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Bushcraft and survival skills at the Ultimate Activity Company, near Hereford

Bushcraft and survival skills at the Ultimate Activity Company, near Hereford

by Angus ~ 28 March, 2019 ~ one comment

I’ve never opened a tampon before, so my newfound friend Tamsin showed me how. Then I started unpeeling it to find it’s really just compacted cotton wool. Tampons turn out to be ideal for lighting a fire if you don’t have matches because they are really compressed cotton wool and can be lit with a small spark. I did have a fire steel in my survival kit box and just like our friendships, we were soon creating sparks and warming up.  We were at the Ultimate Activity Company’s short course on what to do in the wild when things go awry.

Andy, our trainer, with his background as a marine, explained the imaginary position we were in: on a sailing trip eight of us had moored our boat in a sheltered sea loch on the west coast of Scotland and during the night the wind riled up causing the boat to hit a rock. It sank, leaving us just enough time to get off with little more than what we stood up in (along with my survival kit in a watertight tin).   Two of the crew had gone off to get help - leaving six of us to survive outdoors, perhaps for several days. Read more...

Chopping for Chopsticks

Chopping for Chopsticks

by Victoria ~ 8 October, 2013 ~ comments welcome

Recently a friend of mine exclaimed that China gets through 80 billion disposable chopsticks a year.  This is enough to fill Tiananmen Square three times over.  With a population of 1.4 billion, the demand for these utensils is eating away at China’s forests, at a staggering rate.  China's natural forest resources are extremely limited (139th in the world); despite this, 3.8 million trees a year are being cut down - that is, about 100 acres every 24 hours.

This deforestation is having knock-on environmental effects, causing landslides, flooding and leading to climate change.  One of the contributors to forest over-exploitation is the demand for disposable chopsticks.  The situation is not looking any more promising as the uptake for Asian cuisine is becoming more common across the globe. Read more...

Open day at Butterbeare Wood

Open day at Butterbeare Wood

by Mike S ~ 24 August, 2012 ~ 7 comments

When I told family and friends that I had bought 4.5 acres of woodland in North Devon many of them expressed an interest is seeing it. In August, I therefore arranged an 'open day'. I also invited along the owners of neighbouring areas of woodland.

Guests were encouraged to bring along something to sit on and their own picnics to supplement the barbecue and drinks which I had organised. Shelter was provided by my shed, a couple of gazebos and a tipi. And that other essential, a toilet tent, contained an earth closet. Read more...

Cooking and eating woodlice (pillbugs) - a real bushcraft experience

Cooking and eating woodlice (pillbugs) – a real bushcraft experience

by Angus ~ 25 January, 2012 ~ 7 comments

Woodlouses or woodlice have never previously seemed to me the kind of thing you would want to eat. But I came face to face with a cooked woodlouse recently when we made a woodlandsTV film about finding, cooking and eating woodlice. It turns out that they are very nutricious and as long as they are cooked they are perfectly safe. A big advantage of woodlice over slugs or snails is that they can be eaten almost immediately after collection, whereas with slugs and snails you need to put them in a plastic bag for about 24 hours so that their gut empties. For woodlice you just put them straight into the boiling water and they are soon ready to eat. Read more...

The Robin

The Robin

by Chris ~ 21 December, 2011 ~ Comments Off on The Robin

Season's Greetings.   

The robin, frequently pictured on Christmas cards,  is making something of a “come back”.  Its numbers have increased by roughly 50%, compared to when it was first recorded back in 1970.

The RSPB has suggested that milder winters and earlier Springs have contributed to its increased numbers; and it is estimated that there are now some 5 - 6  million breeding pairs of robins in the U.K.  However, its populations can be ‘knocked back’ by hard winters – such as we have experienced recently.  A small bird, such as the robin, can rapidly lose much of its body mass through a short succession of cold nights and days - burning its reserves (of fat) to generate heat energy  to maintain its body temperature.  They also use up energy in the search for food, which is often in very limited supply under cold conditions. Read more...

Hunter Gatherer

Hunter Gatherer

by Sean ~ 12 July, 2011 ~ 4 comments

In my 2011 quest to only eat meat which I have hunted or gathered myself,  I’ve learned a lot. Most people ask me “how” I do it, so I thought I would share a bit more on the actual tasks of finding the food. Read more...

Medlars

Medlars

by Lewis ~ 31 December, 2010 ~ 5 comments

BBC's Country file recently featured a report on Medlars. The Medlar tree (Mespilus germanica) was probably a Roman import.   In the 'dark ages' and Mediaeval times, the winter months probably did not offer many opportunities for fresh fruits  and / or vegetables; and people were likely to become deficient in vitamin C (scorbutic),  as winter progressed. Read more...

Preparing Rabbit for the pot

Preparing Rabbit for the pot

by Andy Noble ~ 3 September, 2010 ~ 3 comments

In the modern day diet, Rabbit is often overlooked as a meat source, and certainly you’d be hard pushed to find it in your everyday supermarket.   Yet Rabbit meat is high in protein, low in fat and low in cholesterol – and even better it tastes fabulous too! (Please note that there are images of a dead rabbit in this article). Read more...

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