Bushcraft courses return to forest after wild response

THE call of the wild is obviously proving even louder than ever for an increasingly diverse section of society.

The exploits of television adventurers such as Bear Grylls and Ray Mears has seen interest in survival techniques soar in recent years.

The Forestry Commission has now announced that it is staging more bushcraft events in Dalby Forest after the success of initial courses last year. A significant range of professions was represented at the previous events in the 8,600-acre forest near Pickering, including plumbers, professors and carpenters.

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Forestry Commission ranger and survival expert Mark Barker said: “People want to live a dream and pit themselves against nature – it’s a complete break from their normal routine.

“We’ve had folk aged from 18 to 67 turning their back on mod-cons and getting rustic under the stars.”

The courses involve building dens out of branches and brash, lighting a campfire and learning survival tips such as animal tracking.

Booking is essential by calling 01751 472771 or going to the Dalby Forest Visitor Centre. The courses on May 14 and September 17 cost £70 and are aimed at beginners, although they are only open to adults.