Woodlore — School of Wilderness Bushcraft  


Fundamental Bushcraft Severnside

The Initiation in Worcestershire

An inspirational journey through the fundamental skills of bushcraft, this course provides a broad and solid foundation of practical skill and knowledge upon which you can build and develop. It is an ideal place to begin your journey with Woodlore and is a challenging and immensely rewarding week regardless of previous experience.

Each skill has been hand picked and included in our syllabus based on its value and practicality for wilderness travel. Our highly experienced team of instructors will expertly explain, demonstrate and guide you through a week of intense learning designed to prepare, challenge and inspire in equal measure.

Further Information

This special version of our keystone course takes us to the hills bordering the banks of the United Kingdom’s longest river, the mighty River Severn.

Your days will be filled with hard work, discovery and the satisfaction of achievement and learning. Each skill is carefully explained and expertly demonstrated before you practice the technique for yourself. As new skills are acquired, you will be encouraged to apply them as we build upon what you have learned, increasing both the pace and level of challenge. The end result is self- reliance, closeness to nature and improved self- confidence in the outdoors.

By the end of the week, a tight knit group will have been formed and lasting friendships forged by the warmth of the campfire. The final day provides a buzz of excitement as you are all given the opportunity to demonstrate your new skills and understanding in a test that is the gateway to the Journeyman course.

Challenging, thrilling and satisfying in equal measure, the Woodlore Fundamental Bushcraft Severnside course is conducted entirely outdoors in a friendly campfire atmosphere and will go ahead in all weather. No previous experience is necessary, but a reasonable level of fitness is required. You will be required to bring a tent with you to sleep in and will also have the opportunity to sleep under a loaned tarp and in a natural shelter.

The skills that will be taught during this course include:

  • Firelighting, including by friction
  • Shelter Construction
  • Water Collection & Purification
  • Plants for food & medicine
  • Natural Cordage
  • Hunting & Trapping
  • Wilderness Fishing Techniques
  • Safe use of Cutting Tools
  • Looking after the land and leaving no trace
  • Backcountry Hygiene
  • Outdoor Safety
  • Natural Navigation

Please note this course is also being run in East Sussex and Scotland.

The Fundamental Bushcraft Severnside course will change the way that you look at the world forever and equip you with a firm foundation of practical skills to use in the farthest corners of the world or on your own front doorstep.

This course starts at 17:30 on Sunday and will finish at 16:00 on Saturday.


All meals for this course will be provided. You will not live from the land during this course although one meal will be of wild food. For the rest of the time normal meals will be provided, allowing each student the opportunity to do some backcountry cooking, therefore if you have special dietary requirements please let us know on your consent form or contact the office.

We provide a kettle, tea, coffee, squash and biscuits in a brew box at the main camp fire of the course, under a large parachute. We also have fresh drinking water and a fruit bowl available.

Course Site

The course will take place at an expedition style camp in Worcestershire. We do not have shower or toilet blocks at our sites, therefore all aspects of the course will have a fantastic wilderness feel, using a screened camp shower and a screened latrine in the woods.

If you decide to travel by car, we have an area close to our camp to park.

Other Details

Joining instructions will be sent to participants of the course 9 weeks before it is due to start, giving details of where to meet, at what time, and what to bring with you.

Once you have completed the Fundamental Bushcraft Severnside course you are able to attend both our Traditional Living Skills and our Journeyman course.

Dates, Costs and Bookings

  This particular course has already taken place and there are no other dates currently available. Please sign up to our mailing list for future course updates.

Course Reviews

Fundamental Bushcraft Severnside is rated 4/5 based on 5 customer reviews.

All of our reviews are from people who have attended our courses.

Overall Rating:


  1 of 5

  Sadly I was disappointed with this course. Despite being a lot more expensive than similar courses I decided to opt for this course as it has the ‘Ray Mears’ brand and as such I expected it to be worth the extra money. I hope this review will highlight the areas of the course that I personally felt were poor and help improve the course for people in the future. Despite the knowledge of the instructors I found the course chaotic and communication between the instructors and with us directly to be lacking. Twice I was told the incorrect information or simply not informed which led to me being late. I found the course to be poorly organised. Often I felt we were just left with very little guidance and there was a laziness to this, like it was easier to give us a task and then leave us for a few hours often without seeing an instructor. Another example of this was having a lecture on cordage at 9.30pm, after a long day and after dark. Such lessons should be taught in daylight and I don’t feel such lessons are ideal by the light of a fire or lantern. There was also a number of lesson at the start of the week that were dragged out which left the final days feeling very rushed. Despite being reassured that Woodlore can cater for all diets, I thought the thought and effort behind the vegetarian food to be very poor indeed and drastically needs improvement. To be told to make a vegetarian stew but without vegetarian stock cubes being available, lunches with ham and pate but no vegetarian alternative. Once again I feel there was a laziness and lack of effort by Woodlore on this front. Despite these things I met some interesting people and learnt a number of new things. I plan to continue to study bushcraft but will probably try a different company next time.  


