Are the sessions or courses physically hard?
No – We will level the course to your physical capabilities but none of our courses are physically hard. We like to use the woods and forest as a classroom so we may walk up to a mile or so in one day, but this will be at a leisurely pace with plenty of stops. We take notice of young adventurers and people who are not so mobile and tailor the pace and distance accordingly. Immersion and advanced courses may require a greater fitness level, but this will be detailed on the appropriate course admin area.
I’m under 16 years old but want to learn?
We welcome young adventurers but if you are under 16 you must be accompanied by an adult. We do make some exceptions so please contact us.
Why is there an age limit?
Children over 6 are welcome on our courses but the accompanying adult must ensure they are behaved. We must ensure that everyone is safe, particularly on our weekend courses where we use sharp tools and have open fires. We also like to try and watch wildlife. This may not be suitable for some younger folk. As above, we do make exceptions, so please contact us.
I have restricted mobility. Can I still come along?
We welcome people with restricted mobility. Some courses will not be suited to you but most will. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our upmost to help you.
Do I need previous knowledge or skills?
No. You will be taught everything you need to know.
Are you qualified?
Despite some people’s assertions that they are qualified Bushcraft Instructors, there is no single, recognised national Bushcraft Instructor’s qualification in the UK, although some provider’s courses may be accredited by external organisations.
All Woodlife Trails staff are trained to educate and develop people as opposed to ‘instructing’ them.
We have a vast array of personal adult learning qualifications to match this ethos including a Master’s degree in Learning and Development, Cert Ed., NVQ’s in adult teaching and training, NVQ assessing and counselling skills.
Every Woodlife Trails instructor has had at least 3 years experience teaching outdoor skills with other bushcraft or tracking schools or has undertaken Woodlife Trails’ own exacting 3-year trainer programme to the teaching industry’s Certificate in Teaching in the Life-Long Learning Sector (CTTLS) standard, which has been designed and is delivered by a qualified “Lifelong Learning Sector” trainer and assessor (Edexel).
We are all fully qualified in First Aid (HSE) and, of course, fully insured. Some of our courses have been approved by the National Trust.
What about the ‘elfs?
Ah yes…the ‘elfs! ‘Elf and safety is important to us although you should appreciate that all our courses take place in a natural woodland environment. Every course is risk assessed by our staff. You may see the risk assessment if you wish. A safety brief will be provided at the start of the course and you must always comply with staff instructions. The courses and sessions are not dangerous in any way, but you should be aware that you are in what may be in a strange environment. So just be a little careful.
What equipment do I need?
You only need what’s in the general kit list and any specific items detailed on your specific course list. If you don;t have all the equipment, we may be able to help. Please don’t let this stop you. Contact us for advice.
What about food?
You are encouraged to bring a packed lunch and something to drink for the one-day sessions, but there is a café on site if it’s being held at Hatfield Forest. For overnight courses, you should bring your own stove and food. We will supply all drinking water.
Why don’t you supply food?
For two reasons: Firstly, because people have so many personal preferences it would be impossible to please everyone. Also many people have different allergies and it might be unsafe for them to eat some foods provided by us.
Do we get knives?
Knives are an integral and essential tool for use in the woods. Some of our courses will require the use of a knife as a tool. If you do not have your own knife, you may borrow one from us, which you must return at the end of the course. You must adhere to our knife safety policy page, which will be made known to you. Folding pocket knives are not suitable in normal circumstances as working tool in wildersness situations. Please contact us for advice. For UK legal implications of carrying knives in public please go to the knife safety page. Please do not bring axes or other bladed tools unless specifically asked. You must have a personal first aid pack on you.
Are these survival courses?
We may teach elements of survival, which are aligned to providing us with being more comfortable in the wilderness.
Do we eat worms?
Not if you don’t want to! We don’t run survival courses, but you may want to try something from the ‘woodland larder’ if it’s acceptable and safe to do so. Don’t try anything without asking our staff first!
I already know quite a bit about the outdoors. What can you teach me?
We have designed every course to be flexible and we are experienced enough as teacher /trainer /instructors to deliver the right content to the right person. Our courses do not follow the usual “survival/bushcraft” itineraries so we guarantee even if you are experienced or you have been on many courses before, you will benefit from our courses and sessions.
Won’t we disturb the animals by getting too close?
Our staff will have the final decision. If they think our activities will disturb wildlife, they will not allow anyone to get too close.
Are we guaranteed to see some wildlife?
The sessions take place in natural woodland or forest setting and not a wildlife park, so nothing is guaranteed; however, if you follow instructions from the staff and move quietly and carefully, you will have a better chance of seeing some wildlife.
What if it’s raining or cold?
The sessions take place outdoors whatever the weather. You should bring appropriate clothing to keep warm and dry. You don’t need expensive gear. If in doubt, please contact us.