Woodlander – Week-long Bushcraft Course


11-17 June 2023
The Lakes
Bushcraft & Wilderness Survival Skills
10-14 Places

This week-long immersion into the ‘go-anywhere’ fundamental skill-sets of bushcraft and wilderness survival will furnish you with an in-depth, fully rounded and balanced understanding of living and travelling in wild places. This highly informative course eases the transformation into wilderness life as any apprehension is replaced by confidence, understanding and ability. 





The Woodlander; Wilderness bushcraft is the original outdoor pursuits. Wilderness survival skills, tracking, wild food foraging, fungi, ancient technology, carving and greenwood crafts and ultimately going to wild places on expedition are all core disciplines of this immersive subject.

The six day Woodlander gives you fundamental bushcraft skills and a solid foundation in wilderness survival that will give you the confidence to go further for longer, with less reliance on technology. Stepping away from the cocooning bubble of technology and man made equipment we look at utilising what nature provides, from tools and shelter, to fire and food. The essence of the Woodlander is discovering the hidden secrets of the countryside, from knowing how to release the soap and sunblock locked in the leaves of plants and way-finding by the stars above, to gleaning a nutritious free meal and deciphering the mysterious stories of tracks in the mud. It is about learning to see your environment as if thought the eyes of one of your indigenous ancestors.

This course is suitable for the complete beginner and more experienced outdoors folk alike. We assume no knowledge and start from how to safely use a knife. Over the last fifteen years we’ve have had lots of elite level military personnel and seasoned expedition leaders attend this course who’ve said that they learned something new during every lesson. The course is ideal for those who want to increase their competence and knowledge in order to pass on skills to young people, or simply would like to reconnect with nature and spend time with kindred spirits around the camp fire.

  • Days: Sun PM – Sat PM (6 Nights)
  • Location: Witherslack, Lake District, England
  • Food & Accommodation: Fully catered and includes camping fees
  • Activity: Basic Bushcraft & Survival Skills
  • Group Size: 6-14 (Av.10)
  • Physical Rating: Easy
  • 2023 Dates: 11-17 June 2023



  • Bushcraft knife safety
  • Carving skills
  • Sharpening bushcraft knives
  • Water Disinfection
  • Friction Fire & other ignition techniques
  • Wilderness fishing skills
  • Trapping & snaring techniques
  • Natural shelters
  • Jungle shelters
  • Star-lore & astral navigation
  • Natural bindings & cordage
  • Wild food & plant Id
  • Tree identification
  • Campfire cookery


  • A free bushcraft knife to keep.
  • This course is fully catered throughout – we do our best to source food that is wild, local, organic, seasonal and nutritious. (This negates the need to buy food and bring stoves, fuel and cooking gear – it also maximises your learning time with us).
  • The free loan of specialist bushcraft camping equipment – hammocks, tarps, laplander saws, fire-steels, billy cans, etc.
  • Camping fees are included.
  • We offer a complimentary pick-up and drop-off service from and to the nearest railway station at set times.

General Information

We will aim to cover the following –

Please click on the + symbols opposite to read about what you will learn each day.

Accommodation – On this course you will be wild camping, either in your own tent, under a tarp, in a hammock or in a natural shelter you have built.

Travel & Transport – A detailed set of arrival instruction will be emailed about a month before your course start date. A complimentary pick-up and drop-off service is provided at the beginning and end of the course at a specified time for those arriving by train. This will either be from Windermere or Oxenholme station, depending on the specified course location.

*Very Important – Do not book any trains, transport or other accommodation until given the go-ahead by Wild Human, as the course needs a minimum number of participants in order to run.

Meals & Drinks – This course is fully catered and all meals will be provided whilst camping in the woods, from a light supper on the first night to lunch on the final day. (1 x Supper, 1 x Evening meal, 2 x Cold Lunches and 2 x Breakfasts). Mains water is provided in clean jerry cans and are always available. At our Oak Howe site, disinfected water is pumped directly from the river.

Duration – 6-day workshop (arrive 19.30 on Sunday and depart 16.00 on Saturday)

Minimum Age – 16, but must be accompanied by an adult.

Insurance – Whilst not essential, it is recommended that you have simple adventure travel insurance to cover yourself and your possessions whilst on this trip. No outdoor activity is entirely without risk, as you may be using sharp tools or walking across uneven terrain – accidents can happen.

Wild Human has very comprehensive public liability cover.

Difficulty Rating / Health Requirements- This course is rated as ‘Easy’ due to the basecamp / short hike elements of the experience. Our bushcraft courses should be viewed as being a wilderness education experience and not as an ordinary holiday. They are educational courses, but just as importantly, they are a ‘hands on’ experience and at times can be quite challenging. If you have any concerns about your personal fitness or physical capabilities, then please contact us.

