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NEWS RELEASE No: 1324624 MARCH 2010

Bushcraft sleepover promises a wild night in Dalby Forest

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Volunteers roasting marshmallows around a campfire at the 'Branching Out' project in Cathkin Braes Country Park

Adults are being invited to hear the call of the wild and spend the night in the big dark forest fending for themselves.

The Forestry Commission is staging a unique sleepover bushcraft event for grown ups involving building a des res shelter from natural materials, foraging for food and learning how to identify animal tracks on the estate in 3,440 hectare (8,600 acre) Dalby Forest, near Pickering, North Yorkshire.

The event takes place on 20 March and again on 15 May and 18 September.

Forest chiefs have staged similar smaller scale day-time events for youngsters for many years and even come up with National Den Building Day to celebrate the great outdoors. But as ranger Mark Barker explained, it wasn’t just children that came along.

“We found that the adults were just as enthusiastic as the kids, which got us thinking there’s scope here to do something quite ambitious. Interest in bushcraft has never been higher thanks to such gurus as Ray Mears. But it also fits in with a growing belief that we must live more in harmony with our environment and learn to husband natural resources. And of course, bushcraft is such tremendous fun and total escapism, a world away from the rat race.”

Last year’s first ever adult bushcraft event in Dalby was quickly oversubscribed. The cost of shoddy workmanship when making a shelter out of brash and branches is a damp night, so rustic bolt holes turned out to be miracles of improvised construction.

Mark has been with the Forestry Commission for 10 years and previously was in the army. Learning outdoor skills and self-sufficiency has become a way of life and a passion he wants to pass on to others.

The event costs 35 and booking is essential on 01751 460295 or 472771.

The Forestry Commission is the government department responsible in England for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of woods and forests and increasing their value to society and the environment. Forestry makes a real contribution to sustainable development, providing social and environmental benefits arising from planting and managing attractive, as well as productive, woodlands. For more on the Forestry Commission go to

Richard Darn on 0113 341 3178. Mobile: 0775 367 0038

Issued on behalf of the Forestry Commission by Richard Darn, COI, Leeds.