The goings on in and around Bridgend

Archive for tag: Bushcraft

Guide: The Different Types of Bushcraft in Bridgend

Bridgend is the perfect spot when it comes to going out into the wild and getting back to life's basics.  With such diverse terrain that ranges from coastal nature reserves to woodland areas, it's no surprise that there is such a wide range of survival and bushcraft courses on offer in the area.

Bushcraft Elvis in Action

Bushcraft Elvis in Action


Places such as the Kenfig Nature Reserve, beaches along the coast and the rolling woodland valleys in the northern part of the county offer the perfect conditions for food foraging, learning how to make a shelter and surviving off the land.
So along with spotting Elvis being a 'flaming star' of lighting fires from scratch, here are a few more bushcraft activities on offer in Bridgend.
Types of survival and bushcraft course in Bridgend.
There are two main bushcraft activity providers situated in Bridgend Cwm Tawel and Wild Spirit Bushcraft. Both offer a different approaches to the activities and very much complement each other.  So here are our top picks for course... 
DSC_0124 R 5001 - Yes you can eat nettles...     Wild food foraging at Cwm Tawel
Enjoy a day foraging for wild food and medicinal plants, then return to camp with your treasures and cook a simple camp meal. On each course visitors will join Cwm Tawel's instructors on a day's forage around the woodland, meadows and hills to take a look at what we can find. During these forages visitors will get to uncover flora identification techniques and discover some of the useful edible and medicinal plants available to humans. Visitors get to learn how to harvest these resources in a sustainable manner, as well as how to prepare each ingredient. There will be tasting sessions through the day and the opportunity to cook the ingredients.
DSC_0108 R 5002. A spear is more then just a weapon... The Indigenous Bushman at Wild Spirit Bushcraft
This course is suitable for adventurous beginners and people with some bushcraft experience. The course covers a wide range of fascinating skills and techniques that are sure to enthuse and inspire. Participants will get to go all out, by having to sleep in hammocks or shelters, learn how to hunt and learn methods from indigenous bushman techniques.
3.  Tools doesn't just mean hammer and axe...  Making survival tools at Cwm Tawel
This course provides an informal introduction to spoon carving using basic carving tools perfect for having a whittle around the camp fire in the evening. Visitors learn how to select and collect the right wood, split and rough out a blank and then proceed to carve a spoon which you will be able to take home with you or use to eat your dinner!
4. The key survival fundamentals to living are never that clear...   The Woodland Survivor or Explorer Course at Wild Spirit Bushcraft
This is an ideal weekend for people looking to discover the hidden secrets of the woodland. This course covers the basic and essential skills of Woodland Survival:
Safety and Hygiene, Locating Water, Safe use of Cutting Tools, Friction Fire Lighting (native fiddle), Autumn Shelter Building, Backwoods Cookery, Hammock and Tarp Set Up, Camp Craft (wood carving), Food Foraging, Cordage (nettle)
DSC_08655. The normal ways of survival do not mean a sofa and TV....  Nomandic Bushman at Wild Spirit Bushcraft
Discover the effectiveness of trap making in the wild and utilising the resources that surround you in the wild. This course covers the basic and essential skills of Woodland Survival:
Friction Fire Lighting with (Fungus, Flint & steel, Strike Lighting, Native Bow, Hand Drill), Water purification and location, Breads, Stews, Pies, Natural Cordage (Willow, Bramble, Nettle, Elm), Star - Craft, Fungi, Plant And Tree Identification, Arrows and Fletching, Wood Carving, Game Preparation (Gutting And Skinning), Hot Rock Cooking,Trapping, Hammock And Tarp Set Up, Four Seasons Shelter Building, Wild Food Foraging,Resin extraction for glue and tar making.
 
THE BONUS.... One of the best bushcraft day's out Wales has to offer: Bryngarw Bushwaka
29 March, 2014, Saturday 29th March. 10am - 5pm
Go native and explore the world of bushcraft and experience traditional wilderness living skills at this family event. Bushcraft demonstrations and workshops will be on going throughout the day. Activities to include Friction Fire Lighting, Willow Weaving, Foraging Walks, Campfire Cooking, Shelter Building, Falconry Display, Chainsaw Carving, Story Telling in a giant Tipi and many more. There will also be bushcraft related stalls and if you are interested in the natural environment and traditional skills there will also be an opportunity to meet local craft and conservation groups.
 