Max / Min Numbers – This course requires a minimum number of 6 to go ahead. The maximum number is 14. We will inform you 8 weeks before the start date whether the course will be going ahead to allow time for you to book any transport. The balance of payment is due 8 weeks prior to the start date. If you book less than 8 weeks before the start date please pay in full.

Covid-19 Regulations – We will make a decision 8 weeks before the start date as to whether the expedition is able to go ahead due to current Covid-19 regulations. if the course cannot go ahead at this point, we will refund monies paid in full.

Special Requirements – If you have any special requirements, please contact us prior to booking and we will do our best to accommodate them. Pescatarian / Vegetarians are well catered for, but can Vegans and those with serious food intolerances (like celiac disease) please contact us to discuss your requirements, as you may be asked to bring some specialist food to supplement your diet.

Complaints – We are able to consider complaints within 6 months from the date of the conduct complained about.

Course variables – The outline itinerary needs to remain flexible to take into account inclement weather conditions and other unexpected events.


Sensible outdoor clothing is essential for all of our courses.

We recommend that you bring:

  • A hat
  • A waterproof and windproof Jacket
  • Wool jumper or fleece top
  • Several long and short-sleeved T-shirts.
  • Cargo/combat trousers are ideal; as they are strong, light and fast drying (do not bring denim jeans).
  • Sturdy hiking boots are a must, as some of the terrain is steep and rocky.
  • We also recommend that you bring a pair of old trainers for the evenings
  • And spare changes of clothes stored in a plastic bag to keep them dry.


Equipment checklist:

  • Small day-sack
  • Sleeping bag, preferably 3 season
  • Self-inflating or closed-cell foam sleeping mat
  • Tent, or fly-sheet & bivy-bag
  • Torch and spare batteries
  • Small first aid kit, including plasters, blister kit, tweezers, foot powder and any personal medication
  • Sun block and lip balm
  • Good insect repellent
  • Wash kit and towel, preferably containing biodegradable soap Knife, fork and spoon
  • Mug, bowl & plate
  • Water bottle
  • Notebook and pencils
  • Ziploc bags


For weeklong courses you will also require:

  • 10 meters of parachute cord Swimming costume and large towel


Optional extras:

  • Camera
  • Binoculars

Spending money: 

It is not unusual for students to get together for a well-earned pint at the end of a course.


It is not uncommon for a sudden change of environment to start an unexpected period.

Please note:

You do not need to bring your own knives or any other cutting tools, as you will be loaned a folding saw and knife when required. Students on the Woodlander course will be given a sheath knife to keep.

Prior Experience – You do not need prior experience to attend any of our courses. On some of the more advanced craft workshops, it is advantageous to have experience with safely using sharp tools.

Solo / Group Bookings – Our courses are aimed at individuals who have a passion for the outdoors, a desire to learn and reconnect with nature. Although some people attend in pairs or small groups, the vast majority of our groups are made up of individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds.

Course LocationsWe run courses from three private estates within the Lake District National Park. These are a young woodland in the Lyth Valley, a secluded valley in Witherslack woodlands and deep in the forest on Claife Heights. Please ensure that you have received and printed the correct arrival information!

Parking – Courses are conducted on private estates, with limited access to the general public. There are parking facilities provided within the estate grounds, and whilst we cannot guarantee the safety of your vehicle, there have never been any incidents of theft. We would recommend that you keep any valuable personal belongings in your day sack. 

Climate & Weather – The Lake District weather is notoriously fickle, so please ensure that you have brought all of the equipment listed in the Kit List. It is always better to pack warm. It is better to have and not need, than to need and not have. Courses will run in all but the most extreme weather conditions. Bad weather makes learning the skills more challenging and harder to master, but you will be rewarded with a higher level of ability and a greater sense of achievement. The unpredictable weather in Britain makes it one of the best training grounds in which to learn bushcraft. 

On Arrival – Please already be wearing outdoor clothing and footwear on arrival, and have a head-torch handy. From your cars, you will walk and your kit will be driven to our base-camp location, therefore it is not essential that you pack all your equipment into one rucksack, you will not be required to walk more than 200m with kit to the camping area.

 Late Arrivals – Late arrivals will have to make their own way to the course venue. Wild Human will not be responsible for any costs incurred by late arrivals or late returns that are outside of our control.

 Course 1st Aid & Medical Care – All Instructors carry valid outdoor first aid certificates. There is always a well-stocked and comprehensive first aid kit on hand. Risk analysis and management systems are in place for each course and course venue. The nearest A&E department for all locations is in Kendal.

