Sourcing a small wood for skills learning

Onelifeoverland

Full Member
Mar 3, 2020
157
71
Caerphilly, South Wales, UK
An illusive question that's been asked a million and one times no doubt but I wanted to ask it myself.

If you've seen my other post you'll know I'm coming back to bushcraft after an extended break - well sort of!

I'm wondering for those of you fortunate enough to have sourced an area of private woodland where you can hone your craft. How did you source it, how did you get permission and whereabouts in the country (UK) did you find it. All those sorts of questions and more swirling around in my head just now.

Grateful for thoughts.

OLO

www.onelifeoverland.com
 

Van-Wild

Full Member
Feb 17, 2018
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UK
Hi. Welcome back to bushcraft/woodcraft/middleagedmencampinginthewoods

I have a 'permission' if you like... I got it by actually trespassing I suppose, a few years back. I took my kid camping for the first time and the wood just looked good on Google earth. With the tarp set up, said land owner appeared as if by magic. I saw him from a distance and took the opportunity to approach him, as he was clearly amused/annoyed at the presence of a tarp in his wood. I immediately asked him if he owned the woodland, which he said he did and then asked me what I was doing there. I politely told him that I had intended to camp the night with a daughter, to introduce her to wild camping and was sure to be apologetic and made it clear that if he wished, I would leave immediately. He said he had previously had trouble with motorX bikes on his land and thought I was one of them. Reassuring him that I most certainly wasnt, he asked me what I was going to do in his wood. Telling him that I would like to stay the night, have a fire, cook marshmallows and sausages, that kinda thing, he said I could stay, so long as I cleaned up after myself.

When I left in the morning I made sure the place was immaculate. (I'd had a long log fire all evening and into the night, with a small brew fire the next morning, so I made sure I saturated the fire place with 5 or 6 canoe bags worth of water from the stream) and on leaving the wood, I went via the farm, where I gave him my mobile number, showed him photos of the camp site and offered my help with managing the wood in future, for free.

Some years on, I visit the wood once or twice every three or four months to camp. In the winter I clear dead fall, repair fences or tracks, I even join in on the beating for driven shoots for free (which of course brings in the meat for my family). I suppose the land owner and I have a spoken agreement, which I am careful and respectful enough to maintain. Maybe I just lucky....

Having said all of that, I regularly practice bushcraft in places where I dont have permission. I'm not saying that I overnight in such places, but I dont wait for permission to light a small brew fire, or make feather sticks or put a tarp up for instance.......


Nice van BTW.... a family very similar to mine!
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Onelifeoverland

Full Member
Mar 3, 2020
157
71
Caerphilly, South Wales, UK
Hey, thanks.

That's an interesting story and you are indeed very lucky. I think most of the wood around here is either council or local woodland trust owned. I often frequent them and like you I dont ask permission to put up a tarp or maybe have a small brew fire (though I do use a wood stove for that so as not to damage the ground). I also always try to stay well back from the footpath so I'm out of sight, that said I dont try sneaking around like a ninja either, i dont want to scare the daylights out of some poor dog Walker that happens to stumble across me So far so good though, no one has ever raised an eyebrow.

I do plan on approaching the local woodland trust mind to ask them if my presence there would be of concern. I plan to suggest my regular presence will deter fly tippers and motox bikes etc. In addition I will offer to volunteer my services for a few hours a month helping with wildlife counts, fencing, coppiceing etc.

Your name isnt bri by any chance is it? That would be a long shot. I follow an insta account with a similar username!

Anyhow, thanks for sharing.

OLO
Blog, Insta and stuff to read:
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Van-Wild

Full Member
Feb 17, 2018
528
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UK
No,my name isnt Bri I'm afraid! my insta is private as well.......

I think you'd be surprised how welcoming people can be if you're a friendly chap and just be open about what you're likely to be up to!

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