Family bushcraft activities

Wild North Discovery

Bushcrafts, wild food foraging, birdwatching, wildlife, nature and ancient craft skills in North East England and the North West Highlands of Scotland

lean to debris shelterBushcrafts Survival Weekend

Bushcraft survival essentials: shelter, fire, food and water

The bushcraft weekend allows more time to practice skills and look in more depth than the one day course. It is aimed at beginners and those with some basic knowledge wanting to improve their skills. You’ll learn the key skills needed to survive: how to build a shelter quickly from natural materials, how to light a fire several different ways without matches, how to manage a fire and to cook on it, some foraging basics and how to ensure you have a supply of safe water.


Shelter building

Shelter is essential; it protects us from the weather, keeps us warm and dry and is psychologically important for morale.
  • You’ll learn how to make a one person emergency shelter using the materials found around you
  • You’ll learn how to make a lean-to cold weather shelter that maximises the benefit you get from the warmth of your fire.
  • You'll learn a range of knots and put up a tarpaulin shelter

Fire lighting

Firis one of the oldest skills known to mankind; it is thought that our evolution as an intelligent, dominant species was helped greatly by our ability to cook raw food. Firecraft is a central survival skill; it warms us, it dries us, it makes water safe to drink, it cooks our food, it lifts morale.
  • You’ll learn several different ways to generate a flame without using matches including with flint and steel
  • You’ll learn the ultimate in fire lighting techniques, fire by friction, using a bow drill
  • You’ll find out about collecting, preparing and using a wide range of tinders to get the flame going
  • You’ll learn how to build the flame up into a fire you can cook over
  • You’ll learn ways of lighting fire in wet conditions
  • You’ll learn how to manage the fire from start to finish to minimise impact on the surroundings.

Knife and tool use

You'll learn how to sharpen knives and axes and undertake a number of useful projects that will develop your skills.

By arrangement and for an additional fee you can sleep in your shelter. Please ask for details and discuss with us before paying.


Foraging for wild food

There is plenty of food growing wild around us. 7,000 years ago, our ancestors started growing their own food but before that we hunted wild animals and picked wild plants to eat. It was really important to know what was edible and what was poisonous; it could be a matter of life or death!

This is an introductory activity to a very big subject we’ll get you off on the right foot. We’ll be out in the field looking at identification, discussing preparation and some tasting.
  • Wild plants and the law
  • Easy protein sources (not for the squeamish and we won’t make you try them!)
  • Safe foraging
  • A selection of edible leaves, flowers, roots, berries, seeds and nuts found locally
  • A word on fungi

Camp fire cooking

People often say food tastes better cooked outdoors over an open fire.
  • You’ll set up a camp fire for cooking, without using matches
  • You’ll discover how to use the different areas of the fire for different cooking techniques
  • You’ll cook bread cakes, smoke fish, make soup and do a bit of barbecuing and baking as well as have a brew up. We’ll add a few seasonal wild ingredients as available.

Collecting and treating water

Surface water found in Britain is rarely safe to drink.
  • You’ll learn a number of different ways to collect water and process it for safe use.
Duration: 2 days

100 per person for two people, 40 per additional group member. Individual one-to-one booking available at 200. Accommodation not included; see booking information.

Booking: Ring or email to book a weekend that suits you; tel. 01388 529154 or email then fill in and return the booking form (by email or post) and click on the button below to pay online.

Download booking form

Further information: Minimum group size two; maximum 12. Participants should be 16 or over. Bring a packed lunch on Saturday. 

The activity leader is qualified through the Institute for Outdoor Learning to teach bushcrafts to groups and has been involved in bushcrafts and woodland skills for over thirty years. He is DBS cleared.

Location: North Pennines - Harehope or Hamsterley Forest, Weardale or Kielder

Booking options

Gift Vouchers

The ideal present; buy a half or full day activity gift voucher open for use on any of our activities emailed direct to you.