More than 200 people have signed up in just two months to acquire some of the skills that propelled Ray Mears and Bear Grylls to TV stardom.
Ranger Karina Thornton, from the Forestry Commission, said: “We started short bushcraft sessions a few years ago, but since then they have snowballed.”
“We have lots of people booking in to spend either a few hours learning fire lighting and shelter builder or going the full hog and doing an over-nighter.”
“Some events are aimed at youngsters, but others target older folk with a sense of adventure.”
Those taking up the bushcraft challenge include youth groups, companies, schools, and friends looking for something different to do. People have also been checking into public events, the next of which takes place on 17th August with a family bushcraft session. An overnight family event also takes place on 23 August.
Karina add: “The forest park might be just a few miles from urban areas, but once you are in your rustic shelter made from branches and brash in the middle of 1.5 million trees and with the owls hooting, it seems a world away. That’s part of the attraction – it is complete escapism.”
Other skills being taught include wood whittling, water purifying, tool use, campfire cooking, green wood working and traditional woodland crafts.
To find out more contact Karina on 01623 821459.