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Book chorus: Richard Irvine & Forest Craft

Our Book Chorus newsletters & blogs sing out about outdoor-related books and their inspirational authors. Many talented practitioners have written amazing books – sharing their experience and expertise, building our knowledge and understanding, inspiring us to get outdoors and connected to nature. It’s our intention to shine the spotlight on some of them, and sing out about what they do!

Singing out about author Richard Irvine

a man with glasses in a black fleece and khaki trousers, standing in water, with his trouser legs rolled upRichard Irvine is a Forest School Association endorsed trainer, a qualified teacher, and has over 25 years experience in the field of outdoor education.

He works with all age groups, from pre-school children to adults, in the woods, on long and short term programmes including offering accredited training.

He is interested in the role of craft and making in education and well-being, and is happiest sitting amongst the trees whittling beside the fire.

Visit Richard’s website for more information about his courses, here: richardirvine.co.uk


Singing out about Richard’s book:

Forest Craft, a child’s guide to whittling in the woodland

a book on a tree stump - the title is Forest Craft a child's guide to whittling in the woodlandIn today’s hectic world, many of us are looking for ways to slow down, take time out and calm our busy minds.

There’s an increasing focus on how much children can gain from regular, quiet, meditative practice. An absorbing pastime like whittling in a peaceful woodland setting offers exactly that.

With an emphasis on safety and adult supervision, this book presents a range of simple and fun projects that children can make and enjoy hours of play with afterwards – projects such as a kazoo, mini furniture, duck call, whimmy diddle, rhythm sticks and elder wand.

Richard provides a thorough guide to the basic tools and equipment that are required.

Appealing to both Forest School teachers and families, this is a book that can be turned to time and time again, through the different seasons and over many years.

You can buy Forest Craft from the Muddy Faces bookshop: Forest Craft £16.99


Book review: Forest Craft

image-of-child-in-blue-outdoor-gear-and-red-bobble-hat-sat-on-a-log-whittling-a-stick-in-woodsKids of The Wild is an inspiring outdoor family blog. Lucy Holmes, its creator, describes herself as an:

“Outdoor Mum, wife, parent of an 9-year old childhood cancer survivor, writer, blogger, home educator, lover of animals, nature & all things wild.

I’m the creator and writer of outdoor family blog Kids of the Wild, hoping to get you and your family outside more even if you think you don’t have time.”

Lucy has written an excellent and in-depth review of Forest Craft by Richard Irvine – you can read it here.

Image credit: Lucy Holmes Photography


Free split stick animals activity

a wooden animal whittled from one piece of hazelRichard has kindly donated his Split Stick Animals activity to the Muddy Faces Outdoor Hub to give you a taste of the types of activities you can find in his book Forest Craft. There are more activities on his website too!

Split stick animals are a test of dexterity, knife skills, concentration and creativity, the results are really charming and well worth the effort.

Maybe you could make a whole herd?