Instructor Mentoring Scheme

Dave`s manner and evident expertise persuaded me to enrol on the Instructor Mentoring Scheme….

Howard Jeffs – BC, LOtC & Adventuremark inspector.

This 15-18 month program is designed to take someone with a good basic knowledge of Bushcraft and take them to more thorough grounding in each of the key subjects. You will refine and extend each skill, on one of the 3 sets of training, dates putting them into different contexts/scenarios in order to understand them much more.

There will be opportunities to assist and then lead a variety of sessions with different client groups/ages giving you width and depth to your competence and understanding. During your time you will also build a portfolio of evidence to cover the list of criteria which will be a mixture of programmed time and your own professional work.


Instructor Mentoring SchemeInstructor Mentoring Scheme










Potential Candidates will have attended a BFP course or have been on suitably recognized courses with other established providers (not Introductory weekends).

General Program – Total cost £975

Stage 1 November to June/July. Cost £525

2 days Nov 17-18
2 days Nov 23-24
2 days Feb 29-March 1
2 days April 18-19
2 days TBA

In addition you are freely invited to the Wild Food Days as well as the Winter Bushcraft Weekend.

bdm3Stage 2 July to December (Latest the following March) Cost £450

With the criteria in mind it is now over to you to work towards getting a portfolio of evidence together through either your own work or by asking me for opportunities to gain the experience required.


As part of the scheme you get an opportunity to come along to one of the many shows/events during the year such as The Bushcraft Show, The Wilderness Gathering or one of the Countryside shows we are at. Specialist courses such as the Lime Bark weekend or the Bow Making weekend are offered at half the normal price.

Opportunities are also available during the scheme to take the IOL Bushcraft Competency assessment. This is on condition that you have been acknowledged by us that you are sufficiently competent. This again will be charged at half the standard price.

Being on the mentoring scheme with Dave has hugely developed my depth of understanding of the key principles of Bushcraft. The scheme has given me lots of opportunities to improve my own professional practice, work alongside a range of different instructors, develop my own teaching style and meet a range of people within the industry.
I’d highly recommend the instructor mentoring scheme to anyone who is actively looking to improve their understanding, confidence and skill in delivering high quality Bushcraft sessions.

Lizzy Maskey, Pippin and Gile Bushcraft and Foraging, Mountain Leader….

After I took one of the Woodland Survival Courses I was offered a place on the Mentoring Scheme. This gave me the support and opportunities to refine my technique as well as share best practise with other mentees over several camps. Dave has consistently encouraged us to explore the limits of techniques and do our own research over a large range of topics. As a result of Dave’s guidance I have had the confidence to develop my own business which uses the Bushcraft techniques I have learnt and refined with Dave to teach a large range of Science topics up to GCSE.

Rupert Loch, Director Feral Science Ltd.

The Mentoring Scheme has enabled me to extend the basic skills and knowledge I had as a Forest School leader in directions that I didn’t know existed; I have become much more aware of the “Why”, “How” and “What” behind my work, which has given me the confidence to be more thoughtful and flexible in my approach.

Karen Shephard, Forest School Leader

I started the Instructor mentoring scheme in November, and I was very not very confident in my abilities. The two weekends we have had so far have been really helpful both in developing my practical skills and my confidence. I am beginning to understand how and why things work which then helps me understand why, when things don’t work, what I need to adjust to put it right. I would highly recommend this course to anyone wanting to develop their skills further.

Elizabeth Benstead, Youth and Community Officer

I am now undertaking the 2nd year of the mentoring course provided by Dave Watson of Woodland Survival Crafts. The first year flew by and was exciting, detailed and the knowledge and experiences given by Dave were brilliant! He really gets as much pleasure seeing a candidate succeed and you as a candidate get from attending and achieving.
The second year is very hands on with you taking more control and deciding on what areas you need to gain more confidence and mentoring with. This is an essential process as you are well on your way to becoming the best instructor you can be. Independence a resilience are fundamental skills and Dave is there to help and encourage and fine tune.
Thank you for your time, commitment, professionalism and understanding. I highly recommend undertaking this course.

