Bushcraft encompasses a range of skills based on primitive ways of living which can help us to harness the benefits of nature wherever we are in the natural world.
Bushcraft techniques include recognising and gathering wild food and medicinal plants; tracking; using hand tools; building shelter; making fire and constructing materials like string and rope from natural produce.
A common misconception is that bushcraft and survival are the same, but they have important distinctions. Survival techniques are about surviving in spite of your circumstances. However, bushcraft allows us to live with and become part of nature, whilst adapting to the changing seasons.
You may lead a busy life and not get much of a chance to spend long stretches outdoors, but you’d be surprised what a keen eye can pick up, even along a grassy verge. Many edible species dapple our green spaces – you don’t have to live outdoors to appreciate nature’s resilience.
Teacher of Bushcraft for Essex Wildlife Trust
Resident Bushcraft and Wildfood Specialist for Healthy Life Essex