Woodland Ways – 2016 in Review
Woodland Ways Director and Chief Instructor Jason Ingamells glances back at 2016 but looks firmly forward to 2017.
Well what an incredible year 2016 has been for Woodland Ways and our customers, with 266 courses run (some of which have been for extended periods of time!), a new logo and a new website – it has truly been our busiest year to date. From Oxfordshire in the UK to South Africa and many destinations in-between, we’ve tracked lions and leopards, made flint tools and fire, seen bears and chased wolf packs as well as teaching our inimitable range of bushcraft and survival skills.
Retail has been a challenge, we won’t deny it, and surviving the retail landscape is a completely different ball game to surviving in the wild. That said, we’re still striving to bring you the best bushcraft and outdoor equipment in addition to places where you can get expert advice and hands-on experience. This year saw us put this into practice with the launch of our first high street shop in the heart of the Peak District… and its working! Thank you to all who have shown your support to this crazy idea!
Each member of the team will have their own highlights of 2016, but for me it has been the opportunity to share wilderness environments and some of the most stunning scenery on the planet with small intimate groups. Croatia was stunning, as was Kenya… I could go on but there have been so many. I’ve also been fortunate enough to have filmed the very remote Faroe Islands on two trips with my good friend Anders Brogaard.
But it’s really the people around me to whom I owe great thanks. I’ve seen my team of instructors grow in themselves to become widely respected for their knowledge, experience and approach to their teaching. Kevan, Adam, Danny, Jay, Joseph, Ian – you do Woodland Ways proud and I’m privileged to lead such a gifted and dedicated team. To all of the trainee instructors also goes my huge respect and gratitude for allowing Woodland Ways to assist you on your journey. Also thanks to Joanne, Brian and James for keeping things running behind the scenes, without you Woodland Ways would not be able to deliver what we do.
2017 holds incredibly exciting prospects; we’ve not only launched our Primitive Skills Year and Pioneer Year courses but also a host of new weekend courses delving into primitive crafts, and a series of day courses for those who may not wish the overnight experience. We’ve also just confirmed our return to South Africa in 2017 (If you haven’t checked out the new video then see it here) and I’m heading for a winter mountain experience in Croatia with more overseas winter instruction coming soon.
Personally, I’m extremely excited to launch a new project aside from Woodland Ways with Wild Earth Productions which will document the Rise of Bushcraft in the UK, told by the people involved. Using cinematic storytelling we’ll take you on a journey through bushcraft; from the benefits of wilderness skills to the people who are keeping them alive and thriving. I’m also excited to be launching a series of ‘how-to’ videos presented by the Woodland Ways instructor team which will give you step-by-step guidance on all manner of bushcraft skills and techniques.
Thank you for allowing Woodland Ways to take you on your own journeys and by means of thanks I’m offering you 15% off any UK based day and weekend courses booked before the end of January. Simply use the code 15OFF when you checkout.
The wide open spaces of our planet feed me and I hope by passing on our knowledge they feed you too. I’m constantly inspired by nature, it’s who I am, but I couldn’t be in this place if it wasn’t for you. If you didn’t come on our courses, we wouldn’t be able to do this job, so we’re eternally grateful for your continued support.
Hopefully I will see some of you in the woodlands or forests or savannah throughout the year, but if not I wish you all a wonderfully wild 2017.