Countrylore Bushcraft was set up by Mark and Lucy Hotson to 'Reconnect' school children with their natural surroundings.Over the past 5 years they have worked with various groups/associations/schools/companies teaching both Adults and Children the joys of "Countrylore".
Their journey in to Bushcraft was started by an act of generosity and the inspirational teachings of Woodlore. This site and Countrylore's work are a recognition of the outstanding contribution Ray Mears and his team (past and present) have made in helping many hundreds if not thousands of people reconnect with their environment. Internationally, the work and passion that Mors Kochanski has put in to his Bushcraft Teaching will probably never be surpassed. Having visited/studied with him in 2005 , Mark can verify that he is 'The father of modern day Bushcraft' quite simply a phenomenal man.
The gift of understanding true Wilderness Living Skills /Bushcraft, as time will tell , has an absolute and immense value.
Lucy and Mark, the founders, both come from rural backgrounds with a real love for the British Countryside. Lucy’s father was a prominent vet in the Frome area (Somerset) and her mother a physiotherapist and true matriach . Lucy has spent most of her time growing up 'outdoors'. Having assisted both her parents, she has collected a multitude of 'Country skills'. Whilst in further education at Oxford she met Mark, where they then married. Moving back to Wiltshire the two set up A World Of Furniture.Over the past 18 years the business has expanded to four stores and now employs nearly 30 plus staff.At home in the Somerset countryside, Lucy's time is divided between helping to administer the business, bring up three daughters and five pets. Always an inpiration, Lucy is Mark's real 'Engine Room'!
Mark's earliest experiences of The Countryside and all it had to offer sprung from his home near Shotover Park in Oxfordshire he then carried it forward and even at School in Cheltenham enjoyed various "Outdoor pursuits". Like many of his generation being outdoors involved 'Camping out' , building tree houses, riding horses and generally 'messing about'...Mark's journey in to Bushcraft 'proper' started in 2003 when Lucy won a trip to The Arctic with Ray Mears and gave it to him.The trip or experience was absolutely life changing, another world unfolded in front of him. There was a sudden realisation that the natural world had so much to offer and deserved so much more respect . Over the past eight years he has attended various courses at Ray Mears Bushcraft School, Woodlore, under the tutelage of Paul Kirtley, Yuha Rankinen , Lawrence Clark , Gordon Hillman , Steve Suggett , Woody, Ross Bowyer and a few notable others. He has also travelled to Canada to study under Mors Kochanski and now feels he has accrued enough knowledge to start imparting it to others.
Lucy and Mark are not Bushcraft experts, but are rather more enthusiasts. The realisation of the subjects magnitude really leaves , even the self professed experts as life long students..They hope that they can at least 'pass' on some of their enthusiasm and zest !
Countrylore Bushcraft, is a mix of Lucy’s enthusiasm, organisation, knowledge of the National Curriculum with Mark’s understanding of all things Bushcraft/Countrylore making them an 'inspiring' team.
To comply with health and safety and Insurance guidelines. Both have been CRB checked, have completed outdoor first aid courses, have food hygiene certificates and carry out rigorous health and safety assessments.
They look forward to working with a whole variety schools including Springmead School throughout 2013. Inspiring and reconnecting the children with nature and their surroundings through the medium of Bushcraft. Lucy and Mark have put together a very comprehensive 'Learning Package'- which they started in 2009.The 'Syllabus' of Bushcraft learning is itself made so relevant by The National Curriculum and likewise The National Curriculum has another dimension added to it when Bushcraft is taught alongside.They hope that schools like Springmead will now be able to offer the whole 'education package' to their pupils - whether in the classroom , on the sports field or in the wilds of Wiltshire.A complete learning experience !
Taking more time 'out' from their regular business ( A World Of Furniture) they are now more than happy to engage with other groups on any basis be it ; informal lectures , 'taster days' or regular sessions. Please go to our contacts page , we would love to hear from you...
'Their Mission' is to help make people think differently . More people need to start understanding the real wealth of the outside world. Over the past decade there has been a growth in a movement of learning popularily known as Bushcraft .The UK alone is full of opportunities to further ones understanding of the subject. They hope to be an active part in that. Whether Schools /Organisations or Individuals they are here to inspire.