Sanitation & HygieneToilets are simple earth screened, covered latrines. Toilet paper is incinerated at the latrine. We have used this system for the past 20 years of our teaching experience and find it to be the cleanest, most environmentally friendly and hygienic system. Hand washing stations are always available, as are hand sanitation dispensers. Personal washing is in a stream or nearby lake, only biodegradable products are to be used. The biggest risk to your welfare on any outdoor UK activity is from ticks, but through good bite avoidance measures they should not present any problems – you will be well briefed at the start of each course.

Course Cancellation – If, for any reason you wish to cancel your course, please refer to our Terms & Conditions. You will not be offered a refund for any money for late cancellation, neither will you be offered a transferral of your money to another course. Please seek appropriate insurance against late cancellation due to unforeseen circumstances!

Pre & Après Course Accommodation – If you are interested in spending some time enjoying the stunning scenery of the Lake District, either before or after your course, you can contact Windermere Tourist Information via their website.

Personal CommunicationsAll of our sites have reasonable 4G coverage. Please be discreet when using your phone so that it does not impinge on anyone else’s experience. We would encourage you to switch it off, and bring a notebook and camera to record your experience. 

Power & ChargingThere are no mains charging facilities available. Please bring a power bank. If you ask really nicely, you may be able to charge from the Wild Human vehicle, but you may need to supply your own cable. 

Pets Unfortunately pets are not allowed on any of our courses.


17 reviews for Woodlander – Week-long Bushcraft Course

  1. LucyD (verified owner)

    What an amazing week spent in the woods with highly skilled, knowledgeable and fun instructors. I learnt so much on this week long course. The pace was perfect and the tuition was delivered in a professional manner. There was a great mix of lectures, followed by practical sessions allowing us to develop and practice newly learned skills. The food was amazing and the selection of accommodation was 5 star – choose from your own tent, one of Wild Human’s tarp and hammocks, sleep in a shelter you have made or bivvy out under the stars. The Highlighs for me was new information on tracking, foraging and an amazing night sky lecture. If you are thinking about doing this course, just do it. Instead of getting up in the morning thinking “where’s my keys, wallet and phone”, spend a week thinking “where’s my knife, saw and fire steel”!

  2. jaylatham1 (verified owner)

    I attended this course in May 2019. I simply cannot say enough good things about it. From the time of booking, right through the end it was just awesome. You can certainly tell you are dealing with a team with lots and lots of experience.

    I found answers to most of my questions right there on the website and the kit list was spot on. I was travelling from Ireland and Ben helped me choose the best route. He even had one of the lads collect me from the train and drop me back at the end.

    The camp itself was a very clever setup which made the stay very easy. The first evening we had a tour of the camp and got to know each a bit and then the rest of the week it was all go. We learned so much I actually struggled a bit to keep up at times. Many of the things we learned involved a practical element where we had to make or do something and very often the course moved on before we finished. We were given time later on to catch up on our “projects” and the guys were always around to help out. This worked really well as the course was not held up by slower people like me which allowed for maximum learning in the time allotted. I am home weeks now and I am still practicing and finishing my mini projects.

    I plan to do as many of these Wild Human courses as I can in the near future. I have my sights set on the Coastal Forager next. I have a lot to learn and I cannot think of a better team to teach it to me.

    See you again real soon guys and gals.

  3. adrianswenson (verified owner)

    In 2019 I have been on the Trailblazer weekend and that was closely followed by the week long Woodlander. I thoroughly enjoyed both, my first experiences of bushcraft training. The main reason for the success was the staff, knowledgeable and able to teach and demonstrate in a manner that catered for each student. They are passionate about bushcraft. The days are long and busy with a huge variety of skills being shown, be prepared for treks through the woods in the Cumbrian rain. The food is good and there is plenty of it. I recommend that you be very familiar with your own kit before you arrive, camping and clothing, so that you can arrive and get your ‘home’ set up efficiently. I’m generally the course ‘oldie’ being retired but I found the demands of these two courses well within my abilities and comfort zone. Be prepared to have your life changed if you join a course. Adrian.

  4. charis (verified owner)

    Attended Jun 19 having done the weekend Trailblazer a couple of years ago. Was everything I was expecting after that ‘taster’ course with a chance to consolidate some of the skills learnt plus lots of extra subjects that wouldn’t fit into a weekend. The staff were again really expert and friendly and the good ratio of instructors to students made it always feel that there was someone to ask if you hadn’t quite picked up something first time. Attendees were a great mix of ages, gender and experience which made for a lovely atmosphere as all wanted to make the most of the course but also have a fun break away from ‘normal’ life of screens, cars and houses.
    Would thoroughly recommend!

