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Bushcraft Skills Weekend

April 4 @ 9:30 am - April 5 @ 4:30 pm

£10 – £150
bushcraft & survival skills weekend in north wales

Our Two Day Immersive Bushcraft Skills Course.

Whether you’re new to bushcraft or a veteran of the outdoors, let our experienced instructors guide you through the core skill branches of bushcraft; shelter, fire, food and using edged tools. Our weekend long course is all set against the backdrop of the ancient woodland of the National Trust’s Chirk Castle estate.

This two-day course is an immersion into the world of bushcraft, perfect for both beginners and those who already enjoy the outdoor lifestyle but want to take their basic knowledge of bushcraft further. Over the weekend you will gain a deepened connection to nature whilst experiencing how bushcraft can enhance your enjoyment and appreciation of the outdoors. You will learn a range of practical skills you can use to thrive in the wilderness; whether you want to pass some exciting new skills to your family members on a camping trip, you’re aiming for solo wilderness camping with just your backpack and knife, or you’re simply looking to connect with your inner hunter-gatherer for a weekend. Wherever you are on your journey into bushcraft we aim to bring your confidence and skillset forward to the next level.

On This Course You Will:

  • Build weather-proof shelters from natural materials.
  • Create fire using modern and ancient methods, including fire by friction.
  • Learn how to identify key tree & plant species that can aid us in bushcraft.
  • Cook up and enjoy delicious lunches over the campfire.
  • Improve your techniques in knife, axe and saw work, using safe but effective methods.
  • See the natural world through the eyes of our ancestors.
  • Learn how to find and filter water using natural materials.
  • Discover Natural Navigation techniques to find your way in the wild.
  • Make your own cordage from plant fibres.
  • Craft clever campfire gadgets to aid you in cooking outdoors.
  • Improve your health & well-being by reconnecting with nature.
  • Camp out in the beautiful National Trust estate (optional)

The course begins each day at 9.30am and wraps up at 4.30pm. Weekend camping is available on site also for a small donation to the National Trust, just £10 per tent for the weekend.

nature connection and bushcraft course in north wales

Your day will begin with arrival at our woodland basecamp set amongst ancient trees and wildflowers. From here we will take a short walk out into the woods to learn how to view the natural world through the eyes of our ancestors.

Having each been issued with your own knife to use for the weekend, we will then look at the wealth of natural materials available to us and then put these materials to the test with a practical session of shelter building as your tutor guides you through the skills required to build two styles of simple but effective shelter using all natural materials from the woodland itself.

Next we will gather around our new woodland homes to practise further safe cutting techniques with our knives which can be used for a range of practical applications. We will also make time for looking at basic axe and saw use and learn how to make smart decisions about which living materials we should harvest and which we should consider passing by.

At lunchtime each day we will be cooking up a feast of fresh ingredients in a traditional dutch oven, sharing food together around the campfire as humans have done for thousands of generations.

During the afternoon of our first day we will be focusing on creating fire. You will be introduced to a range of traditional and modern fire-lighting techniques including the ancient art of fire by friction. Your tutor will introduce you to natural sources of tinder and kindling that can be effective in all weathers.

On your second day we will dive into the world of making natural cordage from materials (plant species used will depend on the season) putting their strength to the test in real situations. You will be shown how to find natural sources of water by reading the landscape and then you will filter water using natural materials ready for boiling. We will also revisit fire by friction to hone our techniques and ensure that you will come away from the weekend feeling confident that you can make fire using this ancient skill.

Woven throughout the whole course is the over-arching theme of Leave No Trace, which asks those of us who enjoy to bushcraft to consider our short and long term impacts of our activities on the wildlife and habitats that we love. We will look at how we can reduce our footprint and tread more lightly on the land.

learn survival skills in north wales

Remember, “The more you know, the less you need.” old Aboriginal saying

Although this weekend course includes a lot of what could be considered ‘survival skills’ this is not a ‘survival course.’ The aim here is give learners a deeper appreciation and understanding of the natural world through practising both ancient and modern bushcraft skills not so that we can learn to simply survive in the wild, but so that we can thrive, learning new skills and improving our mental health and wellbeing by spending quality time building our connection with nature.

Our campfire-cooked lunches are 100% vegetarian and 100% tasty. If you have any special dietary requirements be sure to get in touch with us before booking so that we can answer any questions you might have. Refreshments will be available throughout the day at our basecamp.

Camping Available on Site

The National Trust have kindly offered exclusive camping for course participants over the weekend (Fri and Sat nights only). They have asked for a £10 donation for each tent from our campers. This donation will go directly toward their conservation work and upkeep of the Chirk Castle estate and grounds. If you have any questions about camping, just ask.

Who Is This Course Aimed At

  • Newcomers to the world of bushcraft skills.
  • Outdoor enthusiasts who want to bring bushcraft into their hobbies.
  • Anyone with a basic understanding of bushcraft looking to enhance their skills.
  • Outdoor Activity Leaders & Forest School Teachers who want to improve their bushcraft skillset for teaching others.

