Course Itinerary

Day 1

Arrival

Upon arrival, the learners will be welcomed and a general site safety brief/tour will be given, then introductions to staff and other learners, followed by a broad course outline and then the learning activities will commence. (refreshment breaks will be programmed into the course content)

Morning

Tree ID walk-about (Unit 6)

Identify at least 10 species of commonly occurring British trees, learning the properties and Bushcraft uses of common tree species trees; including the softness, hardness, flexibility and strength of different woods and hence their suitability for fuel, utensils, shelters, weaving, carving etc. Also learn 5 food resources that can be sourced from commonly occurring British trees and any possible confusion species.

Taught via: Demonstrations, presentations, group discussions.

Tool use (Unit 1)

key aspects of current UK knife Law including understanding of the term public place as well as grasping the implications of the need to justify the carrying/transportation of blades. key dangers/safety considerations of the use of a blade including; Storage, safe distances from others, weaknesses of folding blades, key locations of arteries. Usage of a bow and folding saw utilising suitable safeguards to protect the hands and appropriate storage of blades when not in use. Usage of a fixed blade including; the passing of a blade and a selection of appropriate/recognised techniques e.g. pointing up, cross cut and feathering/shaving techniques, battening.

Taught via: Demonstrations, individual practice, group discussions.

Afternoon

Shelters (Unit 5)

Learn the need for shelter and be aware of the threats from cold, wet, wind, insects and animals. Learn how to correctly site a shelter with due regard to overhead dangers, flooding topography of the land and aspect as well as availability of resources and environmental damage particularly disturbance to flora and fauna. Construct a simple, waterproof one or two-man debris shelter (without using cordage) which is sturdy and safe and show no signs of accidental collapse. Learn the use of natural materials as bedding, and after completion, clear away the shelter to ‘leave no trace’.

Taught via: Demonstrations, presentations, group discussions.

End of Day 1.

Day 2

Upon arrival, the learners will perform a brief review of previous day’s activities.

Morning

Fire skills (Unit 2)

Show a due regard for safety having appropriate safety measures available to deal with burns and being aware of any hazardous materials used. Will also be made aware of any environmental considerations. Learn to use a range of ignition sources; at least three from the following; flint and steel, fire steel, matches, electrical, chemical, solar or compression. Must also know the advantages and disadvantages of each method demonstrated. Try a selection of tinder from inner bark, outer bark, seed heads, fungi, dried grass, bracken and tree resins etc. Try a selection of man-made tinder from such items like; waxed paper, candle wax, gel, rubber, fire-lighters, hexamine blocks etc. Attempt to gather fuel and then build and light a fire in a timely fashion showing due consideration to location and environmental considerations. Learn how to extinguish and dismantle a fire leaving no trace.

Taught via: Demonstrations, individual practice, group discussions.

Afternoon

Bow Drill (Unit 3)

Learn the names of the components of the bow drill and the different woods, their characteristics and qualities, plus the condition it needs to be in to work. Learn how to prepare a suitable tinder bundle from natural materials, and how to use this safely with groups. Attempt with guidance, to use the bow drill to light a fire, blowing the tinder bundle to flame.

This is one of the more challenging areas of the course, especially to individuals who are unfamiliar with the bow-drill, and as such will be delivered via partner-use and even group-use of the bow drill set. This can lead into individual use when understanding and competence have increased.

Should some individuals struggle with the process, and become unduly fatigued or emotionally unsettled by repeated failure, then a break in the activity will be arranged. The break will include a learning activity, such as a plant walk or natural navigation, so as not to waste precious time on the course. After a sufficient break the bow drill activity will commence.

Taught via: Demonstrations, individual practice, group discussions, presentations.

End of Day 2

Day 3

Upon arrival, the learners will perform a brief review of previous day’s activities.

Morning

Water collection/filtration/purification

(Unit 4) Learn some typical indicators of water; topography, vegetation, animal activity, ground condition. Learn at least five different sources of water; transpiration, dew, trees, stills, rivers, lakes and ditches. Discuss the advantages/disadvantages of each. Dig a gypsy well, collect water, filter through material e.g. Millbank Bag or other resource, and purify by lighting and maintaining a small fire long enough to boil half mug of water, consideration will be given to the size and type of fire and environmental impact. Extinguish and “leave no trace”.

Natural Navigation (Unit 7)

Learn the use of a sun shadow stick and from it determine the cardinal directions. Learn two other natural methods of determining direction, their limitations and accuracy. Including; sun and watch, stars, moon, trees.

Afternoon

Cordage (Unit 8)

Learners will be shown three plants/trees that can provide fibres suitable for making strong cordage. The group will try extracting and processing the fibres from two of these plants to learn how to construct a length of 2 ply cordage, feeding in additional fibres to increase the length.

Tree ID quiz (Unit 6)

Learners will attempt a quiz, delivered via a walk-about session, and will try to identify at least 10 species of commonly occurring British trees, and also name at least 5 food resources that can be sourced from these trees.

Log Book examples (Unit 9)

Learners will be shown a completed example of a Bushcraft Competency Certificate Logbook. They will be shown how to fill in their own Logbook, with a mix of guided learning, self-learning, reflective practice, teaching, mentoring. It will be made clear that they must evidence 120 quality hours of Bushcraft experience/practice when they attend assessment.

End of Day 3. Course finishes.

N.B. Throughout the course the ‘leave-no-trace’ ethos will be constantly re-enforced, as will the responsible outdoor approach toward good practices of woodland management and wildlife conservation.

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