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Bushcraft Professional Practice Group

Welcome to the IOL Bushcraft Professional Practice Group

Bushcraft Group information and details of upcoming events being held by, and for, members.

Bushcraft SIG Members log in here - for contacts for courses, the register of those who hold the IOL Foundational Bushcraft Competency Certificate, advice on bushcraft and survival skills and to download your own log book.

2-Day Special Bushcraft Events 2017

A great way to learn new skills

The two day events are a great way of learning some interesting new skills to add to your tool box as well as meeting up with fellow professionals. Our workshop providers are very experienced and able to provide you with great ideas and sound advice.

Each venue has general facilities including a covered area, camping area, open fires, kettles/hot water, toilets.

BOOKINGS ARE OPEN for the 2017 dates.



  • IOL BSIG Members £55
  • IOL Members £80
  • Non IOL Member £120


  • Spring Wood, nr Melbourne, Derbyshire
  • Appleton Wood, Appleton, nr Oxford
  • Babington Wood, Kilmersdon, Somerset
  • Wiston Lodge, Lanarkshire
  • Broomheath Plantation, Cheshire
  • Chambers Farm, Lincolnshire

Kit list

You will need to bring the following equipment:

Tent/Tarp/Hammock or equivalent. Suitable outdoor clothes and boots. Torch plus spare battery and bulb. Toiletries, Knife  and folding saw (not essential). Food for the two days and simple cooker (fires can accommodate a few peoples cooking).

Springwood, Derbyshire

Dates for 2017

watch this space

Appleton Common, Oxfordshire

1 - 2 August 2017

  • Tracking Games - Kev Palmer
  • Campfire Cooking x 2 (further details to come) - Sarah Robertshaw and Kev Palmer
  • Boomerang Style Throwing Sticks and Bullroarers - Dave Watson
  • Additions to Shelters - Dave Watson

  Dutch overn BSIG

Appleton Wood nr Oxford
Babington Wood, Somerset

5 - 6 September 2017

Workshops so far planned:

  • Make your own simple Bow – Nick Winder
  • Traditional Flint and Steel – Rob Townhill
  • Weaving with woodland materials – Sasha Uflowska

  Coil basketry image BSIG

Babington Wood, nr Frome. The venue....

Babington Wood

Chambers Farm, Lincolnshire

14 - 15 October 2017

Workshops so far planned:

  • Wool Spinning made easy – Katie Rees
  • Coil Baskets – Jamie Dakota
  • Make a simple Rope Walk - Martin Rollin
  • Others TBA

Programme outline

People are free to arrive from 9am and set up their shelter and camp. An introduction to the event takes place at around 10.45 with workshops starting around 11am. There will be six workshops usually lasting between 1 ¾ to 2 ¼ hours depending on the subject.

Additional info

Open fires need to be either the ones the site has or clearly within a suitable container sufficiently off the ground. People are requested to take full responsibility of their knives etc and to be sensitive to others especially around the campfire in the evening when it is strongly advised to put your sharps away.

Example of toilet facilities on site >>>


BSIG Toilets 

BSIG toilets

What participants say about these 2 day Bushcraft events:

"Really enjoyed the weekend. First time at a SIG event. The workshops have been fantastic, have inspired the pursuit of new found skills"

"Great workshops very well taught. I have picked up lots of fundamental things as well as those little tips and tricks that count. Definitely want to do more!"

2nd-3rd September 2015 at Babbington Woods in Somerset

BSIG event image

What did you miss?

"Yet again another fantastic event. Great instruction with the right mix of instruction and practical. Great venue and good to meet like minded people."

Feedback and photos from 2015 events

April 22nd - 23rd at Wiston Lodge, Biggar, Lanarkshire
Presenters: Dave Watson and George Yeomans

Workshops were

(most will run twice):
(most will run twice)::
  • Fire Lighting through the ages
  • Knots, Lashings and Tarps
  • Wolf Brother Wildwoods Resource Pack
  • Throwing Sticks and Bullroarers
  • Hand Drill
  • Feathersticks, Flowers and Whistles
  • Tinder and Kindling

BSIG Biggar event


Feedback from participants

Great mix of sessions for a taster – instructed by incredibly knowledgeable and enthusiastic professionals.

