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Bridgend is the perfect spot when it comes to going out into the wild and getting back to life's basics. With such diverse terrain that ranges from coastal nature reserves to woodland areas, it's no surprise that there is such a wide range of survival and bushcraft courses on offer in the area.
Bushcraft Elvis in Action
Places such as the Kenfig Nature Reserve, beaches along the coast and the rolling woodland valleys in the northern part of the county offer the perfect conditions for food foraging, learning how to make a shelter and surviving off the land.
So along with spotting Elvis being a 'flaming star' of lighting fires from scratch, here are a few more bushcraft activities on offer in Bridgend.
Types of survival and bushcraft course in Bridgend.
There are two main bushcraft activity providers situated in Bridgend Cwm Tawel and Wild Spirit Bushcraft. Both offer a different approaches to the activities and very much complement each other. So here are our top picks for course...
1 - Yes you can eat nettles... Wild food foraging at Cwm Tawel
Enjoy a day foraging for wild food and medicinal plants, then return to camp with your treasures and cook a simple camp meal. On each course visitors will join Cwm Tawel's instructors on a day's forage around the woodland, meadows and hills to take a look at what we can find. During these forages visitors will get to uncover flora identification techniques and discover some of the useful edible and medicinal plants available to humans. Visitors get to learn how to harvest these resources in a sustainable manner, as well as how to prepare each ingredient. There will be tasting sessions through the day and the opportunity to cook the ingredients.
2. A spear is more then just a weapon... The Indigenous Bushman at Wild Spirit Bushcraft
This course is suitable for adventurous beginners and people with some bushcraft experience. The course covers a wide range of fascinating skills and techniques that are sure to enthuse and inspire. Participants will get to go all out, by having to sleep in hammocks or shelters, learn how to hunt and learn methods from indigenous bushman techniques.
3. Tools doesn't just mean hammer and axe... Making survival tools at Cwm Tawel
This course provides an informal introduction to spoon carving using basic carving tools perfect for having a whittle around the camp fire in the evening. Visitors learn how to select and collect the right wood, split and rough out a blank and then proceed to carve a spoon which you will be able to take home with you or use to eat your dinner!
4. The key survival fundamentals to living are never that clear... The Woodland Survivor or Explorer Course at Wild Spirit Bushcraft
This is an ideal weekend for people looking to discover the hidden secrets of the woodland. This course covers the basic and essential skills of Woodland Survival:
Safety and Hygiene, Locating Water, Safe use of Cutting Tools, Friction Fire Lighting (native fiddle), Autumn Shelter Building, Backwoods Cookery, Hammock and Tarp Set Up, Camp Craft (wood carving), Food Foraging, Cordage (nettle)
5. The normal ways of survival do not mean a sofa and TV.... Nomandic Bushman at Wild Spirit Bushcraft
Discover the effectiveness of trap making in the wild and utilising the resources that surround you in the wild. This course covers the basic and essential skills of Woodland Survival:
Friction Fire Lighting with (Fungus, Flint & steel, Strike Lighting, Native Bow, Hand Drill), Water purification and location, Breads, Stews, Pies, Natural Cordage (Willow, Bramble, Nettle, Elm), Star - Craft, Fungi, Plant And Tree Identification, Arrows and Fletching, Wood Carving, Game Preparation (Gutting And Skinning), Hot Rock Cooking,Trapping, Hammock And Tarp Set Up, Four Seasons Shelter Building, Wild Food Foraging,Resin extraction for glue and tar making.
THE BONUS.... One of the best bushcraft day's out Wales has to offer: Bryngarw Bushwaka
29 March, 2014, Saturday 29th March. 10am - 5pm
Go native and explore the world of bushcraft and experience traditional wilderness living skills at this family event. Bushcraft demonstrations and workshops will be on going throughout the day. Activities to include Friction Fire Lighting, Willow Weaving, Foraging Walks, Campfire Cooking, Shelter Building, Falconry Display, Chainsaw Carving, Story Telling in a giant Tipi and many more. There will also be bushcraft related stalls and if you are interested in the natural environment and traditional skills there will also be an opportunity to meet local craft and conservation groups.