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WILD WOODS - Forestlore and Natural Movement

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"To enter a wood is to pass into a different world in which we ourselves are transformed… (Woods) have become the guardians of our dreams of greenwood liberty, of our wildwood feral, childhood selves" – Roger Deakin

WHEN: 30 June - 6 July 2018
VENUE: Armathwaite Hall 4* Hotel & Spa
PRICE: £895 per person (inc. All food, beverages, course equipment, camping fees, tree tents, night in the hotel, hotel meal & VAT.)

Video of last year's event


WILD WOODS is a unique new concept course; essentially it is a celebration of wood and trees. It is about cultivating deeper connection with self, community/tribe and your habitat.

The Chinese refer to wood as the fifth element; join us for a five-day workshop celebrating this fifth element – living suspended in the canopy in Tentsile tree-tents for four nights and a final night in a 4* hotel, learning to move through the arboreal environment, from nimbly traveling on forest trails to actually climbing safely through the canopy, learning the art of shaping wood like axemanship and knifecraft, conjuring fire from wood by friction, learning to forage woodland wild food, dining on nutritious woodland based foods; like blossom tea to nut flour bread, cooking on wood fires, and banqueting on spit-roast venison, learning to recognise the tracks of woodland animals and most importantly, learning about the individual tree species themselves, from lore to uses. Evenings will be spent unwinding at the spa before retiring to the campfire circle.    

Our intimate relationship with wood and trees is as old as our species; after all for the majority of our time on earth ‘sticks and stones’ have been our highest form of technology; we are inextricably linked, our high tech lifestyle born out of sticks and stones. Wood has even helped shape our belief systems – from the stone-age rituals at Wood Henge to the ancient lore of the hazel tree in Celtic creation myths, to deities, like Odin hanging from a branch of Yggdrasil and Jesus on his hewn cross, wood has helped to granted us wisdom and given us faith.

Working from a Robin Hood style forest basecamp, camping in Tentsile tree-tents suspended from trunks below a high canopy, Woodsmoke has access to some of the finest tree climbing locations in the Lake District National Park, from majestic mature oaks to twisting groves of rhododendron. Ben Medder will be mentoring you in the art of arboreal locomotion from tree-running, climbing and vaulting to brachiation.

During the morning sessions, you will learn –
- Running forest trails
- Vaulting
- Branch balancing
- Precision jumping
- Limb crawling
- Foot-pinch climbing
- Toe-pinch climbing
- Brachiation
- Landing from height
- Breakfalls
- Joint integrity and mobility training
- Natural Lifting
- Breath training
- Roughhousing
- Natural Parkour

The days will be equally divided to develop mind, body and spirit – with lessons on ancestral movement strategies with the focus on climbing, physical strength, skill and dexterity, craft and cooking, knowledge and learning, and time to yourself to reflect, think and be creative, where you will be encouraged to sketch, journal, meditate or simple be in the forest. In the afternoon sessions you will get the chance to learn from world renowned Bushcraft and Wilderness Skills expert Ben McNutt.

During the afternoon sessions, you will learn –
- Friction fire lighting
- Canopy camping
- Axe skills
- Knife craft
- Making rope from bark
- Tree Id
- Wild food
- Tracking
- Baking and campfire cookery

Natural movement training, in context… actually out in nature, is proven to increase wellbeing and personal growth, from mental focus and a calmer mind, to leaner, stronger, more agile physiques.

So join us to intimately re-connect with nature through trees; living suspended in them, gracefully moving through them, feasting on woodland food – and through wood – learning to shape it, craft with it, split it, stack it, warm ourselves and cook on it. This five-day workshop, celebrating our connection with trees is a great way to begin un-domesticating yourself, to grow and to revert and embrace that feral, childhood self that lurks within us all.

Hosted in the stunning grounds of Armathwaite Hall Hotel and Spa in the Lake District, you will have daily access to the spa for an early morning swim and again each evening for a relax in the sauna or to chill in outdoor hot tub. On the final night of the course you will be treated to a delicious meal and a nights stay in the hotel itself.

The course sold out this year, so contact us for more info or guarantee your place by placing a deposit now.