James Smith attended his first course, the Fundamental Bushcraft, with us in April this year and caught the ‘bushcraft bug’. Here is a short review from James after completion of his second course, the Carving Master Class with Ray Mears, which he booked very shortly after returning home from the Fundamental Bushcraft course:
As anyone reading this may appreciate, completing the Woodlore Fundamental Bushcraft course can leave you with severe withdrawal symptoms! This was certainly true for myself. So before I’d even unpacked all my gear I jumped at the chance to attend a Carving Masterclass with Ray Mears.
Many aspects of bushcraft require patience and observation: carving is no exception. As students we were encouraged to take our time, deal with problems early on (‘a philosophy for life’) and also factor in some breaks. After all, tiredness and very sharp tools do not mix well…
Throughout the course Ray and his assistants were constantly on hand to offer advice and guidance, all within easy reach of the campfire kettle. Slowly but surely we turned humble pieces of birch into spoons.
Spoons?! On the surface it can seem like no big deal. But there are many valuable skills and procedures involved in the creation of even the most utilitarian of objects – skills that we are increasingly losing touch with. If you want to gain a new appreciation of simple, everyday objects, try making some of them!
Huge thanks to Ray, Keith, Steve, Jamie and all at Woodlore for a truly unforgettable day.
Now, I just need to befriend a tree surgeon…
Carved spoons from the Fundamental Bushcraft and Carving Master Class courses –
Last weekend saw the Woodlore outdoor team gather together for their annual staff training. This year, the team took an in-depth view of some of the essential professional skills required to run successful courses safely in any environment. We were joined by Jamie Cooke, a world leader in resuscitation practice and Specialist Instructor on our First Aid courses, who gave the team their regular top-up of knowledge and training. Ray led the team in looking at the complications and hazards of leading overseas expeditions and how we can use our experiences to improve and inform our teaching on Woodlore’s exceptional range of UK training courses.
Team Training 2017
Between times, the team had the opportunity to come together and enjoy the warmth of the Woodlore camp fire, sharing food and stories of what has happened since the last season together. On the final day, Ray once again led the team and demonstrated a rich diversity of skills which will be embedded into our courses over the coming year. Woodlore is constantly moving forward in terms of equipment, knowledge and technique so these times spent together in the woods are essential. It means that our clients in the coming year will have a learning experience that is current, relevant and absolutely second to none.
It is with deep regret that Woodlore must pass on this sad and tragic news:
“Yesterday morning I received the news that Stephen Wade Cox had passed away. I speak for all the team when I say that we were profoundly upset by such an unexpected tragedy. Over the past eight years we had come to recognise his astonishing and ever growing talent as a knife maker. A perfectionist and thorough professional, he was a joy to work with. Throughout this year I had worked very closely with him in the development of the Woodlore Knife Pro. This provided me the opportunity to know him better. There was much to admire in Stephen, he was calm, cheerful, thoughtful and a reliable man who loved his children. As a professional he was incredibly skilful but also humble, always at pains to honour the craftsmanship of the other knife makers who had inspired him. In his passing, Great Britain has lost one of the Worlds most talented knife makers.
Stephen will be a sorely missed member of the Woodlore Team. He last visited us just a few days ago when he had been looking forward to a holiday, full of joy and happiness. This is how I shall always remember him; smiling, happy and certain in the knowledge that his talents were fully appreciated.” – Ray Mears
Our thoughts and condolences are with his family at this heartrending time.
Our UK course dates for 2017 are now available to book on the website. In addition to our usual selection of courses based in East Sussex and Scotland we have an exciting new Cooking course added to the calendar for this year. We have also extended the reach of the Fundamental Bushcraft course to Gloucestershire with the Fundamental Severnside course. Book soon to avoid disappointment.
2017 UK Courses
Ray will be leading a total of six Walk in the Woods and Carving Master Class days with Woodlore this year. We would advise you to book your place to join us soon as these sell out very quickly.
Ray Mears and Lars Falt have worked together for more than 20 years teaching bushcraft skills in the Northern Forest. After many years in the making, this fascinating book has now been written and has been released today.
Out on the Land by Ray Mears and Lars Falt
We are delighted to be stocking ‘Out on the Land’ by Ray and Lars and all books ordered directly from Woodlore will be signed by Ray. Order your copy today.