I run Traditional Skills courses in the Cairngorms National Park working closely with the John Muir Trust, Wilderness Scotland, Rothiemurchus Estate, Alladale Estate, and Spirit & Spice

Beachcomber

The Beachcomber course is aimed at students with an interest in extending their wilderness living skills to the shoreline. Learn how to harvest the abundant seaweeds and shellfish available on our coastlines. You will manufacture hooks, line and sinkers from natural materials and fish with them. Other fishing techniques including netting, spearing, and trapping will be demonstrated and there is a group exercise to construct a basha canoe. Alternative methods of sourcing shelter, fire and water (including distillation) will be covered. Due to limited places this course is only available to students who have completed the Backwoodsman.

Course duration: Fri – Sunday
Number of students: 5 – 10
Cost: £265
Dates: Check the Backwoods website

Check dates and book this course here (Backwoods Survival)

Corical Building

Learn the ancient art of coracle construction from natural materials on this action packed 5 day course. You will learn about construction materials and their properties and how to weave willow and hazel into a strong and stable frame. Once you have created the framework, you will wet scrape a full size cow skin and prepare it for stretching onto the coracle frame. Once the skin is on, it will be trimmed and bound ready for you to take it on its maiden voyage. You will be able to take your finished water craft home with you for future adventures.

Course duration: Fri – Tue
Number of students: 5 – 10
Cost: £550
Dates: 10th -13th June

Book this course here (Backwoods Survival)

The Highlander

Join me and Patrick of Backwoods Survival School for an exciting and challenging 5-day course in the spectacular northern wilderness! This course will be held in the magnificent Cairngorms mountains, set amongst atmospheric ancient Caledonian Pines and birch woodlands adjacent to a beautiful freshwater loch.

You will begin your course with a short hike, navigating through the wonderful Scottish landscape, foraging along the way. When you reach the loch, you will be tasked with building a raft to transport you along with your kit across to the base camp.

Once there, you will learn the skills & crafts of the ancients in a unique environment. It will be an action-packed 5 days where you will learn a wide range of skills, including:

  • Fire Craft
  • Wild game butchery & primitive cooking skills
  • Foraging
  • Coiled containers & bark craft
  • Fishing techniques & net making
  • Natural shelter construction
  • Raft building
  • Fish skin tanning
  • and much more…

Course duration: Fri – Tue
Number of students: 5 – 10
Cost: £600
Dates: 9th-14th September

Book this course here (Backwoods Survival)

Fish Skin Tanning

Come and learn a unique skill of turning a waste product into a useful and usable piece of leather using our own Scottish salmon skins. You will learn an ancient method of preserving, softening and tanning and you will go home with your own hand-tanned piece of salmon leather and a starter kit to continue the process at home.

Duration: 1-2 days
Maximum group size: 8
Dates:
Cost: £100 pp/pd
Due to Covid 19, please get in touch with me to chat about dates

Traditional Skills

You need to contact me to book these courses as the time, cost and equipment vary according to the group size and I will adapt the program to suit you

  • Hiking and foraging, identifying plants and trees that have culinary, medicinal and traditional uses
  • Looking at wood and natural tinders for traditional fire lighting techniques, including the bow drill, carving and tool making
  • Shelter building, sleeping in the shelter, sourcing and purifying water, and cooking a foraged meal
  • Skinning, butchering and skin preservation, including the tanning and making of soft leather

Duration: 1-3 days
Dates:  Courses run from April - October
Due to Covid 19, please get in touch with me to chat about dates