Jonathan Earle LLB (Hons),
Director Back to Basics Bushcrafters CIC

The mentoring scheme is helping me take my professional practice to the next level. Improving the experience of my Forest School trainees and my own enjoyment of my profession. Dave is inspiring, supportive but also holds me to account which works very well and ensures I get the best experience I can from the scheme.

Ellie Dolan, Natural Choice Group Forest School Trainer

I have found the mentoring scheme to be hugely useful not only to my development as a bushcraft practitioner but also to my development as an educator of young people. Dave is a huge advocate of understanding the principle and reasoning behind everything he does which has rubbed off on me and changed my way of learning and teaching. This has also had benefits for my students, as by being able to properly understand the reasoning and mechanisms behind what we are doing in a session, those who struggle with conventional approaches have been able to develop their own methods and techniques and have produced great results! The scheme has also allowed my the opportunity to teach other individuals, under the guiding hand of Dave, which, for me, is a great way to learn and also helps put fine detail improvements onto my personal techniques!

Ben Rees, Engagement Officer Worcs Wildlife Trust

I joined the mentoring scheme to expand my knowledge of bushcraft. The format and flexibility made fitting in training days easy and the opportunity to test skills learnt and improve delivery of those skills was invaluable. It is not only being able to deliver the skills but the depth of knowledge gained allowed me greater understanding which now allows me to trouble shoot where clients I work with are going wrong giving them a much better experience.

Pete Morton, Outdoor Pursuit Instructor WSC Trainer

I’m now in the second year of the mentoring scheme and it’s been a fantastic experience. The amount of knowledge and skills Dave has to pass on is incredible. It’s been a pleasure to attend the course meeting and sessions as my knowledge, skills, experience and confidence always grow and Dave’s always happy to help and offer advice and his instructing methods are fantastic as they always get the best results. I now feel that I have the confidence to pursue a career as an instructor which is something I didn’t think I could achieve.
I’d like to thank Dave and everyone at Woodland Survival Crafts for everything, it’s been a blast and long may it continue.
Alastair – NHS

As an outdoor education practitioner I’ve been wanting to take my bushcraft skills to the next level as I felt that they had plateaued out, I needed something to push me to the next level. Dave Watson already had a great reputation as a bushcraft instructor and his Mentoring scheme not only has the flexibility to cover bushcraft skills that i wanted to choose for myself, but it also kept me accountable to make time in my own schedule to practice those skills and apply them to my sessions.

Dave is an excellent mentor, he is a patient teacher and doesn’t just give you the answers but helps you come to your own conclusions so you understand the ‘why’ behind the ‘what’.

I always learn so many new things each time I attend Dave’s training courses, he is a wealth of knowledge. The things I have learned with him will be used to enhance my own sessions and widen the scope of what I can offer to groups in my business.

Yesterday I was able to realise a dream I’d had for a long time, to be able to make fire by friction with children. For the first time I was able to use the fire bow with children helping along the way. It was so satisfying and for me a real achievement. My sessions for kids just went up to a whole new level. Thanks for Dave for all your teaching.

James Kendal

I feel that Dave has created a valuable programme and framework with the Instructor Mentoring Scheme. It enables personal development and progression to a stage where participants have a genuine level of confidence and ability, enough to comfortably lead sessions independently. For me it has been an extremely useful and fulfilling experience.

Howard Morris

Having had a long term plan to be able to deliver Bushcraft programmes to various groups at a basic level, I felt that my own skills needed developing and fine tuning. Having been on a WSC ‘Bushcraft for Practitioners’ course I had kept in regular contact with Dave. I was pleased to hear that he would be launching an ‘Instructor Mentoring Scheme’ as it seemed to fit the bill to enable me (with an extremely busy life) to hone my skills to a level that ‘I’ was happy with. The ‘I’ is in my opinion the key to the way in which Dave works. Exams and tests all have their place but the onus for me is that Dave works with you, at your own pace, guiding you, encouraging you to discover things for yourself and gain a fuller understanding of the subjects. Dave gives you plenty of opportunities to deliver sections of various courses to many diverse groups. This, in my humble opinion, is the key in building subject confidence, knowledge and self-development.

Mike Petrie

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