What a brilliant and inspiring course! The pace was as usual just right – I never felt rushed. The content was varied and predictably of a high standard. Thanks so much for making the two days such a good experience.

Dave had an excellent, relaxed but clear style of delivery, assuring and helpful. Thanks for the new skills...practice! Course well situated, organised on-site, structured and varied topics.

...all useful, gained something from each session. Instructors- helpful and informative and knowledgeable. Well worth attending.

Course content great. Particularly enjoyed Wolf Brother and making whistles. As a relative novice I did not feel out of my depth thanks to the efforts of the teachers!

Its been an ace course that has really given me a good sense of solid base skills. Very balanced and interesting mix of sessions.

The events in 2014 were a big success!

3rd - 4th September 2014-

Held at Babington Woods, Somerset

Dave Watson and BSIG Chair, Kev Palmer presented sessions.

BSIG in Somerset


  • Hand Drill
  • Bashas, Tarps and Tensioning
  • Make your own Bow Drill set
  • Bread Making
  • Spoon Carving
  • Coil Baskets
  • Grass Mat
  • Tracking

  • I’ve learned so much and have physical things to take away. Such a good time, fantastic facilitators and met a great variety of people.

  • The workshop variety was brilliant and the instructors were really good at pitching the level to all in the group to make sure that complete beginners got the support they needed and those more experienced were able to learn more or try new things.
  • An excellent time. Very good workshops all at a good pace. Those delivering the workshops were very well practiced, friendly and supportive. A great time.

Booking details for all these events


The most recent event April 24-25 at Spring Wood, Derbyshire.

"Absolutely Fabulous 2 days, great workshops !!"

"Thoroughly enjoyed it, wish I could have done all the workshops !"

"Going away with a whole new set of activities to do with my groups, plus tips and ideas"

"Great networking and workshops; If possible any coastal Bushcraft related workshops"

"Excellent workshops. All good in their own way. Only thing is I would have liked to have done them all. Early session day 1 would have been good."

"Lots of good ideas to work with young people – simple but effective plus good to do some for me i.e  playing with pole lathe. Thank you."

Workshops were.....

  • Pump Drills – Duncan Baines
  • Coil Basketry - Jamie Dakota
  • Tracking Skills – Nick Winder
  • Wild Food and Wilderness Cookery – Dave Watson
  • Pole Lathing Techniques – Pete Wood
  • Bow and Arrow Making – Nick Winder
  • Pot Holders with a Twist – Duncan Baines
  • Whistles and Whittling – Dave Watson

8-9th October 2013 at Stephen Park Centre, Slaidburn, Lancashire.


  • First Aid skills in a Bushcraft environment. “The Ambulance will be HOW LONG?!” When the First Aider is dealing in hours, not minutes. 

  • Hedgerow harvest. We will be making simple syrups, drinks and foods by harvesting food from the hedgerow. A host of great food is available to us from hawthorn to elderberry and rosehip. We will also learn about their uses both culinary and medicinal.
  • Bow Drill variants – Look at a few different ways to make use of the Bow Drill principle of fire lighting in order to encourage younger people to get involved.
  • String and Cordage – make your own lengths of quality cordage and look at a few ways this can be used within the context of Bushcraft
  • Throwing Sticks and Bullroarers – Make one or both of these interesting devices and put them to the test later in the day
  • Tracks, Trails and Signs – Discover the sorts of tell tale signs that are left behind by woodland creatures and gain confidence in following trails.
  • Bashas and Knots – Setting up a sheet or a Basha can cause a few embarrassing problems so learn how to use some classic knots and hitches that will help get it right.
  • Inspirational Tree ID – By getting to know different things about our common trees as well as the leaves can give us much more understanding and help stir up other peoples interest too.
  • Whistle making and whittling – make some effective whistles along with a variety of other projects like tent pegs and feathersticks. Time will be taken to teach some basic knife handling too.
  • Presenters for this event will be: Jim Langley (Natures Work), Lewis Herridge (Freelance Outdoor Instructor), Andrew Middleton (Wild Country Walkabouts)
    Dave Watson (Woodland Survival Crafts)

Other recent events....

