Bushcraft Award

The Bushcraft Award is specifically designed for young people aged 14+. It recognises the talents and achievements of young people and can help them to progress on to develop further skills and gain other qualifications.

Bushcraft offers an exciting way to connect with the natural world. Through practical hands-on activities, young people acquire the skills and confidence to enjoy spending time in Scotland’s outdoors. They also gain a greater awareness about the environment, their cultural origins, and the sustainable use of natural resources.

The Award covers the following three key components in depth:

  • Outdoor Living Skills: bushcraft skills including fire, water, shelter and equipment.
  • Natural History: plant identification and use, identification of tracks and signs.
  • Craft: tool use and selection, craft items including cordage, carving and camp crafts.


Candidates do not require any previous bushcraft experience. During the Award, they will gain practical skills in the most important bushcraft skills. These skills are assessed and a small portfolio of supporting evidence is collated demonstrating how their knowledge has been developed. This can take the form of written work or be a record of verbal examination. After completion, successful candidates can progress on to the John Muir Conserve Award, or other outdoor learning qualifications.






The course consists of a minimum of 60 learning hours delivered between 6 and 12 days depending on the needs of the group. The course can be delivered in a flexible format to suit participants, either as successive days or in a block.

The suggested 11 day format for schools is:

Nine days, 9am – 3.30pm, once per week or fortnight
Pupils are collected from school by minibus and travel to a local natural woodland. They will take part in a structured learning programme to progressively work through the three course components for the Award. During the six days, they will also complete their John Muir ‘Discover’ Award. (Outdoor clothing provided. Lunch will be cooked over an open fire as part of the learning experience)

Two day residential “wild camping” experience
Pupils are collected from school by minibus and travel to a remote location with a sense of wilderness. They will walk into the site, and use their newly acquired practical skills to set up and live in a wild camp. At the end, they will depart from the site without leaving a trace.

Pupils will be presented with their certificates at the end of the residential experience or in school, as appropriate.


“Outdoor learning is an important part of the Curriculum for Excellence. It enriches the curriculum and makes learning fun. Learning in the outdoors can make significant contributions to literacy, numeracy and health and wellbeing.
Outdoor learning experiences are meant to inspire passion and motivate children to become successful learners and to develop as healthy, confident, enterprising and responsible citizens.”
Learning and Teaching Scotland

The Bushcraft Award does all of this – and more! It combines formal and informal learning with challenging experiences in an outdoor setting. The inclusion of an intensive residential element enables young people to gain confidence as they acquire the skills to thrive in a wild natural environment. The Award also incorporates an element of assessment. Participation in the course will enrich curriculum learning in:

  • – Science: Planet Earth, Topical Science
    – Social Studies: People, Place and Environment
    – Health and wellbeing: Mental, Emotional and Social Wellbeing, Physical activity

Bushcraft is an ideal personal development activity for all young people. It is particularly suited to kinaesthetic learners who learn better through ‘doing’.

Outcomes include:

  • – Patience, persistence, asking questions, respect for others and self, working in uncomfortable situations, and problem solving
    – Confidence and self-esteem through experiencing challenge, assessing risk and succeeding in activities
    – Personal awareness, safety skills, self-sufficiency
    – Communication, teamwork and working with others
    – Improved health and well-being
    – Opportunities for active citizenship and taking part in conservation volunteering
    – New interests in outdoor pursuits and the protection of our ‘wild’ places.
  • We provide equipment, tools and quality outdoor clothing. Our enthusiastic and qualified leaders and assessors bring a wealth of practical skills, knowledge and conservation ideas
  • Group Size: 6-10
    Cost: Please contact Wild things!

As a result of fundraising and the generosity of grant-giving bodies and charitable trusts, we can sometimes offer the Award at heavily subsidised rates for groups from Learning Support Units or social work referrals. Please contact us for further details on 01309 690450.