Where do you go to practise bushcraft?

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Slaphead

Member
Nov 6, 2020
41
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Bolton
Sorry if this sounds like a silly question, but the most of the land in the UK seems to be under private ownership. And I assume there are restrictions about what you can do in national parks.

As far as I know there are all sorts of rules about where you can pitch a tent, cut down wood and make a fire. And where would you be able to use a Mora knife with a four inch blade without getting into trouble?

So I just wondered what most members do. Do you join clubs and go on organised camps etc. Or are some of you lucky enough to live near areas where you have permission to do your bushcraft?

I know there are still a few wilderness areas around in the UK but they are not always convenient to get to.
 

lostplanet

Full Member
Aug 18, 2005
1,936
152
51
Kent
Im lucky, a friend I grew up with owns a farm so I have use of some private land. There is a local area ive used in many forms since I was a kid. There are rules but they are not strictly enforced, more common sense and respect for the wildlife, land and other people. I dont usually need anything apart from a place to stay off the path so zero impact on the area.

This was discussed quite recently in a similar post. https://bushcraftuk.com/community/threads/how-do-i-know-where-it’s-ok-to-camp.156725/

The more info shared the better i reckon.
 

C_Claycomb

Mod
Mod
Oct 6, 2003
6,651
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Bedfordshire



:)
 
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Bee Outdoors

Full Member
Aug 10, 2019
36
32
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Manchester
Sorry if this sounds like a silly question, but the most of the land in the UK seems to be under private ownership. And I assume there are restrictions about what you can do in national parks.

As far as I know there are all sorts of rules about where you can pitch a tent, cut down wood and make a fire. And where would you be able to use a Mora knife with a four inch blade without getting into trouble?

So I just wondered what most members do. Do you join clubs and go on organised camps etc. Or are some of you lucky enough to live near areas where you have permission to do your bushcraft?

I know there are still a few wilderness areas around in the UK but they are not always convenient to get to.
I got two permissions and practice on them, sometimes I get invited to events so we get to share ideas and practice in a group
 

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
9,351
2,133
McBride, BC
I guess due to health challenges, I haven't been out in the bush for so much as a hot lunch in several years. Most land here is open, public crown land. Camp anywhere you like stay a max of 2 weeks. Check to see if campfires are allowed ( fire bans, etc). The best primitive campsites are the best, the oldest and the fire ring of rocks is the biggest. This guides people into fires in one place only.
 

CLEM

Full Member
Jul 10, 2004
2,325
347
Stourbridge
It’s becoming more and more difficult that’s for sure, more and more difficult with the current situation we’re all have to live under. Then of course there’s ya rona roamers all over the place littering seemingly everywhere too. It’s getting harder and harder, not being able to get out the way of it all. Pretty soon a permission isn’t far off being the only way but then with all the afore mentioned rona roamers gert everywhere, having barbecues, littering, accidentally setting fire to places, getting a permission is going to be harder thing to achieve I should think.
 

hanzo

Nomad
Feb 12, 2006
431
14
58
Hawaii
hanzosoutdoors.blogspot.com
Anywhere. In the field, in the backyard, at a restaurant, parking lot… like Rambo said when he was asked what he hunts with a knife, “Name it.”

I once showed a buddy how to make a trap trigger in a restaurant using wooden chopsticks after we had lunch. Then we built it in the parking lot… discretely.
 

Kadushu

Full Member
Jul 29, 2014
289
254
Kent
Mostly in my garden.
- carving
- trap making
- dressing fish and game
- cooking
- fire making
- water purifying
- axe skills
- basket making
- plant identification
- astronomy
I consider myself more a homesteader than a bushcrafter but there's some overlap in skills.
 
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nigelp

Full Member
Leave the knife and axe at home. Then get out any where in England using public rights of way and open access land and practice all the other skills that don't require private land and chopping things down or a fire!
Tree and plant identification - where do certain resources grow (to make a bow drill set, carve a spoon or bowl), seasonally what's good to eat, if you had to look for water or dry ground which trees are telling you that etc. Any natural medicines or plants that are good for cordage such nettles. Gather some nettles and dry them at home to make cordage.
Water purification and collection - challenge yourself to find sources of water and go through the motions to make it safe either in the field or at home later.
Navigation - traditional and natural navigation. Go out and learn what clues in nature are telling you about direction, local weather and geology.
Animal and bird identification and observation - Go to a quiet spot and sit and watch. Look at tracks and signs left by feeding and nesting birds and animals. Look for tracks and watch bird behaviour.
Camp craft and shelter building. When you are about and about look at different locations and mentally check what resources you can see to make shelter of you had to build one. Look at the pro and cons of the location in a variety seasons or weather conditions.
 
