Our bushcraft company
Founded in 2011, we are a small, family run business. Gary and Nicola set up Jack Raven Bushcraft with the support and help of their children; Kimberly played a big part in the initial design and marketing and Lorna helps out with the administration as well as getting involved with children’s parties. Both girls have attended plenty of our courses and have excelled at them.
We understand there is a lot of competition out there for your hard earned cash, not just from other bushcraft companies but from a host of other activities. With that in mind, we’ve tried to ensure our whole package is right, from start to finish. So here’s why we think you should spend some time with us.
We’re completely above board
We have planning permission to be doing what we do, where we do it (we only know of one other company that has done this, and we were the first!)
We’re fully insured (we’ll send you a copy if you want to see)
We’re approved training providers of the Institute for Outdoor Learning
- Vetted by Kent County Council’s Outdoor Education Unit
Our instructors are qualified
We are DBS checked (formerly CRB)
We’re approved suppliers for The Prince’s Trust and Natural England
- Corporate members of Kent Wildlife Trust (we run some bushcraft and foraging sessions for them)
- We’re even registered with the local authority to prepare and serve food
Great selection of courses
Rather than running beginners, intermediate and advanced courses, we’ve decided to take a different route. We run 2, 3 and 5 day bushcraft courses covering essential skills and then offer a wide range of ‘special interest’ courses such as wildfoods, tracking, carving, herbal remedies, axe workshops, blacksmithing and plenty more. All of these are stand alone.
We don’t impose any pre-requisites such as having to attend our 5 Day Bushcraft Course before you can come to Herbal Remedies, it makes no sense. So chose whichever course you like knowing that it has been designed so you don’t need any previous experience and that you’ll leave us with new skills and knowledge.
We’ve made booking onto a course as simple as we can – pick your course, add it to your basket and check out! We schedule our courses a year in front so that you can chose the best time to attend, and give you time to make the appropriate arrangements at work and with your family. We know some other companies wait until they have enough people to run a course and then set a date, but we believe our approach better serves you, the customer. From time to time it means we have a course with only a few people on it, but that’s fine by us, we’re always happy to be in the woods anyway!
Once you’ve booked, we’ll send a confirmation email. We then send a comprehensive Joining Pack 6 – 8 weeks prior to the course which tells you everything you need to know.
Low number of participants
We keep our course numbers low. On most courses we max out at 8 students, although on others it is lower still. Other schools have more students and compensate by having more instructors, but that seems to us to be counter productive. We have no interest in pushing large numbers of people through our courses on a conveyor belt. It would be harmful to our woodland for one thing, but would also prevent the intimacy and camaraderie that is such a big part of our courses.
Breath taking location
We are based in a truly stunning ancient woodland in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. We’re great fans of the British countryside and have travelled extensively throughout it. We can say in all honesty that our location is as beautiful as anywhere we have been. We have around 20 species of native trees, an abundance of wildflowers, woodpeckers, tawny owls, little owls, sparrow hawks, buzzards, tits, jays, stoats, foxes, weasels, squirrels…and on it goes.
We think that for you to effectively learn the skills we are teaching, your basic needs have to be satisfied. So we want to keep you warm and dry. We have a yurt and wood burning stove for when it gets chilly and a composting loo so there is no need to go wandering off at night to dig a hole. (In reality, people don’t tend to wander far in the dark and the camp could become a minefield!) You can see some photos of our camp here.
It might not be at the top of the list, but we think that keeping you well fed is important. We are consistently praised for the quality of the meals we serve and have been told on numerous occasions (at least once by a professional chef) that the food we serve is restaurant quality. Bearing in mind we cook everything from scratch in the woods, that’s no mean feat.
This is easy – we just want to be in the woods sharing knowledge and skills; we want people to have the opportunity to experience what we do. You’ll find that our team is easy going and our courses are run in a professional, friendly and relaxed manner. On nearly every course we are told that our laid back approach helps with learning and overall enjoyment of the experience.
We have a number of freelance bushcraft instructors that work with us on specialised courses or at times of high demand. These are people that we have known for a long time and hold in high regard for their professionalism, skills, knowledge, attitude and ability to teach. All of our bushcraft instructors are qualified, having completed the 10 month NCFE Certificate in Bushcraft Leadership; they are also trained in first aid, navigation and food hygiene.
Similarly, we have a pool of assistants that have been personally known to us for a number of years (in one case for over 25 years) helping out quietly in the background, ensuring that courses run smoothly.
You can find out more about our team by following this link.
After the course
Once the course is over we’ll upload the photos we’ve taken to Facebook. You can tag yourself, add comments etc. We’ll also invite you to add a review to our website so that potential customers can get an independent point of view; as a sign of our appreciation we’ll send you a discount code entitling you to 25% off any future courses you attend.
For more information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone on 07553 763397.