Thursday, 12 April 2012

Shelters, sausages and slow worms

Dens of all designs
 Our Easter Family Bushcraft Days at Poltesco proved hugely popular, both with local families and visitors down for the holidays. Sorry to folk who were disappointed but we will be running more next year, so book early to bag your place.

cooking bread on swizzle sticks
The days started with some shelter building, with all sorts of innovative designs on show, made from bamboo, coppice poles and other natural materials. After all that construction we'd built up an appetite, so time to have a go at bushcraft fire lighting techniques and munch some campfire bread. Everyone was determined to master using fire strikers and char cloth to catch an ember and we had some fine efforts with the fire bow. One of these days we'll make fire that way!

fun with nature's paints
After some flame grilled sausages for lunch (are you sure they're cooked in the middle!) creative 'nature paints' talents flowed. We used natural pigments such as charcoal, quarried chalk (ok from Wiltshire), elderberries, blackberries and earth colours to create artworks on wooden 'canvasses'. Great fun for the whole family.

Also on offer was the chance to have a go on a traditional pole lathe, set up at kiddie height, and to learn how to create string from nothing more than plant leaves, through splitting out and twisting and braiding the fibres. Perhaps using the the power drill to add twist isn't strictly 'bushcraft' but it does make great cord!

Slow worms can live to over 30 yrs old!

 As an added adventure, we became nature detectives tracking down some slow worms hiding under a corrugated sheet. These leg-less snake-like Lizards can live for over 30 years and they can shed their tales as a sacrifice to a predator, in order to make their escape, later growing a new one. After a quick peep we left them be, but I guess in true bushcraft style we should have tried them for a snack (only joking, we know they're a protected species)!

Toasting marshmallows on the fire rounded off an enjoyable few hours fun in the great outdoors. Ray Mears / Bear Grylls eat your hearts out!


1 comment:

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