New site for Bushcraft Courses

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There are a lot of considerations in finding a suitable site for teaching bushcraft. You need the permission of the landowner to have fires and use cutting tools; you need the right mix of woodland, ideally with hazel, birch, willow; you need a supply of materials and thatch for shelter building and lastly the forest floor needs to be relatively open without grass or turf.

Last weekend I spent the afternoon in Queen Elizabeth Forest near Aberfoyle looking for a new site. I have visited this forest many times and I have got to know it pretty well. It is a massive place, close to the size of Glasgow in area. Interestingly if you look maps of the area from the 1920s, the forest area is very small: only a few small pockets of ancient woodland like Drumore Wood and the oak woods by the river Forth. Drumore is an amazing scots pine and oak woodland. Today Drumore Wood is entirely surrounded by spruce plantations that make up the bulk of Queen Elizabeth Forest. It is hidden away, a wild and rarely visited ancient woodland with no paths and tracks except for deer trails.

The woodland I was checking out, however, was the oak woodland on the west side of the river forth, a much more accessible site not far from Cobleland campsite. I found a promising spot with a good mix of trees, water close by and an open and clear forest floor. Next step is to apply for permission to use it from the forestry commission.

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