Course Location: Oxfordshire
Course Time: Weekends 13.00 Friday-12.00 Sunday
Course Duration: 8 weekends and 2 five day modules over 18 months
Course size: 10 Persons Maximum
Course Age Range: 18+
Call US: 01234 351006 (09:30-16:30 7 Days) / 07843 064114 (Out of hours)
The Primitive Skills Year
This modular course is designed to instill the willing student with a range of so-called 'primitive' skills such as making buckskin clothing and footwear, making a flat bow and arrows, weaving mats and containers, learning to
We do not pretend to preach what happened in our stone age era rather we aim to open your eyes to what can be accomplished when relying utterly on natural materials found in the woodland environment.
The modules are designed so as to run in complimentary order equipping you with essential skills and gradually building your understanding of natural materials and your confidence in living within the wood until you are ready to undertake your test phase during module 10.
The Primitive Skills Year starts in early summer and runs through until the autumn of the following year. This course will be run within our 250-acre woodland in the heart of Oxfordshire - a stunning rural location in which to immerse yourself in our great British countryside.
The course is comprised mainly of weekend modules running from 13:00 Friday afternoon through until lunchtime Sunday afternoon, with a long weekend module starting 19:00 Thursday and running to 15:00 Monday during module 2.
The test phase at the end of the course will run from 19:00 Thursday until 13:00 Tuesday.
The longer modules are designed specifically to allow students the time in the woods to effectively make buckskin and then ultimately to give them a suitable test phase at the conclusion of the course.
Throughout the duration of this course, we strongly encourage participation beyond your modules in the woods and set our students 'Homework' throughout the year either in preparation for the module to come or to build on skills previously covered. Largely this homework will entail the completion of select craft work and projects to the desired level by the customer. It will also include handouts on skills covered, recommendations for further reading and links to useful resources so that customers will have the opportunity to immerse themselves more holistically in the stone age.
Largely your weekends will be self-catering apart from those modules when we are
Ultimately you will be collecting, processing and eating wild foods during your 5-day test phase and will be provided with a range of game foods to prepare.
Initially, you will need to bring along a sleeping system for the woods until everyone has created their
This course is designed to show you exactly what you do not need!
During the course introduction module, we will set out the various modern pieces of equipment commonly listed as vital or highly desirable during an extended wilderness excursion. Alongside these we will talk you through the period equivalents, giving you the foundations for some of the projects during future modules.
Although the course is not linked to a definitive historical time period or location, a large percentage of the work you will be producing is based on the equipment thought or known to have been carried by Mesolithic European hunter-gatherers and this will be
During this course, you will work with our senior instructing team here at Woodland Ways. You will forge friendships that open up opportunities both with Woodland Ways as well as the UK bushcraft community. All attendees on our more advanced courses are granted specially invited access to our other woodlands, are included in one off
MODULE 1: Introductory weekend 12 - 14 May 2017
MODULE 2: Buckskin and rawhide 10 - 14 August 2017
MODULE 3: Clothing 22 - 24 September 2017
MODULE 4: Flint and bone work 17 - 19 November 2017
MODULE 5: Primitive bow making 19 - 21 January 2018
MODULE 6: Bark and basketry 27 - 29 April 2018
MODULE 7: Shelters and grass mats 22 - 24 June 2018
MODULE 8: Fibres and glues 27 - 29 July 2018
MODULE 9: Consolidation weekend 17 - 19 August 2018
We will keep the weekend fluid and allow for any skills that customers wish to revisit, in readiness for the test phase where all the skills
MODULE 10: Test phase 18 - 23 October 2018
Living in the woods with only what you have made and the skills you have learned
This full immersion into the skills you have been studying will allow you the time to make invaluable insights into how to better your clothing and equipment whilst functioning more efficiently in the woodland environment
Your instructors will be on hand throughout to help with any final questions or offer advice on techniques with various skills
We will not be able to hunt or trap during the test phase but game foods will be provided for meals. We will be trapping crayfish under license
You will be invited to give a brief talk (10 mins max!) around the fire on one aspect of the Mesolithic period of your choosing as part of rounding up your immersion in the skill sets of that era
On your last day as a celebration of the course achievements and forged friendships, we will acquire a whole wild boar for an end of course banquet.
''Walking through the woods in a pair of moccasins you have made is perhaps the most wonderful of experiences. It gave me a newfound respect, not only for primitive people and their lifestyle but for all the aspects of bushcraft I had previously gained skills in. Every job slows down - that's a good thing - you naturally look for the materials around you instead of diving into your rucksack...''
"Prior to the course I would say I enjoyed reading about primitive people's and our ancestors way of life... now I have real insight, empathy and passion for it. I'm now doing the Woodland Wayer and although I'm learning new skills, I'm looking at everything we do with the question... how would that have been done in the Mesolithic period?" (Mark) 2015
'The Primitive Skills Year course was an incredible experience that completely altered my perception of the outdoors. Through the year we covered a wide range of new primitive skills covering all aspects of bushcraft, developing a mentality that turned spending time in the woods into a completely immersive experience. The Primitive Skills Year gave me a wonderful satisfaction of knowing that I have been taught the skills to live sustainably in the outdoors in the same way that our Mesolithic ancestors once may have, providing a unique connection.' (Alex) 2015
Nestling on the banks of the River Thames we have sole access to a 250 Acre Private Woodlands just outside the Village of Appleton, in Oxfordshire. With 125 Acres designated as SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) there is an abundance of flora and fauna. With a mixed canopy throughout the woodlands and a mosaic of habitats this woodlands provides us with amazing resources, with Oak, Ash, Beech, Birch, Hazel, Hawthorn, Cherry, Blackthorn and more. We have resident populations of Muntjac, Roe and Fallow Deer. Plus a huge variety of other fauna with almost daily sightings of Stoat, Tawny Owl, Buzzard, Red Kite and so much more. We operate all of our courses here for individuals to book on to, including our Woodland Ways Weekend, we also offer private bookings, school bookings, stag do's and corporate events.
Toilet facilities are available my means of composting toilets and a portaloo. There are central covered teaching area's within the woodlands comprising of timber and canvas structures.
This wonderful wonderful woodlands is situated within 45 minutes of West London and the local train station (Oxford) is less than a 15 minute cab ride away. Please ensure when travelling to the venue you use the directions and not rely on Sat Nav in order to prevent getting lost.
This course can be purchased as an 18 month voucher, to book online choose "18 month voucher" from the options above and we will email the details over to you. Alternatively if you are purchasing this course as a gift we can post you a full colour gift presentation pack for just £4.25, just choose posted instead of emailed delivery option. Or contact us by phone to make the arrangements.
Call US: 01234 351006 (09:30-16:30 7 Days) / 07843 064114 (Out of hours)
We'll take your details and payment over the phone and then email or post you and information pack along with the booking form. All you need to do then is complete the form and return it to us, your places are confirmed at the time of payment.
Click here to download booking form. Simply download the booking form and pop it in the post to us with your cheque for payment. We'll get in touch once your payment has cleared to confirm your booking.