I returned to Leam Woods for a CPD (Continuing Professional Development) Wood Skills Day on June 6th, organised by Sarah Blackwell. This was very helpful as I embark on the consolidation element of my Level Three Forest School training.
I returned a little apprehensive, wondering if anyone would be there from my course and also if everyone would have more to share than I. However, I felt instantly at ease once I’d stepped into the woods and felt the positive, supportive vibe the other twenty or so students were giving me. Only one other student from my course was present, but I felt all the other students were on a similar wave length. I soon remembered the ethos of Forest School and what I’d learnt on the course, that we learn when we feel comfortable, in small, achievable steps.
After a short fire circle introduction, we were free to learn and do as we pleased for the next five hours. Yet five hours wasn’t long enough, we needed all day, a whole weekend, with the skills people were offering and the activities available. Which is why another skills day is to be organised soon. Fun was had by all as we learnt and chatted and tried new activities, whilst being fed hot cups of tea by those using the Kelly Kettle.
Below are a selection of photos of the skills day, with descriptive captions;
Basic ‘no knot’
I spent the morning learning some new knots, with an experienced climber and other students, who were patient and understanding. I repeated the knots and showed them to other students, so we were all learning and teaching together;
I tried slack-roping for the first time in my life, eager and only a little apprehensive. It was a liberating feeling and one I imagine children love, as I did. I also enjoyed walking barefoot, something we so rarely do in our culture, very grounding;
With three other students, we made a piece of woodland furniture, a stool, which I am testing here. Thank you to the woman who showed us how to make this, offering a lot of her time;
I also used a froe for the first time, which I find quite challenging, so I am sure to return to this for more practice. As Wiki describes, ‘is a tool for cleaving wood by splitting it along the grain, an L-shaped tool, used by hammering one edge of its blade into the end of a piece of wood in the direction of the grain, then twisting the blade in the wood by rotating the haft (handle).’
Thank you, Sarah Blackwel from FSE for organising this, and for the Facebook page you manage, which is invaluable. Roll on the next CPD day!