Rated: 2/5

  2 of 5

  What can I say? Slept in the stick shelter on the first full night; bivvied out in the rain on the second night, slept by the fire on the third… I loved every minute of it! I chose this particular course (along with fellow Reviewer Dave Howells) as I knew it was essentially virgin land, – and it certainly was! Woods and tinder galore! A word of caution, said location does contain steep areas – but as one who broke his leg less than a year ago & successfully completed the course, you’ll be fine! Another note – make plenty of notes daily and review them each night with others in the group. There were 13 men (eighteen to retired!) and two women and we all got on like a house on fire. The instructors were amazing. Very informative, kind and patient to the point you could knock them over with a feather-stick. Brian – Instructor – stuck for ages with my little trio as we finally managed to light a fire in the torrential rain – yes – it’s possible to light a wet fire with natural materials and a ferrous rod! Brian was absolutely and astonishingly amazing – he was much better than the other instructors – so much so he deserves an award, a medal and an Order of the Garter. Having asked us to write about him in such glowing terms he also knows this Review will be edited by the Office team… ;p The food served was amazing – I was determined not to take with me any added provisions (like sweets). I’m glad I did – I lost weight (yay), but wasn’t found wanting throughout the week long course. So no worries on the food front. I highly recommend this course to everyone. It truly is well worth it, from catching sight of wild deer to showering naked in the woods to busting your gut on the bow drill, every element of this course came together beautifully. Would definitely do it again if it was free, but I have my sights on the Navigation and Tracking Courses next… Keith, Brian & Dave the Instructors were amazing. I couldn’t have asked or wished for better ones – they work well as a team and compliment each other. The sound of laughter reverberating through the trees was a constant throughout and lifted all of our spirits. Look forward to meeting the team again – once I’ve cracked that bow drill… ouch…  


Rated: 5/5

  3 of 5

  What an experience! The location was being used for the first time and this was evident from the abundance of dead wood and tinder. Dry tinder becomes more important than your wallet, on this course. I will never look at honeysuckle bark the same way again. The patience of the instructors was commendable - thank you Keith, Dave & Brian. This course is as intense as you want to make it, there are several projects which take a variable amount of time depending on your motivation - spoon making, looking after your knife, nettle cordage, bow drill practice, producing fire with a ferrous rod, snare making, fish hook making, carving feather sticks, tent pegs, withy making and finally a pot hanger. There is an enjoyable test on the final day which involves a written test - plant identification / bushcraft knowledge and practical skills ( 3 separate demonstrations of fire lighting). This course is thorough, hard work and very rewarding. Every member of our group enjoyed it.  


Rated: 5/5

  4 of 5

  Come prepared for a tiring, physically and mentally challenging course, which you will find supremely satisfying. Lots of information about tools, fire, shelter, water and use of the local flora and environment, always with safety first. Projects to keep you very busy throughout the week guided by the excellent Keith Whitehead, David Southey and Brian Fox, all of whom were very knowledgeable, enthusiastic and patient. The students with all their little idiosyncrasies all added to the weeks challenge. A huge thanks to Woodlore, Keith, David and Brian. I will be planning to return for some more.  


Rated: 5/5

  5 of 5

  A fantastic course taught by knowledgeable and patient teachers offering a wide variety of skills and knowledge in a lovely location near the banks of the river Severn. Throughout the week I thoroughly enjoyed almost every moment of the course. Instructions were clear and concise and all advice constructive. The instructors really pushed the extra mile to ensure everyone was learning efficiently and effectively. The group dynamic was lovely although may vary depending on your group. The course lasted a week but could have easily lasted another with the sheer volume of information. The week spent with Dave, Brian and Keith (instructors) was a memory I will cherish to the grave. I could not be more positive about this course and would wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone with even half an interest. It is also suitable for people of any age or ability as our group ranged from an 18 year old to a couple of people who were retired. 10/10 would do it again in a heartbeat, worth every penny and more.  


Rated: 5/5

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