28-29th May at Spring Wood, Derbyshire.


Despite the heavy rain, the whole two days were excellent. Tutors are clearly experts in their field which is obvious and appreciated. The woods are so beautiful and even the loo has the best view. Having been here early I was ready to start early on the first day for an extra session. PS I will wear green next time!

Brilliant! My first SIG course, very enjoyable. Very friendly, knowledgeable instructors. Thank you to all for your skill and patience. I will be back for more!

Another great couple of days. Really enjoyed all of the workshops. Bow and arrows were brilliant!

28-29th August at Appleton, Oxfordshire


  • Knife Sharpening/Handling - Roger Harrington of Bison Bushcraft, one of the UKs most experienced knife makers is joining us to show you how to really get a great edge on your knife as well as showing you some good handling skills
  • Natural Navigation - Kev Palmer will be going through various ways of finding NSEW and exposing the truth behind some of what is often taught and misinterpreted.
  • Throwing Sticks and Bullroarers - Dave Watson will be running this session again due to its popularity last year.
  • Medicinal Plants - Kev is going to show you a variety of plants with medicinal qualities and open up this interesting subject and help distinguish between folklore and fact.
  • String and Cordage - Nick Winder will be once again running this ever popular workshop and look at some of the many natural materials that can be turned into quality strings for various tasks.
  • Feathersticks, Flowers and Shuttle Darts - Dave will show you how to use your knife in order to make these interesting and effective items
  • Spoon Carving – Carve your own usable utensils with Nick Winder
  • Simple Bow making – Nick will lead this session
  • More workshops to be announced.......
  • Find out about previous years' special events HERE
"Thank you - What a great opportunity this was to meet with like-minded folks, share experiences, sharpen existing skills and learn new ones; activities to inspire a younger audience, making glues, simpler methods for making natural cordage and creating fire-by-friction as a team exercise and more. Brilliant couple of days and highly recommended"

BSSIG pic 2

BSSIG pic 1

Bushcraft event photo 

Bushcraft event photo 

Bushcrat event photo  Some participant feedback from Derbyshire in June:

"First rate instruction in a friendly atmosphere. Great location"

Quality from start to finish and a nice variety of classes."

"Fantastic sessions, good variety. Enjoyed them all and the discussions with others in the group also"

"Fabulous variety of activities on offer. Excellent leaders - professional and knowledgeable. Kev- absolutely amazing plant/wild food knowledge. Great couple of days. Thanks!!"

"Great workshops! Friendly and knowledgeable leaders and a friendly bunch of people. I`m new to IOL so this gathering and the ethos behind it is all new- but really enjoyed it, learned loads and looking forward to the next one."

"Sessions good for introduction. Good variety and lots of good instructors."

"Great friends made. Very informative workshops. Many skills to take back. Cant wait to use stove."

"Great opportunity to meet like minded people, share knowledge and learn new skills."

"Well Done! Great atmosphere and lots of good learning, sharing knowledge and skills with like minded folks. Look forward to the next time."

"Well thought out friendly sessions, more notes on how you could adapt sessions/simplify for younger ages etc. Thank you."

"Very enjoyable two days. I consider myself a novice but the instruction was delivered at a level where everyone could gain. First time success with a bow drill."

"Great couple of days. Good to see some new ideas and listen to different practitioners. Would be good to look at some specific short skills/activities for younger children."


BSS SIG Meetings

  • Next BSS SIG Exec meeting TBC

Bushcraft at IOL Conf 2016

IOL Bushcraft PPG feature strongly at the 2016 National Conference

IOL Approved Training

IOL Accredited Bushcraft Training

Organisations providing 3 day Bushcraft Competency Skills training

  Accred logo 

Sharp Tools 1 and Sharp Tools 2 : Small Roundwood Construction

Find out how to gain IOL Accredited status for your Bushcraft course.

Bushcraft Committee

- Chair: Kevan Palmer
- Treasurer - Nick Winder
- Secretary - Ian Cresswell
- FBC Quality Assurance –Sarah Robertshaw
- Events/Assessment coordinator – Dave Watson
- Website - Chris Bourne
- Events support - Martin Rollin