Monthly archives: September, 2014



Adventure Camp

It was far too noisy to sleep; driving rain battered the gossamer thin nylon; the wind bent the tent poles and cracked the fabric like a whip. Somehow I did manage to sleep and by the time I woke the intensity of the storm had lessened to such an extent that I could make out…



Going Cuckoo Again

It was a pleasure going back to Hailsham for the second wild food walk for the Hailsham Trust. Becci and I were doing the walks for free and the Trust was making a donation to Craggers. It had been five weeks since our last foray and we hadn’t done a recce before this one –…



Navigating the Classroom

There was a good turn out for part one of the navigation course; 10 adults and children. We could see that it was sunny outside but as this session was going to cover the absolute basics of navigation the classroom was the best place for us. Here are a few of the things we covered;…



Portland

Portland presents a forbidding aspect in the rain; sky and sea merge into battleship grey uniformity. For the first two days we walked sunken lanes through boot devouring mud. On the second day we managed a couple of desultory climbs between downpours. And then day three explodes with a burst of springtime sound and colour…



Portland BMC AGM

‘Keep Portland weird’, the bumper sticker says it all really. It had only been a couple of weeks since the successful Craggers family trip to the Isle and here I was again, this time camping in the grounds of the YHA. When you are invited to an AGM your first reaction is probably not to…



Sharing a Free Lunch

When we were approached by the Hailsham Trust to run some foraging days for their clients we were delighted. It seemed like a great way to both promote Craggers and to help get families outdoors. Our only worry was would we be able to find enough wild food to make it interesting for everyone. Becci…



Using Bushcraft

Between Tunbridge Wells and Maidstone there is an unprepossessing patch of deciduous woodland sandwiched between a stream on the southern edge, the River Medway to the north, fields to the west and an industrial estate to the east. Along the perimeters the rusting detritus of agribusiness is being subsumed into the landscape. I can just…



CPD in Wales

In the days preceding my trip I had watched, with mounting trepidation, the weather forecast for Snowdonia. Jolly orange triangles took on sinister significance because they were the symbols for severe weather warnings, backed up by the words ‘heavy rain’ and ‘thunder storms’. Tired from the nine hour journey by public transport I was grateful…



AMI CPD in Wales

As the train pulled out of Chester station the rain began to fall in earnest; heavy drops raced across the window in parallel diagonals leaving silver wakes which fragmented into sparkly droplets. I was heading to Wales again and again the weather forecast was dreadful. The final part of the nine hour journey was a…



A Walk on the Wet and the Wild Side

I was looking forward to the first walk of the New Year and was pleasantly surprised that other people had turned out into the ‘interesting’ weather as well. We were three adults and a very plucky four year old. In Rottingdean the wind jostled us and made the fabric of our waterproofs crack like the…



Summer Navigation Training

“What is navigation?” This may seem like a strange question for me to ask at the start of a navigation workshop but the variety of answers convinced me that it was relevant. There is also frequently confusion between navigation and navigating. When we move around our house we are navigating but it has become a…



Winter Trip

February is easing into March and the certainty of winter is becoming the possibility of spring. Outside the Hostel, around the bird table, life thrives. A male pheasant practices its regal strut, all clashing colours; its feathered train, iridescent in the morning sun, touches the ground. A mallard duck and her drake waddle up like…



AMI AGM and Teaching Indoor Leading

By the time I reached the outskirts of the town I was really cold and wet. It was all my own fault, of course; yet another triumph of hope over experience; I had not expected the gentle drizzle to turn into a freezing deluge and had not put on my waterproof trousers. The map I…



Winter Navigation Training

Part 1, 19/1/14 I was feeling fidgety. There was a low angled but really bright sun shining from a clear blue sky; and we were doing a classroom session. I was itching to get outside but skimping on the basics, particularly for novices going on a winter Scotland trip for the first time would not…