bushcraft in north york moors national park north yorkshire bushcrsft in dalby forest north yorkshire FC+England+Logo+Stacked Facebook square white small Twitter circle white small Camera white small trip_advisor-128

Bushcraft Blog

Welcome to my blog

 

Here you can add some text to explain what your blog is about and a bit about you.

By Andrew Armstrong, Feb 22 2018 03:08PM

The end of February/March, in our local climate, is rated as the hardest time of year for survival. I can’t remember, where I read this, but I would agree. If the climate was similar to now, (and there are variations in the 8 thousand years of Mesolithic/Neolithic climates), as a student of Bushcraft, I can see why. A little imagination can go a long way here. The easy to access game will have been caught, and the remaining games will be depleted in character. The preserved fruits, foraged the year before, will be coming to their end. In addition, your own physical and mental reserves will have been drained by the long winter months. As a student of bushcraft, I find the study of our ancestors lives fascinating. Living in Pickering, the Star Carr archaeology site is just down the Scarborough road. It’s the Stone Henge of Yorkshire, a truly fascinating find, but not much to look at now. However, the finds are amazing and the light it shines on the early inhabitants of North Yorkshire is amazing.

On Sundays foraging walk, we found many interesting resources. Through most of the winter Gorse has been in flower. And recently the flower’s have been available in abundance. On Sunday we found a huge crop, nice and fresh. The flowers taste like raw pea’s and can be used in several ways, from adding to stews to brewing beer! There was also an abundance of wood sorrel. A tasty treat, that is much improved nutritionally by cooking. We also found abundant Roe deer sign. We never saw any directly, but I would guess they saw us. However, in our defence, we were not stalking! There was plenty of wood pigeon sign around too and even a predator scat, probably a fox. So, with a little prep and some luck, we might have survived a few more days! Makes you realise how fortunate we are not to have to really worry about the basics of survival. It always gives a sense of awe at the achievements of our ancient ancestors, how they thrived. They where the true local kings of bushcraft!


roe deer scat
roe deer scat
Gorse flower
Gorse flower
wood sorrel
wood sorrel

By Andrew Armstrong, Feb 9 2018 03:03PM

It might sound like a simple question to answer. However, here at Trailblazer Wildcraft it is a subject that still causes much debate. The term is covered, in a historic sense, in this Wikipedia article. It’s both interesting and insightful, putting the origins in the 1800’s Australian outback travel skills. I use my words here carefully, as it is interesting to note that the articles opening line describes it as being used to describe “wilderness survival skills”. This is something, at least a Trailblazer Wildcraft, we would tend disagree with. And here lies one of our key definitions of the word. We say its fundamentally different from survival, (although the skills are very transferable into survival). In survival, you are literally fighting for your life; in other words your life is in danger and you have arrived at this by ill fortune and personal tragedy, (a plane crash or getting lost in the Canadian wilderness). Bushcraft is practiced because you are in the environment or situation by choice. In our definition, you are not in immediate danger and have arrived at your destination on purpose, intending to be at the location and living in harmony with your surroundings. And here is another key difference. In survival we may destroy and remove resources that in a bushcraft scenario, we would not, (e.g. in order to protect the local nature from harmful damage).


To us, the kings of bushcraft where our ancient ancestors. While they probably faced more wilderness survival scenarios, they did not survive as a rule, they thrived. The more we understand about them, the more we realise this. The Star Carr archaeological site, close to the Trailblazer Wildcraft site and near the North York Moors National park, has shed light on this, unearthing some complex and well used sites from our Mesolithic ancestors. So while their bushcraft would have aided in surviving getting lost or displaced from the group, it was this same craft that allowed them to thrive and understand the bounty on offer to them, with only their shared knowledge to unlock its fruits.


The debate on its meaning will go on, but the word bushcraft is here to stay.