Dear Wayne, just a few lines to thank you for organising the Stag do the other week, please feel free to publish this on your website. Also please thank Dave as well, you were both brilliant.
We booked Forest Knights for a Stag Day of outdoor activities. Both of our instructors were excellent and very well informed. The campsite was very good and the meals provided were excellent. We had a good day of activities from tent peg making to spoon carving and fire making. Our instructors were very skilled, but also relaxed and funny when teaching us. We had a brilliant day and all of my party enjoyed themselves greatly. I would recommend Forest Knights to anyone for their relaxed manner and their excellent skill knowledge. With work allowing I will be booking further courses with them.
Take good care of yourself Wayne and I look forward to seeing you soon, problerly for the Longbow making course.
BOW MAKING. JAN 2012
thanks for the bow making on Saturday. Dan and I both had a brilliant time. I really enjoy making things and doing it in a woodland setting with top-class instructors was extremely enjoyable.
Dave also gave me the idea of doing natural cords and knots some time (I thought the bow stringing was quite stress-reducing).....you have so much to choose from!
Hope to meet you again sometime.
regards from Duncan & Dan
BCUK Advanced Explorer First Aid Course.
Firstly thanks to Tony and Matt for organizing this and giving me and several others the opportunity to be expertly instructed in the finer points of bushcraft and rescue related first aid by the Forest Knights team.
Wayne, the chief instructor, provided a superb woodland location as the base for the course. The natural flora and fauna really surprised me in its abundance and variety.
The course catered for both the complete beginners like myself and other more experienced first aiders who had previously been expedition leaders themselves.
How Wayne managed to get me past that first cry for help in the woods still perplexes me now, even as I write this.
That first cry resulted in a frantic scramble through the undergrowth until I stood ashen faced and stricken with fear, repeating to myself over and over that it was not a real situation but it didn't work, at the prostrate body of the casualty whilst more experienced team members treated the situation with the care and skill that Wayne was going to attempt to teach us all.
I had learned a heck of a lot within the first few hours.
From that very first staged situation Wayne continued over the next four days to saturate us all with every conceivable aspect of accident and injury management theory and then reinforce the theory with hours and hours of hands on instruction until each new technique and reaction process was mastered by everyone. The group covered burns and soft tissue injuries to broken necks and backs, emergency stretcher construction and even helicopter evacuation, phew what a journey. It has to be said that Wayne has a calm and reassuring style, it's suited to instruction, no matter how many times he was sidetracked by the jokes and laughter he always managed to get us expediently back on track and into the learning zone.
By the end of the course the group carried out a twelve man man search and rescue operation for five casualties at night in thick dense undergrowth, where the casualties with broken back , legs, knees and severe abdominal injuries were quickly found, treated and evacuated to safety.
If you ever get the opportunity to get on one the Forest Knights courses then take it with both hands, you will not be disappointed.
If you are particularly fortunate, then you will also get to know a fantastic group of people and have a good laugh along the journey.
Thanks to Aaron, Adrian,Geoff, Jamie, Matt, Matt, Peter, Rob, Sam, Sam, Sian, Tony, and of course Wayne for a memorable experience, A special thank you to Wayne for getting me from that panic stricken novice to the position of team leader when there were so many other talented people around. Cheers Wayne.
Bow Making Course May 2009
Just to say I found this course (the first time I have attempted anything of this nature) to be an excellent, and relaxing, learning experience representing real value for money.
The instructors (you, Dave and Peter) provided clear and patient advice which allowed me to produce in two and a half days, using an hatchet, knife and draw blade, a primitive bow and some arrows which, when shot, ranged out to some125 long paces.
The camp's location in a quiet West Sussex wood added to the enjoyment and experience (and we were also helped by the fabulous May weather - although there were plenty of tarps and covers should it have rained). That the course fee covered meals and cooking (on an open fire) helped in the affordability of the course, but, more importantly, allowed everyone to get around the fire and talk about bows and archery, which aided my understanding of the history and current practices.
I thoroughly enjoyed this course, especially the friendly and informal manner in which it was conducted and meeting the Forest Knights experts. In fact, I have seen another of your courses I'd like to do so have started saving up it (as this time I'll try and get the wife to come as well) .