This course is aimed at adults aged 18 or over. We can accept students as young as 16 years, but they must be accompanied by an adult.

bushcraft and woodland skills course in north wales

About Your Tutor

james kendall. bushcraft instructor in north wales

James Kendall is Bushcraft Instructor, Social Forester and Forest School Leader. He has been working in environmental conservation for over 10 years now. He started Woodland Classroom with his wife, Lea, in 2014. He received the Bushcraft Competency Certifiate awarded through the Institute for Outdoor Learning after 2 years of real experience and practical study. He was also the Project Manager for Long Wood Community Woodland, the largest community owned woodland in Wales, overseeing management of 300 acres (120ha) of broadleaf and conifer forest. He is a former Director of Llais y Goedwig, the voice of community woodlands in Wales. James has always had an affinity with woodland habitats, being at home amoungst the trees, and he has made it his mission to study under some of the UK leaders in bushcraft, greenwood crafts and sustainable woodland management including; Dave Watson (Woodland Survival Crafts), Ben Law (woodsman, author and eco-builder) Patrick Whitefield (permaculture teacher and author) and Mike Abbott (author and greenwood craftsman).

About the Venue

Chirk Castle has over 480 acres of estate parkland for you to explore, with wild ponies, sheep, veteran trees, and a beautifully preserved section of Offa’s Dyke. The estate is located within the Clwydian Range & Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and has also been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest as an important habitat for rare invertebrates, bats, fungi, and wild flowers.

Chirk Castle is 7 miles south of Wrexham, easily accessible off the A5, close to the tourist destination of Llangollen.

Today the woodland is 70% oak trees, including some amazing and unique veteran trees many hundreds of years old. Chirk Castle is part of the Veteran Tree Initiative, helping to conserve veteran trees. Part of this is a 25 year tree planting scheme based on William Emes’s designs, where 1500 trees will be planted, replacing those trees which have been lost. The parkland today is managed by a team of just three National Trust Rangers, and a dedicated group of volunteers, who not only maintain the fences and landscape, plant and manage the trees, and protect the wildlife, but they also work with schools and local community groups to share their knowledge.

outdoor activities at chirk castle

You can find out more about everything the venue has to offer by visiting their website.


Tickets are £150 per adult for the day, which includes a cooked vegetarian lunch each day.

If you can’t afford the full amount right away but want to secure your place then you can purchase a Deposit Ticket for just £20. We can sort out paying the remaining balance at a later date nearer the course.

We are offering a 10% discount available to IOL (Institute for Outdoor Learning) members.

Get in touch if you’d like to know more. Phone James, 07876 794 098 or email us. Advance booking is essential. Tickets are available at the bottom of this page.



How Bushcraft Helps You Connect with your Ancient Self

In evolutionary terms our brains are very much still in the hunter-gatherer mode and have not yet caught up with the way we live in modern society. In the not-too-distant past we lived by hunting and foraging, living among forest plants & animals, spending time building our own shelters, living in close knit communities, using fire as a tool and using tools hand-made from resources that we found in nature. Today many of us live in a highly stressful environment, disconnected from the natural world, surrounded by outside stimulus and media, following routines that are extremely fast-paced. This gives the older (animal-instinct) parts of our brains the illusion that we are constantly in danger, meaning high levels of cortisol in our bodies that remain for longer than needed. This not a healthy way to live.

“Modern life can create great confusion and we can forget that humanity is an integral component in the natural world… when you enter one of the world’s great forests, you go in one side and you come out somewhere different. Sometimes, you go in and come out and you’re different.” Ray Mears

Bushcraft is a way of reconnecting with our inner hunter-gatherers, slowing down, using our hands and senses to notice and deepen our understanding of the natural world around us. Bushcraft is a perfect vehicle into mindful activity and connection to nature as it awakens a very deep part of ourselves that still exists within our brain and its wiring. Practising bushcraft requires you to really notice your surroundings, be aware of the details and consider your place, story and impact in the wider landscape.


April 4 @ 9:30 am
April 5 @ 4:30 pm
£10 – £150
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Woodland Classroom
07876 794098


Chirk Castle
Chirk Castle, Chirk, Wrexham, LL14 5AF
Wrexham, Wrexham LL14 5AF United Kingdom
+ Google Map
01691 777701


The numbers below include tickets for this event already in your cart. Clicking "Get Tickets" will allow you to edit any existing attendee information as well as change ticket quantities.
1 Adult: Bushcraft weekend 4th-5th April 2020
This ticket admits 1 Adult to the Bushcraft Skills Weekend at Chirk Castle, 4th-5th April 2020 from 9:30am.
£ 150.00
4 available
1 Weekend Camping Pitch
1 Tent for the Camping Field at Chirk Castle. Friday and Saturday nights only
£ 10.00
7 available