Wood Skills Day

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'

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;

9 knot
9 knot

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;

Concentration  as I take the first leap in slack roping
Concentration as I take the first leap in slack roping

Trying slack lining  for the first time, a liberating feeling

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;

Woodland chair
Woodland chair

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).’

Using a froe for the first time
Using a froe for the first time


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!


4 thoughts on “Wood Skills Day”

  1. hi caroline

    i was in the woods that day too. i remember talking with you and wondered how your consolidation phase has been going and what your thoughts are about your portfolio and progression week.

    best wishes


    1. Hi Andrew, thanks for your comments and enquiry. The training consolidation period is going well thanks, I’m taking my time as I have lots of other commitments, but I’m getting there! I’m taking my assessment in July. I am now working as a Woodland Adventure Leader at the playgroup, so am getting lots of experience that way in the woods with 2 to 3 year olds, and am currently doing my 6 sessions for my portfolio, so have started the portfolio although have a lot to do! How is it going for you? When’s your assessment?

  2. hi caroline

    i’m so pleased for you to read that you’re achieving your 6 sessions. my journey has taken a few twists and turns and i guess that’s what makes it a journey. my progression week (as it now appears to be described as) is at the end of january. i’m sending positive vibes out that at the end of january we have wonderful bright cold days.

    best wishes


    1. Hi Andrew, thanks for your comments, good to hear from you again. I am also hoping we’ll have bright cold days in January. Best of luck for your progression week (I like this term more, makes it less scary!). I am part way through my 6 weeks now, it’s going well. Making winter woodland perfumes tomorrow morning in the woods! Thanks again and keep connected.

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