Leaders in Brighton & Hove forage bushcraft qualifications

Thursday, 28 November 2013

 Woodcraft Folk leaders in Brighton and Hove forage bushcraft qualifications

 
Following on from the publication of "The Bushcraft Way" Paul Bemrose, one of the leaders in Brighthelmstone's Azania Pioneers applied for and secured a grant from Awards for All that included the cost of training new and existing leaders in bushcraft. The course was run by Woodcraft School and was a level 3 (A level equivalent) qualification. Eventually with additional funding from elsewhere there were 8 volunteers who successfully completed the course.
 
It consisted of various elements including tracking, tree and plant identification, harvesting wood, making fire by friction and using three other methods, making nettle cordage, making a Wagan stick, spoon carving, foraging and cooking over fire, making natural shelters, erecting tarps and hammocks, knots, learning about hyper and hypothermia, making water safe to drink, clothing systems. It was a full week of learning that was followed a month later by an intense 3 day assessment. All the Woodcraft Folk leaders passed the assessment and agreed that is was a challenging and yet enjoyable experience.
 
"Being confident in the outdoors and teaching young people these skills is essentially what we were trying to achieve," explained Paul Bemrose. "There are plenty of bushcraft schools across the country but Woodcraft School offers accreditation and we have used this organisation in the past, when we were developing the bushcraft way programme."
 
The skills learned are also being spread informally. For example the London Regional camp organisers are seeking to tap into this knowledge to allow London volunteers to learn how to deliver bushcraft/forest school type activities next summer. In 2012 there was an adult bushcraft gathering. There are plans to repeat this in 2014.