Bryngarw Bushwaka

Bryngarw Bushwaka

Bryngarw Bushwaka


This year sees the introduction of an exciting new programme for Bryngarw, with a series of specialist Bushcraft courses running throughout the year. To launch this programme, we are holding our first ever Bryngarw Bushwaka event on Saturday 13th April 11am - 5pm.
Go native and explore the world of bushcraft and experience traditional wilderness living skills at this family event. Bushcraft demonstrations and workshops will be on going throughout the day.  Activities to include Friction Fire Lighting, Willow Weaving, Foraging Walks, Campfire Cooking, Shelter Building, Falconry Display, Chainsaw Carving, Story Telling in a giant Tipi and many more. There will also be bushcraft related stalls and if you are interested in the natural environment and traditional skills there will also be an opportunity to meet local craft and conservation groups. Admission: Free (£2.50 car parking)
For further information tel. 01656 815332
e: tourism@bridgend.gov.uk
t: @BridgendBites
f: Bridgend-Bites
www.BridgendBites.com


No Ant or Dec?



Well, here they are, the 8 from Bridgend County Borough Council who were selected to spend the night under the stars with Bushcraft expert Richard Rees form Wildspirit Bushcraft. Part of the lead up to Wales Biodiversity Week, 'I'm a councillor get me out of here" involved a fire lighting course, foraging, shelter building and then spending the night in the wilds of Merthyr Mawr near Bridgend. Thankfully, the weather was lovely and everyone came through it OK. May be something we do annually possibly? More pictures, see our flickr page.


I'm a Councillor.....get me out of here!



Woodland bokeh, originally uploaded by ....Tim.

You may have seen the TV programme based on celebrities in the Australian tropical rainforest, the truth is, you dont have to go half way around the world to appreciate biodiversity, edible plants and overnight survival! In fact, tonight, to launch Wales Biodiversity Week and to demonstrate how diverse our own countryside is in Wales, 4 local authority councilors and 4 members of staff from Bridgend County Borough Council will spend the night with bushcraft expert Richard Rees from Wild Spirit Bushcraft in Merthyr Mawr. All in the name of charity and biodiversity, 'contestants' will have to build a shelter to sleep in, learn what to eat in the British woodland (and what not to eat) and learn some survival techniques such as fire lighting etc. This isn't something that people can just do independently, anyone interested should seek qualified companies or experts to accompany you. Locally in Bridgend, we're fortunate to have one on our doorstep!
For more information visit www.bridgend.gov.uk


A home in a dome. Cool camping in Wales.



A home in a dome., originally uploaded by Andy Bold.

Listening to a great debate on Radio Wales today about the sudden popularity of camping and the move towards more authentic experiences and back to basics. Quite timely this for us, as tomorrow as part of a charity event we are challenging 4 county councillors in Wales, and four public sector workers to spend the night under the stars on a survival night with Bushcraft experts WildSpirit Bushcraft. Part of the challenge will be to build a shelter for the night, which I suppose is both cool and extreme camping. Anyway, more about that tomorrow.
So, cool camping. The best in Wales has to be offered by fforest (Cold at Night - love that brand!), and also Graig Wen Yurts near Dolgellau in North Wales. What I really love about the latter is its one of the coolest places I've been to in Wales, the yurts are one thing, but the B&B is themed (quite cleverly and in a understated subtle way) with Welsh pop music from the 70s. Was amazed to see how creative our pop groups were in the 70s! I also like Under the Thatch and what they've achieved and were one of the first to offer a stay in a Gypsy caravan to my knowledge and of course, the up and coming Featherdown Farm which offers luxury but back to basic camping on real farms. Love it! Closer to home for us, WildSpirit Bushcraft also offer their own night under canvas (if hand build shelters are not your cup of tea!) in the form of tepees, again very popular in Wales.