Where Can I do Bushcraft???????

ERM, everywhere and anywhere, from your garden, the streets you walk, even on your commute.

Often on courses two of the most common questions we get asked are, how did you got into this? Or, where can I go to practice bushcraft? The answer to the first one varies according to which instructor you ask, as we all have different histories. The answer to the second question is often thought to be quite complex and difficult to answer. Living up in Scotland as I do, we have easier land access here.

I personally think we set our bar not just to high, but in completely in the wrong direction in terms of what we are looking for. The things we need to practice in bushcraft or improve our skills in are for most, many skills and they are all around us, we just need to open our eyes and look. So, what do I mean it’s all around us? Let me give you a few pictures to get the old grey matter going.

Flora from just outside Davie’s city centre flat
Native hedging along the walk Davie would take with his grandfather many years ago
Examples of weeds my grandfather would point out to me telling me what they were

The first couple of pictures contain a variety of flora from just outside my city centre flat, as you can see, we have some native hedging, some edibles (not that I’d eat these) and some decent sized trees.

So let me explain my journey on this street when I was a child and my grandparents lived in this flat. I grew up looking at the weeds in the grass and the trees over the road, my grandfather would point them out to me, telling me what they were. Fast forward twenty or so years to when I was running a part time school and holding down a management career with a major multinational construction group. Finding the time for CPD and my own training was never easy, so I had to take my opportunities as they arose. I developed a few exercises I used along the way that I would now like to recommend to you all to help upskill yourselves as you go about your life, so here goes.

Plant and tree identification:


Most people have a regular walk they do each week for some reason, for me it was the walk to forage my Friday morning Greggs latte and breakfast roll deal. It takes me along a precinct with some trees, so I decided on 5 of them (which I knew, however take an ID guide). I picked a low branch on each tree and visited that branch each Friday and looked how it had changed over the week. I always took the FSC winter field guide with me in winter and the Collins complete tree guide, getting to know the branch intimately. Over the seasons I had seen what happened with twig growth, buds forming and opening etc. It gave me a great understanding and I was then able to transfer this real in-depth knowledge to other species.


In short, for this one I stopped weeding my path and my plant pots for starters, however I always carry a copy of food for free about my person to identify the weeds in the verges, pavements and car parks. You can even collect items for hand creams etc, to make when you get home


Sinew can be obtained from the connective tissue on your Sunday leg of lamb
Hawthorn combined with the sinew to make fishhooks

Resources can be an issue, but you need often just to think small. Sinew can be obtained as in the picture above, from the connective tissue on your Sunday leg of lamb or similar. You can watch out for the council or neighbours trimming hedges, trees etc and ask if you can have some small bit of hawthorn for example to make fishhooks combined with the sinew you harvested on the Sunday.

Often, even if your neighbour intends to keep the wood from tree work, they will allow you to cut it for them and remove the bark to make containers with it, and of course, once you have your resources, you can look up on this blog site for ideas.

Craft Work

This can require proper and adequate planning, particularly in relation to domestic happiness. Always ensure when doing stuff at home that you consider the safety of others, such as children, pets etc. I have on occasion worked hides in our flat and it hasn’t always ended well, neither has using the dishwasher or paper shredder for bushcraft activities. Certain things such as flint napping, bone work, sanding wood should NEVER be done indoors, unless in say workshop with masks or extraction fan on etc.

Davie’s antler veg knife

With a bit of imagination and some planning most things are doable, even in the city on your lunch hour. Then you just get using your projects at home, such as chopping potatoes with my antler veg knife.

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