  5. JP (verified owner)

    This is a proper bushcraft course. There are others bushcraft course providers that give you hot showers, running water, and posh toilets, this is not one of those courses. This is a course that will teach the ground truth of living in the wilds, or as close as can be within a safe learning environment.
    I did my research, I asked friends both civilian and military and discovered that Wild Human is unquestionably the best company to spend your hard earned money on if you want to immerse yourself in the world of bushcraft.
    The real quality in the woodlander course comes from the instructors, it becomes immediately clear why the owner of Wild Human (Ben Mcnutt) carefully hand picks his staff.
    Each instructor has an in depth knowledge of their respective specialisations, and enthusiastically feeds it to you like a wild bird feeds their fledglings.
    I am ex- military and can genuinely say, that this was the best survival/ bushcraft course that I have been on.
    Big thanks to Joe, Heather, and John for their boundless humour, energy and knowledge.
    Waiting until the plague has been banished from these lands, so that I can book on the axe course.
    Jon P

  6. markpatrick14 (verified owner)

    What an awesome week.
    Any 1 who is passionate about the outdoors and wants to gain knowledge should book onto wild human. The knowledge and passion these guys have is inspiring to say the least! I left the course with more passion for the art of bushcraft and thirst to learn more.
    Thank you wild human for an amazing week, i cant wait to book onto many more courses and expeditions in the future!

  7. jacklynn.stott (verified owner)

    I just came back from the course and wow, what a fantastic week! Post-covid, it was definitely needed, and boy did it not disappoint. The course far excited what I had imagined. I enjoyed making shelters, learning how to work in harmony with the land, reading tracks, and especially, making fire from friction (nothing beats the thrill of making fire that first time). Doing projects and chatting into the evenings every night was a great way to end each day. My friend and I were the only ladies on the course, but felt incredibly welcomed and apart of the group.

    The pace of learning was perfect for me and none of what we did was particularly physically intensive. Ben, Joe, Ross, and John were amazing instructors. Joe especially had a really strong coaching style. They were all genuine, lovely and supportive, and their depth of their knowledge and passion really sparked something in me. I’m keen to dive deeper into Bushcraft and plan more trips! If you’ve got an adventurous itch to scratch, this is perfect! Just go for it, you won’t regret it!

  8. lozm7

    I got a lot out of this course. I gained core skills in bushcraft, connected back to nature by living simply in the woods and could enjoy the course with like minded people. The instructors were top quality and were enthusiastic to share their wisdom. FYI: Bring clothes to avoid the nettle stings for cordage making!

  9. hannah.pathak (verified owner)

    I had the most incredible week on the Woodlander course. It felt like the most amazing break, the quality of instruction from Joe, Ross, Ben and John was phenomenal, and they went out of their way to ensure we learned lots and had a great time. Living in the woods for a week and learning new skills meant I left the week feeling chilled-out and confident, and eager to continue my journey of learning more. Thank you so much to the Wild Human team – your experience and passion showed through constantly and I look forward to more courses with you all.

  10. richardbeckett2014 (verified owner)

    The Woodlander was the only holiday I’d been on in several years and was the best decision I’ve made in a long time.

    What our instructors taught us and all the knowledge I took away from this course, as well as all the things I’d physically made, far exceeded all my imagined expectations.

    John, Joe, Ross and Ben are absolutely superb instructors, who conveyed confidence into us all through their wisdom, experience and quick sense of humour. They are all fine examples of human beings.
    The amount of knowledge they all shared with us was incredible, at times it completely blew me away.

    Survival skills from ancient past, the basics, the fundamentals, the most important, it was being handed down to us as like we were in a tribe, it was all very exciting, a pleasure and a privilege to witness and be a part of.

    My fellow students were also the best kind of people I’ve met in a long time, funny, friendly, helpful, kind and courteous and like myself, eager to learn get stuck in to the task at hand.
    Learning the basics of bushcraft is what bound us all together… ​I will never forget them.

    I came away from Wild Human Woodlander stronger, mentally, physically and spiritually, I think we all did on some level.
    When I’ve told the story of my experience to every one I know, the smiles on their faces tells me that they really like what they hear.
    If you’re thinking about getting into bushcraft, then this is the place and these are definitely the people, you will absolutely love it !

  11. walla1985

    What a week! Where do I start?

    The instructors Ben, Joe, and Debs were absolutely top draw. Their passion for the subject is infectious and their encyclopaedic knowledge of the subject matter just left me in awe at times. As well as being excellent teachers, they were also very attentive hosts, always approachable and accommodating. They were also cracking people to chat to around the campfire at night sharing some great stories of past adventures.