I fully agree with Richard. It was an amazing weekend and good experience that I will not forgot for a long time. Like I expressed when I left a big thank you.
Frits van der Haven.
Indeed, it was a great weekend, many thanks, Wayne, to you and your team for doing such an outstanding job.
I don’t know about anyone else, but I slept terribly last night, probably due to withdrawal systems caused by a combination ofnot going to sleep a few kilos heavier after sampling Richard’s great cooking and missing out on Timo and Frits’ snoring, Marco’s frequent nocturnal sorties and the sound of the early-morning pheasant seeing the day in.
Now we are all back I wanted to write you a proper note to thank you for the amazing weekend you organized for us.
Thank you for the excellent detailed planning and preparation that went into the weekend. I often say in business that proper planning and attention to detail are what ultimately separate a moderate from an excellent performance, and it is the little things that you all got right that made the weekend so good. (eg deer intact, earth oven, salmon cooking, bannock). Actually the only thing I can possibly think of that would round off the perfect campfire experience would be real coffee !
Thank you for the superb quality and quantity of food and for providing Richard le chef which made the weekend an outdoor experience the like of which I have never experienced before and doubt if I will experience ever again. I want to take him on my next canoe trip.
I think all your staff delivered in their respective areas to a very high degree and were very interesting and likeable people in their own right to whom I could have talked all day about their areas of expertise and view of life in general. I think you have done a very good job in selecting people to work with who have a relaxed and amiable view of life (or at least they do now !) and that makes the experience so much better (in particular I think the bow-makers were great). There was also common to each of you a very strong ethic to make sure your clients had a great experience and I noticed each of the staff going out of their way to help us with tasks rather than just chewing the fat together by the fire which might otherwise have been the temptation.
In summary the weekend massively exceeded my expectations and you could probably tell that I was just having a whale of a time and didn’t want to leave. I think I could have stayed living in that bit of woodland indefinitely. It was a pivotal experience for me as I think about what I will do in the future and has helped me get fresh perspectives on what I really like doing. For my colleagues I think it was a truly special experience and several commented how different and truly memorable the experience had been. It was a great way for a bunch of colleagues to have a final get-together.
Please pass on my very sincere thanks to all the team and feel free to use this email in part or as a whole as testimonial.
See you again in the not too distant future, I expect
Children’s Bushcraft Day. 01-10-08
Just a quick note to thank you very much for a fantastic children’s bushcraft day at the weekend. The kids were so excited about the prospect and were not disappointed in the event. The setting was atmospheric and delightful and the kids were captivated by the fire-starting talk and experiments around the campfire. Learning the correct and safe use of cutting tools was fun and good for their independence: even the adults in the group learnt a lot. The fact that they were encouraged to do so much themselves and to learn by doing was a great confidence builder. My son has been whittling away furiously ever since ! The shelter building after lunch was a great team exercise. All of the kids had a great time and were buzzing (or sleeping !) on the journey home – quite unable to separate out a ‘favourite’ part of the day. Most important, perhaps, they gained a lot of confidence in themselves and fostered a desire to spend time in woodland so that they are keen to get back there and enjoy more experiences. Bowmaking and tracking next. Thanks again.
Just a quickie to say thank you forall your instruction and sharing of knowledge with all of us in Norfolk last weekend. I certainly came away feeling happy, more skillful, more knowledgeable, challenged by adverse conditions, completely exhausted and yet fulfilled.
I just wanted to say thank you for an excellent weekend in the woods. I have come away from the course feeling even more excited about bushcraft than I already was. The instruction on the weekend was pitched at just the right level and as well as learning lots of new stuff I picked up some really useful pointers to improve skills I already had. The highlight was undoubtedly creating fire by friction something I have wanted to do for a long time, whats more I know feel equipped to do it again and again, the test will be to see if I can though! I hope to see you again very soon.
West Sussex Countryside Ranger.
They have used Forest knights to provide bushcraft training for young people aged 14-18 and 10-14.
"We have had Wayne and Adrian run a one day introduction to bushcraft for our Explorer Scouts, we decided to get forest knights in because they where able to provide the equipment and expertise to deliver bushcraft in a fun and exciting way to the scouts. They spent the day learning how to use a knife properly (along with some of our leaders who learnt a few new tricks!), how to gut fish, the ins and outs of fire lighting, they all had a go at fire by friction, and had 'Bushcraft Stew'. Our scouts can't wait till next February when we will be getting forest knights back to run another days training.
