Bushcraft for Outdoor Practitioners

Bushcraft Training for Outdoor Practitioners


Providing training to outdoor centres throughout the UK

Woodland Survival Crafts offer a package of quality training to enable Outdoor Practitioners to feel confident in their foundational Bushcraft skills.

We will look at what is at the heart of good Bushcraft and how you can enhance your existing sessions to address a wide variety of educational needs.

The three day course can stand on its own or be taken further. Options include gaining accreditation through the Institute for Outdoor Learning's Foundational Bushcraft Competency Award.

Whether you are a Forest School Leader, Environmental Education Officer or Outdoor Instructor we can enhance your skills and sessions.

It is useful but not essential for students to have some previous experience in the areas of shelter building, fire lighting and simple knife handling.

Our 3-day programmes cover the following subjects:

  1. General safety and hygiene
  2. Safe and effective shelter construction
  3. Safe handling of tools
  4. Friction fire lighting for everyone
  5. General fire lighting and fire management
  6. String making
  7. Tree identification and their uses
  8. Wild food and wilderness cookery
  9. Water purification
  10. Direction finding
  11. Challenging perceptions
  12. Delivery methods and programming
  13. Sourcing materials

Our woodland site on the Derbyshire/Leicestershire border provides the ideal venue complete with tidy self-composting toilets and covered areas for times of inclement weather.

Accommodation is in the shelters that you build, although you may choose to bring a tent or equivalent if you wish.

The course is self catering. We have open fire places to cook over or bring your own cooking equipment.

Alternatively why not have us come and run this or a similar course at your centre and instruct your staff. We can advise on managing your woodland as well as capitalising on the unique opportunities your location offers.

Centres/Organisations that have used us are:

  • Sandwell Outdoor Education Centres including Frank Chapman Centre
  • Kingswood Dearne Valley
  • Kingswood Peak Centre
  • Kingswood Colemendy
  • Sherwood Pines
  • Lancashire Wildlife Trust
  • Derbyshire Wildlife Trust
  • The Magdalen Project
  • Grafham Water Education Centre
  • Leicester Outdoor Centre
  • Avon Tyrell
  • Forestry Commission
  • and many more

I attended one of Dave's Training Courses for Outdoor Instructors wishing to learn Bushcraft. I arrived with some trepidation, thinking I would know nothing. However Dave teased the knowledge I already held as an outdoor instructor and applied it to Bushcraft so that over the week I gained the confidence to teach Bushcraft skills. I now run a home education bushcraft group each week! Dave is perhaps the most experienced bushcraft instructor in the UK, and the one other professionals turn to when they want to extend their skills. He is also a lovely person and an excellent, gentle patient, trainer. Why take a course with the rest when you could go with the best!

Stuart Marshall
Director Marlin Training Ltd

I just wanted to say a huge thank you for your time and expertise over the last three days. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole course and feel much more confident about taking my learning forward which will, of course, have a very positive effect on my Forest School sessions. I'm well aware that I have a lot to learn and a lot of catching up to do, but the course has given me knowledge and skills to develop further.


This was a truly transformational and inspirational experience. We are both teaching professionals and in our opinion Dave is one of the best professional practitioners we have ever known.Ron and Margaret Lawson.

Course Cost
3 day course at Spring Wood £295 per person*†
On site (up to 6 people) £500 per day plus expenses
On site (7 to 12 people) £800 per day plus expenses

* Discounts available for 3 or more trainees
† Members of the IOL Bushcraft and Survival SIG £275 per person

Course Dates | Booking Info. | Contact Us

This is one of the best courses I have ever been on. From start to finish I kept thinking “Wow! I never knew that.”

The style of delivery gave us time to absorb the information and relate it to potential situations where we could use it in our work.

Within a week of participating in the course I have already used my new found skills on a managers’ team-build and a forest school practitioner training programme and I am looking forward to sharing my new knowledge with young people on education authority programmes.

I used firelighting without matches; making a simple musical instrument from natural materials; and brewing up with a kelly kettle on the team-build and the people who took part in these activites were just as blown-away with their success as those who had taken part in a high adrenalin aerial walkway activity.

Anne Humberstone, Outdoor & Woodland Learning

Thanks for the course. My head is buzzing with all the new found ideas and skills. I’ve just been going through my photos and videos. I can’t believe the depth of material we covered.

I can’t think of any other course I’ve been on, and I go on a lot, that has opened up such a wealth of opportunities. I can’t wait to get in to the woods to experiment and practice some more. Thanks, it was fantastic.

John Jenner, Deputy Head, Magdalen Court School

I attended one of Dave Watson's three day training the trainer days in his beautiful woods in Derbyshire, on arrival I felt enveloped with a sense of serenity, calmness and an inevitable sense of hope.

For the very first time, in a very long while, I was able to sit back and enjoy the woodlands that I love so much in a restful, supportive and caring environment.

It is a strange thing, stepping out and looking from the outside in, and from the inside out both at the same time. I gained confirmation that skills and knowledge that I was passing on to others was real, relevant and exciting. I grew personally in those skills and absorbed knowledge in unexpected ways. Most of all I grasped a deeper understanding of how important and key this world, and here I mean the natural environment, the social interaction, the emotional dimension, this way of living and perceiving, is to each of us and made me very aware that there are fantastic, loving, caring and gifted people who will always dare to inspire, encourage you to open your eyes to see the world you think you know and to give it more facets, more depth, more satisfaction and more motivation, if you are willing to open them and see for yourself.

So thank you for a fantastic time, and thank you that I could use very small steps to build an ember, that with the right resources, the right coaching, the right vision, that anything was possible and even the smallest spark can leap into the largest, hottest, brightest and most beautiful flame!

Sarah Blackwell