of coursemates. Definitely not a course for anyone looking to just turn up and assume you’ll pass. The training and assessment are both full on and you have to put the hours in if you want to succeed (particularly for a beginner like me!). But doing so is fantastic and well worth the effort. Having achieved this qualification I now know what standard I’m at and it has given me the skills, knowledge and confidence to get out there and embrace the new dimension to the woods that this Advanced Bushcraft Award has given me. Cheers guys!

Lee Dawson

If you are looking to take an awareness of bushcraft and the reasons why we do it to a deeper level, then look no further than John and his courses. I came to the Level 3 in the self-assured certainty that I had a decent enough understanding of the fundamentals. However, whatever one thinks one knows there is always an opportunity to be humbled, and to realise that wisest is (s)he who knows that (s)he knows nothing! Although unassuming and humble himself, John is a goldmine of information the likes of which it takes a lifetime of learning and teaching to acquire. Whether it is the science behind the actions of plant medicines, the detail of tracks and signs or the real nitty-gritty of outdoor living, John, with the help of an outstanding team of instructors, will take you on a personal journey in the short time that it takes to do the course. And one which, as in my case, may very well change your life and inspire you to go on to suck up everything you can learn about the subject. Make no mistake, it will be challenging, (especially if the weather is anything like it was when I did it!), but the reward and sense of satisfaction on completing it is worth more than anything else you would get for the money. Personally, when it comes to getting the qualifications under my belt I will not be going to anyone else, and although almost every weekend this summer and autumn are already booked with courses, I will be itching to get back to Sussex to begin the Level 4! Good luck!

Fred Dupuy

Got back home in North Suffolk on Sunday night after the three day assessment, tired and hugely satisfied. What a great course. Five days of intense and expert instruction, followed by a months break to go home and practice/develop the skills you have been taught, followed by the assessment, during which you are given a little refresher instruction and then led through various exercises and tests to prove your knowledge. This course busts some of the commonly held survivalist perceptions and in their place develops countryside skills and a knowledge base that will enable the individual to live comfortably and with confidence away from the amenities of the urban world. The problem is that it is like a drug; the more you get, the more you want! This is the 4th. course I have done with the Woodcraft School over the past three summers. Each time I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience and come away feeling more knowledgable and full-filled. I am now waiting for the 2013 course timetable to be published, so that I can sign up for next years tranch of training. Thanks to John, Andy, Kieran, Phil and Paul for their patience and the expert way in which they passed over their knowledge.

Paul Goldsmith

I thoroughly enjoyed the course and felt that the instructors were very professional and taught to a high standard. I met lots of interesting people from all walks of life and were there for so many different reasons. My knowledge before the course was limited and now I feel more confident in teaching and bringing my experiences across to the youngsters I teach. The camp was well set up and the food was of a very high standard. I have already recommended this course to other colleagues and friends. Thanks John and team .

Elizabeth Denyer

What a week! This course was really well taught by knowledgeable, experienced and engaging staff, with plenty of time built in to develop the new skills we were taught with help and humour at hand. It was intense, exhausting and inspiring. It’s opened my eyes to a new world of bushcraft and given me a fresh view of our precious woodlands. I know there’s a lifetime of exploration ahead of me! Thank you.

Holly Willmott

The Advanced Bushcraft NCFE L3 was a fabulous course. The content was well delivered in a clear and concise way, with plenty of time to practice skills and be tutored along the way. John and Nick are relaxed, good humoured and great instructors. They both have a patient and reassuring manner that is very comfortable for the learner when picking up new or improving existing skills. During the course you feel you have only hit the tip of the iceberg as they share with you such an impressive and genuine in-depth knowledge and experience of bushcraft. The setting was perfect in a beautiful and varied forest where there is an abundance of wildlife, tree & plant species, including a rare opportunity to go badger spotting. What also really complimented the learning is to be living in the forest with the opportunity to actually stay in a natural shelter or sleep in a hammock. The catering was excellent, Caron even included some wild food foraging in to some of her delicious meals. My experience of the course was challenging, yet well paced. The assessment styles were varied to suit different learning styles. Overall the course was inspiring and highly recommended, the Woodcraft School really walks their talk in bushcraft. Thank you.

Marc Lloyd Griffiths

Educational emotional and fun. The course was inspirational, both emotionally and practically . Both instructors, John and Nick have fantastic presentational skills, with pupil to instructor ratio just right. I would highly recommend this course for inspiration and learning in the outdoor environment with nature.

Hefin Hamer

Dear John and Nick, Not sure where to start; it was emotional, the training course and the assessment were run to an exceptionally high standard, the wealth of knowledge both of you have is first class. I have learnt an array of new skills, and understanding of plants, trees, wildlife and ecology, this is tribute to your professionalism and the belief you have in the subject and your teaching abilities.You have given me a platform from which I can build on and further my skills and knowledge. The location of the course was second to none, and the food that was prepared for us was first class. I am already looking at other courses you are running. See you soon. good luck to Nick on his journey, all the very best to you all.

Peter Holland

The course exceeded all expectations. The setting was beautiful the teaching was excellent and the food was first class. Could not of asked for more, except to maybe to stay longer and do it all over again. Thank you very much to the whole team for an insight into this magical world.

Gary Walker

It isn’t very often that you can say “I’m really looking forward to an assessment!!”. That was most certainly the case with this course. I have taken quite a few outdoor training and assessment courses over the years and this beat them all without exception – a stunning woodland setting, a very high standard of teaching, enjoyable and interesting topics throughout and of course – excellent food!! I would like to thank John and Nick for really opening up my eyes to the “woods” and the world of bushcraft.