We have also had Garrick come down and run an day for our Scouts, They learnt about fire lighting, and how to use knives and saws correctly. Again this was yet another great day with everyone thorughly enjoying it, and looking forward to the next installment."
Ajax Leadership Team
EVENT: BUSHCRAFT DAY
Location: Polish Scouts House, St. Briavels, Lydney, Glos. GL15 6RS.
Attendance: Two Forest Knights Instructors, Five Polish Scout Instructors, 44 Polish Scouts (aged between 11 and 18).
The day began with a very definite and clear safety demonstration. Amongst other things, the scouts were instructed on how to handle knives in a safe and hygienic manner. The tutorial instructed the scouts on which knives to use under which circumstances and how to use them safely, effectively and efficiently. The safety demonstration elegantly moved on to a practical session where the scouts were taught various knife and cutting skills. Particular focus was maintained on methods that one can use to prepare wood for different uses including making shelters and traps. Techniques taught included: batoning, cross cuts, splitting, notch and rosette cuts.
Following the above practical session the scouts were taught how to safely sharpen and maintain their knives. Various methods were demonstrated, subsequently, each scout had to make their own sharpening block and sharpen their own knife.
After a short-break, the scouts were taken through a tracking demonstration. To our complete astonishment, we were informed that had been treading on deer tracks all morning. Our instructor demonstrated a bewildering array of techniques for determining the species of deer, when the animal had made the tracks, how it travelled through the terrain, where it stopped and where it was going. Furthermore, we were told how you can determine a deer’s sex from its tracks and from other indicators it leaves as it moves through the terrain. We were left dumbfounded by the sheer amount of information that can be gathered from something that appears to be so insignificant. Later on the scouts were sent out to locate their own tracks and other indicators of animal presence; we successfully identified a badger trail… and found badger hair to prove it.
After a brief break for lunch the day continued with a trapping demonstration. The scouts were taught how to build and/or successfully implement a selection of techniques for trapping and/or disptaching game. Techniques including snaring, dead-fall traps and various fishing methods. Once again, we were taken through a fascinating array of demonstrations and practical exercises.
We then moved on to what many of us considered to be the highlight of the day: a practical exercise in preparing game. The scouts worked in pairs and each pair was provided with a dead rabbit and a dead wood pigeon. We were then taught how to correctly and safely skin/pluck, gut and otherwise prepare the game for subsequent cooking and consumption. Once again, the exercise was conducted with impeccable professionalism and safety standards. Those scouts that chose not to take part in the activity were provided with alternative exercises in fire-building and fire lighting.
After the game had been prepared we moved on to a series of riveting demonstrations on how to build and light fires. Techniques learned included: the bow drill, fire steel on natural tinders, fire piston and flint and iron pyrites. We were also shown how to extend the ember using a natural fungus (Cramp Balls/King Alfred Cakes). With fire-building knowledge newly at our disposal the scouts were set the task of building their own fires and cooking the game they had previously prepared. For dinner, each boy had rabbit stew, fried wood pigeon breast… and a deep sense of satisfaction.
We finished the day exhausted, satisfied and full of an astounding array of new skills and information, confident that we were better people as a result of the experience. The Forest Knights kept the scouts continually interested and entertained (a very difficult task indeed). Very rarely have I seen my group of scouts so unanimously attentive. Overall, we were taken through a series of well-organised exercises, with each stage contributing vital knowledge and developing the skills necessary for subsequent stages.
The scouts were taught:
How to use and maintain their necessary tools.
How to track their game.
How to trap and dispatch their game humanely.
How to prepare their game for consumption.
How to build the fire on which to cook their game.
How to cook their meal.Polish Scouting association
The course culminated in the grand finale, where each scout ate the food that they had spent the day preparing. When I surveyed the field of tired but happy faces, the sense of achievement in the scouts was, quite frankly, overwhelming.
In conclusion, Forest Knights offer a vast range of unique skills and activities. They maintain impeccable safety standards, deliver fascinating demonstrations and present their knowledge with infectious enthusiasm. I have absolutely no reservations in whole-heartedly recommending them.