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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?

Family Forest School Fun

Go on an adventure this Easter holidays with our Forest School inspired session set in the heart of Lee Valley Regional Park. The kids will learn about the wonder of nature through wild play in our tree park at Waltham Abbey Gardens as well as use basic bushcraft tools and take inspiration from the world around them to create works of art and craft a journey stick to take home with them. This session is great for school holiday fun and as part of a home schooling programme Plus accompanying adults go FREE!
Please be aware, many paths are not paved and uneven or have vegetation, which maybe difficult for prams and wheelchairs.
Dress ready for the weather, there maybe mud!
Booking is required for this event
Suitable for 4-12 year olds. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Stone Age Family Fun

Delve into the Stone Age with this fun educational session! Your children will learn about the tools used by Stone Age Man as well as flora and fauna that was around 40,000 years ago. With an exciting scavenger hunt quiz, testing out tools and caveman fire lighting this session is perfect for those covering Stone Age at school or as part of a home schooling programme. Plus accompanying adults go FREE!
Please be aware, many paths are not paved and uneven or have vegetation, which maybe difficult for prams and wheelchairs.
Dress ready for the weather, there maybe mud!
Booking is required for this event
Suitable for 4-12 year olds. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Wild About Wetlands

Wild About Wetland is back for 2020! This FREE family fun day set in the heart of Lee Valley Regional Park will give your children a taste of what our wild world has to offer with pond dipping for our water dwelling creatures, tackling our Wetland Detective Trail and meeting bees, bats and birds with the experts. This and much more will get your summer holidays off to a flying start.

Join us for our guided minibeast walks in the Cornmill Meadows at 11:00 and 13:00
Get your face painted as your favourite animal
Make the most out of the summers day with a picnic in the beautiful Waltham Abbey Gardens. Refreshments are also available at Waltham Abbey Church
Parking is limited so please arrive early. Parking charges apply.

Family Woodland Explorers Day

Rewild your child with our sell out Family Woodland Explorers Day! Let them embrace the outdoors, like you did when you were a child with den building, bug hunting, making elder necklaces and enjoying the great outdoors together. You’ll even get to sample some campfire treats that are provided. This session is great for school holiday fun and as part of a home schooling programme. Plus accompanying adults go FREE!

Please be aware, many paths are not paved and uneven or have vegetation, which maybe difficult for prams and wheelchairs.
Dress ready for the weather, there maybe mud!
Please bring along your own lunch for the day. You’ll get to sample our tasty treats as well.
All equipment is provided for the activities
This previously sold out event only has 25 spaces, so make sure you get your children’s today.
Booking is required for this event
Dress ready for the weather, there maybe mud!
Suitable for 4-12 year olds. All children must be accompanied by an adult