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Erbswurst

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 5, 2018
3,085
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Berlin
A legal pocket knive one can surely take and that's OK anyway in British circumstances.
 

nigelp

Full Member
Really?
Can't you cut a walking stick in Britain anymore?
Depends on the location and context. You can’t and never could go onto someone’s private land and just cut a stick.
You ‘may’ be able to cut one from a headgerow on a public right of way. I often see good sticks and resources left when the utility companies clear the young saplings beneath overhead power lines.
 
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nigelp

Full Member
A legal pocket knive one can surely take and that's OK anyway in British circumstances.
A pocket knife isn’t quite the same thing as sheathed, long bladed knife and an axe. You may if searched by the police still have to explain the reason and purpose for the knife it’s out of context for the usage.
There are lots of skills and knowledge to be gained by watching and observing rather than cutting, making and burning!
 
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Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
5,210
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Mid Wales
Really?
Can't you cut a walking stick in Britain anymore?

My point was more general; it is not the carrying that is the problem (as long as it's a UK legal knife) but the intent. But please, let's not t urn this into another 'knife law' thread - my fault I know.

On the subject of cutting sticks, yes, of course you can. However, coppiced hazel is a crop in a lot of areas and, in the same way as you shouldn't nick a bag of potatoes out of a farmer's field, you shouldn't presume it's OK to cut a stick. I am pretty generous in letting people take 'material' from my wood but I have put long hard hours into managing it for conservation, biodiversity and my own craft use; I'd get really cheesed off if someone came along and cut a stick that I had been nurturing for the last five years without asking!

Even decaying, fallen, wood may have been left in place for conservation reasons; a passer-by has no right to decide to change that plan. I have no problem with people engaging with me to discuss the management and how I could do it better, but have no time for people just wandering in and 'doing stuff' without discussion.

My point being, whether or not one agrees with land ownership, someone is putting time and money into a specific plan for the land (or, the plan may be to leave it 'wild') and without knowledge of that plan, one should not presume one knows better. Leave no trace also means remove nothing, use nothing, damage nothing!
 

Erbswurst

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 5, 2018
3,085
1,208
Berlin
I don't understand the axe in rucksack thing anyway. In my opinion the axe belongs behind the house door.

In Germay I am allowed to carry it over the shoulder nearly always and everywhere, but I don't see any reason to do that.

And although I have an 11 cm full tang knife in the rucksack, I surely do 95 % with the Victorinox Compact. 3 % are melone cutting in France, 1% larger amounts of bread slices, 1 % real bushcraft.

And if I think about, I slowly understand Broch's opinion that it's good to have a saw at the Swiss army knife, because for example a Victorinox Farmer X Alox could do all and everything what's needed in the warmer month, including keeping survival options open.
 
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Pupers

Member
May 6, 2021
30
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Dartmoor
I have lived and worked in the Dartmoor National Park for over three decades, and been involved with many farmers for longer. I am very fortunate to have a three acre plot of woodland, complete with small river and good sized pond to use for bushcraft, thanks to a very good farmer friend of mine who has no real use for it. I have had to do some very sensitive clearance to make it usable, but most of it is still very “wild”. Roe and Red abound

Within 20 mins walk I am on open moorland with permitted wild camping, I feel utterly blessed and never take it for granted. Quite frankly, I just could not live anywhere else.
 

Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
5,210
4,555
Mid Wales
I have lived and worked in the Dartmoor National Park for over three decades, and been involved with many farmers for longer. I am very fortunate to have a three acre plot of woodland, complete with small river and good sized pond to use for bushcraft, thanks to a very good farmer friend of mine who has no real use for it. I have had to do some very sensitive clearance to make it usable, but most of it is still very “wild”. Roe and Red abound

Within 20 mins walk I am on open moorland with permitted wild camping, I feel utterly blessed and never take it for granted. Quite frankly, I just could not live anywhere else.

You do realize your reply just made it worse don't you? :)

Sounds great and long may you enjoy it.
 
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