Bushcraft Competency Training

More than just a set of skills

Providing training to outdoor centres throughout the UK


Dave Watson – Director of Woodland Survival Crafts Ltd

Providing Quality Training to Outdoor Centers/professionals throughout the UK. Arguably the most experienced trainer/mentor of outdoor professionals/Centres in the UK, we offer a package of quality training to enable Outdoor Practitioners to feel confident in their key 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 Bushcraft Competency Certificate.

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

To gain the best from this course it is desirable to have some previous experience such as Introductory type Bushcraft courses, Forest School Training or simply plenty of Outdoor Experience. Introductory Bushcraft Days are suitable if you dont have this. Do discuss with us if you have any questions.


Bushcraft for PractitionersBushcraft for Practitioners



Just wanted to thank you again for today. Your expertise really came across and it was a pleasure to be able to work with you.
It was a wonderful insight into bushcraft and has left me wanting more! I hadn’t appreciated just how useful natural resources can be and how it can very much link in with conservation too.

Thanks again and I hope to see you in the future!

Kind regards

Amy Bennett,
Community Engagement Assistant.
Staffordshire Wildlife Trust

I just wanted to add a further thank you to yourself and your team for what was a fantastic course over the last 3 days. Already I have steps to improve tree id knowledge and to run a bow-drill and hand-drill competition on the camp which I am leading on 29-30 April (as well as ensuring I undertake more practice beforehand). The style of your course and input and the wealth of knowledge shared by all of you and my peers was wonderful. I have a bow-drill kit at home so I will get more practice in. I found the course really inspirational and it has extended my knowledge and practice immeasurably.


I just wanted to add a further thank you to yourself and your team for what was a fantastic course over the last 3 days. Already I have steps to improve tree id knowledge and to run a bow-drill and hand-drill competition on the camp which I am leading on 29-30 April (as well as ensuring I undertake more practice beforehand). The style of your course and input and the wealth of knowledge shared by all of you and my peers was wonderful. I have a bow-drill kit at home so I will get more practice in. I found the course really inspirational and it has extended my knowledge and practice immeasurably.


My weekend on your training course was one of the highlights of my year.

Elly Dolan – Forest School Association Director

Many thanks again for such a superb course! It has really helped me see the woods in a whole new light and appreciate it from a different perspective! can not wait to get out again to really work on my skills!
Benjamin Rees Shropshire Wildlife Trust

Dave has been an invaluable support in making Kingswood Inspiring Learning an award winning organsiation, delivering high quality outdoor learning programmes. Via his expert tuition to our staff, combined with his extensive expertise and his unique and engaging approach Dave has revolutionised our delivery of Bushcraft, and changed a few lives along the way.

Via his training programmes he has innovated and developed the delivery of Bushcraft for tens of thousands of young people throughout our 10 residential centres. Our staff have become enthusiastic and expert practitioners themselves and this has allowed successive generations of instructors to develop and thrive, enhancing their own skills and enjoyment in delivering outdoor learning to children and young people.

If I were asked to recommend anyone with a Bushcraft Specialism I would go no further than Dave, his business is a most excellent example for the outdoor learning sector to emulate, combining a strong ethos with professional expertise and a clear responsibility to sustainability and environmental education.
Matt Healey MA, LPIOL, FRSA – Head of Learning and Adventure, Inspiring Learning

Our 3-day programmes cover the following subjects:
Effective Shelter Construction
Confident handling of tools
Friction fire lighting for everyone
General fire lighting and fire management
String making
Tree identification and their uses
Wild food and wilderness cookery
Water purification
Direction finding
Challenging perceptions
Delivery methods and programming
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.

Am missing the woods already! We had such a brilliant weekend and the whole experience has really stayed with me – much more than l expected it to.. When you have time l would be really grateful if you could send me the photos you took. I’m looking forward to practicing with my new bow drill and you have given me such confidence that l know it won’t be long till I’m NINJA!!
Here are some photos that might be useful for you
Thanks again for inspiring me ..

Jane Taylor

Thanks for such an amazing course last week. I’ve returned to Skern feeling a new wave of enthusiasm, and ready to start applying some ideas into what I hope will be a fresh start for bushcraft at the centre. I’ll be sure to keep you updated with how it all goes……

James Taylor

Centres/Organisations that have used us are:
Kimbolton School
The Princes Trust Northern Region
Adventure Norway
Sandwell Outdoor Education Centres including Frank Chapman Centre
Kingswood Dearne Valley
Kingswood Peak Centre
Kingswood Colemendy
Cumbrai National Watersports Scotland
Cornwall Outdoors
Sherwood Pines
Lancashire Wildlife Trust
Derbyshire Wildlife Trust
The Magdalen Project
Grafham Water Education Centre
Leicester Outdoor Centre
Avon Tyrell
Forestry Commission
Sheffield Wildlife Trust
Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust
Yorkshire Wildlife Trust
Camp Suisse
and many more

Good morning Dave, Many thanks for the course last week. I found the whole event inspirational and I have come back bursting with ideas as well as confidence. I did a day for Ben Mayho yesterday with 5-11 yr olds and was able to put into practice some of the things I picked up last week. Gary Thompson – teacher

Thank you so much for providing the fantastic setting and knowledge for the bush-craft course.

I have learnt a huge amount in three days and I hope to continue my learning, not just from yourself but also through some of the contacts made. You offer a great service to the outdoor industry.

Thanks once again and I hope to be in touch soon. Rob Marks (Teacher)

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.Niall

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 £305 per person*†
For Centers/Organizations who want to arrange a private training course: £500.00 per day (3 people) with additional people £50 per day

* Discounts available for 3 or more trainees
† Members of the IOL Bushcraft and Survival SIG £285 per person

Option Cost
Rate £40.00 per hour / £260.00 per day
Additional person £20.00 per hour
For 3 or more people £500.00 per day (3 people) with additional people £50 per day
Notes: No minimum time however for 1-2 hours it is often best to try and arrange late afternoon or evening sessions.

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

Quality approved bushcraft courses for schools and business, individuals & outdoor professionals