    The venue was perfect for the course; with a woodland stocked with a wide range of trees i.e. building/burning material; a diverse range of plants/mushrooms to identify and learn about; and plenty of local wildlife to track and get you hooked. The local tarn made for a great evening bathing venue, especially after a few days when you felt like you needed to freshen up. The weather wasn’t the best but the camp setup meant that it didn’t interfere with our ability to learn and crack on in relative comfort.

    The food provided was very good, and provided in good quantity. Although the best meals were definitely the ones we had to prepare ourselves. There’s nothing more satisfying than eating a skewered trout or a pigeon pie after you’ve been shown how to process it all yourself and cook it over an open fire.

    On our course we had people from a wide range of backgrounds and ages but what was evident was that we all had a desire to learn and immerse ourselves in the course, which led to a really nice group dynamic. We had so many laughs and everyone supported each other throughout when we were trying to hone our newly acquired skills.

    I’ve been meaning to do this course for a few years and now I only wish I’d done it sooner. I will definitely be looking to sign on to another course in the near future. If you’re debating about it, just do it!! You won’t have any regrets.

  12. henry (verified owner)

    What can I say. What an amazing week. Thank you so much for all your hard work.

    Everything about this course is brilliant (the structure, content and pace) but for me what was best was Ben and Debs’ teaching. The way they teach and just their way of being in the woods is so inspiring and they complement each other perfectly.

    I hope I have the chance to benefit from their teaching again in the near future.

  13. davebellamy (verified owner)

    I attended the Woodlander course in June 2023 and i can honestly say that i thought it was absolutely brilliant. The knowledge that Debs and Ben have on all things Bushcraft and beyond will blow your mind. From Greek Mythology about stars through to modern day medicinal uses for plants, you will cover everything on this course. We were busy learning, practising, cooking,foraging or making things all day everyday with time for a swim ( if you wanted to) thrown in.
    The food was outstanding and the homely relaxed atmosphere that they create made for an absolute perfect week living in the woods. If you want to immerse yourself in bushcraft for a longer period of time than a weekend then don’t hesitate to get yourself on this course.

  14. Bas (verified owner)

    Absolutely loved it. A quick groupband was formed of 12 people (only 2 came together) from all layers of society. The course is a great mix of working with your hands, learning a lot of new information, beautifull nature, humor and leisure time. Definitely gonna do another one!

  15. joseph (verified owner)

    I’ve just spent a wonderful week on the Woodlander course – I went having never done anything like this before, therefore a little anxious about how it would all turn out. Ben and Debs were incredibly welcoming and brilliant at sharing their immense knowledge on all things bushcraft (and beyond!) – there was never a moment that I felt stupid or patronised; their patience, generosity and passion for what they do meant that not only did I want to learn, but that I was able to do things that I never imagined that I could. It was great to be thrown in with a group of people who I didn’t know, and to share the experience of discovery and achievement with them. We were briefly part of an unexpected tribe, eating, sleeping, swimming, learning and laughing together. I think it’s something that everyone can and should do! It reconnects you with both the natural world and yourself.

  16. jakerussellemail

    I’m a few days back from the Woodlander course and what an amazing, amazing week it was. I wholeheartedly recommend it for anyone interested in wild camping and/or bushcraft. If you’re wondering whether you should book it then just do it. Ben and Debs are genuine masters of their craft. They’re brilliant teachers and they manage to pass on their mind-bogglingly enormous wealth of knowledge with true skill, clarity and humour. But, even more than their Black Belt levels of bushcraft mastery, what I loved and appreciated most was the atmosphere and environment (literal and figurative) they created in this magical corner of the woods. They’re both great hosts and true leaders, and as we all sat around the fire whittling our spoons or roasting our trouts, talking, learning, laughing , I found myself thinking, more than a few times, that if our great little group was indeed a genuine tribe, I’d happily follow these two; we’d be in safe, expert hands. It was an honour to hang out with them and with the whole group, and being out in the woods all week has given me a proper system re-boot. Bring on the next one!

  17. to.christian (verified owner)

    It’s been a few weeks since returning from camp, but I don’t think a day has gone by that I haven’t thought about it or, more likely, told other people about it.

    As others have said, beyond the limitless breadth and depth of Ben and Debs’ knowledge on everything from first aid to fire lighting to foraging and much, much more, the environment and atmosphere that they cultivate during the week is just as valuable.

    Practical knowledge and skills taught with patience and humour in a beautiful setting.

    Now to book the next course…

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