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Traditional Greenwood Crafts are Alive and Well in The National Forest

Tuesday, 9th February 2010

Here in the heart of The National Forest there are plenty of opportunities to learn the techniques, skills and often forgotten histories of woodland crafts.

Mastercrafts, a six week series filmed in Dorset, starts on 12 February on BBC2, and follows three hopefuls in their search for the perfect traditional craft for them. 

Here in The National Forest you can train under master woodsman Peter Wood in his woodland workshop Greenwood Days.  Under his expert guidance, novices and keen amateurs can learn pole lathe turning, Windsor chair making, how to make your own long bow and learn to fire it, steam and tar a coracle, weave a willow basket or bend a hazel hurdle on courses lasting from one to eight days. 

If Ray Mears’ bushcraft survival skills are more to your taste, there are three survival schools based in The National Forest. Forage for wild food, collect rain water from leaves, twist twine out of tree roots or filter water through socks lined with moss and wood ash. Build a snug shelter in the woods and watch the stars come out.

Or you can volunteer with BTCV (British Trust for Conservation Volunteers) and learn dry stone walling, hedgelaying, coppicing and other countryside skills. It’s a great way to meet people, have fun and get fit at the same time.

See more about Forest experiences on The National Forest website at

www.nationalforest.org/visit/thingstodo/experience.php

For Peter Wood’s Greenwood Days courses: www.greenwooddays.co.uk

Survival schools in The National Forest: 

Survival School:  0871 222 7304

Woodland Survival Crafts:  www.woodlandsurvivalcrafts.com

Woodland Ways:  www.woodland-ways.co.uk

BTCV:  01530 277855 www.btcv.co.uk