The Love of Knowledge

Combining my love of the outdoors and my love of books has meant that there is a never-ending supply of reading materials in my life, and an ever increasing bushcraft related library.

My ever increasing bushcraft related library.

During my journey through the Woodland Wayer course this collection has been ever increasing. Reading around lots of topics has definitely inspired me to create new passions and get my hands dirty through experience. I thought that I would do a brief synopsis on some of my own personal favourites and the reasons that I love them.

My love of willow and willow weaving has meant that I have a very large collection of weaving books. All are great for gleaning information, however below you’ll find a picture of some of my favourites.

Some of my favourite weaving books

If I had to pick just a couple of the books, the books by Wendy Thorner are by far one of my own personal favourites. The simple step by step instructions and the use of coloured willow in the pictures for a step-by-step guide is very hard to beat. You can pick up this book as an absolute beginner and work through the projects with ease. Likewise, the Jonathan Ridgeon book for the easy-to-follow instructions and a multitude of projects is also very thorough.

Photo of one of the pages from the Wendy Thorner book

Another huge passion of mine is plants and tree id, foraging and medicinal plants. As the list of plant id books is huge and varies for each individual and learning style, I thought I would just put in a few books of interest.

Selection of books on flora

The Wild Flower Key is my go to ID guide, as you can see from my multiple post-it notes on a very well thumbed copy. As a beginners guide it can be tricky to get your head around to start with as you need to get used to some of the more technical elements of the plants. However persevering and working backwards from many plants you already know enables the reader to identify plants quickly and easily. This has meant that after lots of use it has become a regular feature in my everyday backpack.

Plants that Kill

I also love the Collins tree guide especially for some of its black and white silhouettes which I have found very useful for night time tree ID. Plants that Kill is a fabulous scientific guide to poisonous plants, and just one I like to leave out on the coffee table from time to time. However, it is packed with lots of information that is presented with known cases of poisonings and the science behind these.

Some pictures of the type of information provided by the book, Plants That Kill

One of my new favourite books introduced to me by one of the famous instructors at Woodland Ways must be Elsevier’s Dictionary of plant lore. For a background and historic use of plants this is jam packed with information. Not a book (well for myself anyway) that can be read from cover to cover, and all the information absorbed. I love this for dipping in and out of and supporting my plant knowledge with. After a walk and an interest in a particular plant or tree it is great to get home and read the history of the plant and feel a further connection with that particular plant.

A small insight into the wealth of knowledge this book can provide

Personally, I find that developing my connection to particular plants and trees is deeper once I have found out lots of information, including craft uses medicinal uses how these plants sit in the greater environment etc. So, to this ends I like reading around different philosophies science and views of research around this topic. I have stacks of books but some that I have found particularly useful are shown below.

A selection of books on different philosophies, science and views of flora

There are so many different aspects of bushcraft, and this blog has only just touched on a mere fraction of my bookcase, not including tool use, project books, flintknapping (the many, many, many books my husband has on bow making!) and my increasing stack of foraging and cookbooks etc. The last books that may also need a mention seeing as it is the start of the summer holidays has to be one to engage the children.

Books to engage the children

This group of fictional books has got lots of bushcraft ideas and principals that just might spark the interest in those of the younger generation. So happy holidays and reading everyone.

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