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Sir Harold Hillier Gardens

Bushcraft classes – for all ages!

Child in forest

What are they doing? And do I smell smoke? With a special site in our woodland, and set within our beautiful grounds, bushcraft sessions are fun, safe and educational.

Led by our qualified staff, it is the ethos of learning new skills through play and perseverance rather than the activities themselves which make our sessions special. All the activities can be adapted to suit class needs and requirements, but we cannot do this whole list on one day!  Most groups like to do some craft and shelter building followed by basic fire lighting and cooking over a campfire. This means choosing aspects that fit together without rushing.  We will arrange the programme with you.


  • 12-30 students


  • 1 adult for every 2-8 children depending on the age of the child and activity


  • £10 per student; accompanying adults free; a minimum of £195 per day plus a £20 booking fee.  This includes two members of our team, materials and equipment.

Sessions times

  • 10am to 2.30pm
    with a break for a picnic lunch at 12pm in or near the Education Centre or at our woodland site

Suggested pre-visit activities

  • Discuss safety and clothing
  • Look at examples of different types of woodland habitats

Suggested post-visit activities

  • Research animal tracks
  • Investigate a nearby hedgerow
  • Create an estate agent’s “house details” based on the home made at the Gardens

Booking your visit

Activities Description and Learning Objectives
Natural Crafts Learn to use a bow saw, hand drill, awls and other tools to make a natural crafts such as a pendant, elder beads or spinning disc toy to take home. Whittle sticks with potato peelers and construct a clay mud monster. Whittle skewers for a campfire, Harry Potter wands, or bows and arrows. Develop fine motor skills and an understanding of tools and natural materials; develop communication and listening skills.
Basic and advanced Shelters Den build, moving sticks and branches safely. Learn how to tie basic knots and construct a shelter. Learn how to cut hazel poles safely using a bow saw and hand saw. Develop tool and gross motor skills, team working skills and empathy for others.
Fire Lighting Learn about the fire triangle, fire safety and the law, appropriate tinder, kindling and fire preparation. Learn to light fires using a variety of ignition techniques, such as chemical, solar, electrical and friction. Build and light fires using a fire steel and basic fire laying methods such as cross lay or tepee. Learn to light and use a Kelly kettle. Develop team working skills and an appreciation of the dangers of fire. This activity provides an opportunity for controlled risk taking which can develop self confidence.
Campfire Cooking Learn how to whittle a natural skewer and make s’mores with marshmallows (or other food by arrangement) over the campfire. Cook popcorn.  Make bread to cook over (using skewers or a Dutch oven) or in a campfire. Make hot drinks with Kelly Kettles. Can also include traditional campfire singing. Building on some of the fire skills above, campfires can develop group bonds and social skills. Develop an understanding of basic food hygiene and cooking skills.