Woodland Explorer Residential (3 Day)

THREE unforgettable days for 8-16 year olds. Live wild in the woods sleeping in your own self built a shelter from sticks and tarps. The days will be an inspiring mix of bushcraft, whittling, fire lighting, natural arts and crafts, animal tracking, woodland games, storytelling, adventure and sleeping out under the stars.

(minimum age of child is 8yrs on 1st Jan in year of course)

Timings: The course runs between 9.30am on Day One to 4pm on Day Three including 2 nights accommodation in shelters built by the Woodland Explorers!

The areas of activities covered include:

Fire Lighting: We will learn a range of different fire lighting techniques - without matches! This will include friction fire lighting with a bow drill, fire steels and maybe even using the sun if we’re lucky with the weather! We will experiment with a variety of natural tinders. Participants will learn about the safe use of fire and good fire camp craft.

Green wood carving: We will learn safe knife use and will work on a range of useful and fun whittling projects over the 3 days.

Shelter Building: Learn various different shelter designs and techniques. You'd better make it good because you will be sleeping in it for the whole course!

Tracking: Learning the basics of tracking animals. We will learn to identify prints, droppings and other signs such as hair, teeth marks, burrows of the common animals found in our woodlands.

Nature Awareness: Deepen connections with nature using awareness games, barefoot walking and good old chilling out leaning against a tree.

Arts and Crafts: A variety of creative projects using natural materials including natural cordage

Nature ID: With the aim of being able to identify a broad range of trees and plants found in British woodland along with their uses.

Campfire Cooking: Over the week we will make lots of different campfire treats to keep us sustained! All our meals will be cooked on the fire.

Games and storytelling: Lots of games to support everything we’re learning and just to have fun and a run-around. Storytelling around the campfire.

VENUE: Common Wood, Windermere. Grid Reference: SD 418 992

The wood is part of The National Trust St Catherine’s Estate and lies 1km north north east from Windermere station. Full details of drop and pick up points will be sent out in the week prior to the course.

Children will be guaranteed to leave with a smile on their face and a smell of wood smoke in their hair.

Shared experiences with new friends

Run by experienced tutors from Woodmatters in partnership with National Trust

Tutors: Ro Thomas, Gareth Thomas, Debs Nickolls


"Thank you so much for giving our children the most fantastic four days. They loved every minute of it and are very proud of the things they made. They learned all sorts of things without it feeling like learning. One tells me he is now much better at being still and tuning in. The other keeps talking about how much he enjoyed it and how he wants to do it again. This is very unusual for him as he normally just wants to do his own thing in the holidays."

"I think you have put together a wonderful experience which would appeal to lots of children but particularly those who don't get on with the traditional outdoor pursuits. It was great to see what they had been doing and how they had become a friendly tribe with the other children. Many many thanks for giving them such a great experience."

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Slowing down and noticing isn't just good for my health - it also reveals opportunities I hadn't seen or even imagined.

Past Participant