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Woodland Well-being

If you're looking for our FAQS they can be found at the bottom of this page.  

Many referrals to the programme are those who have become disengaged and lack confidence to continue as before. Participants can be referred to the programme via a charity/recovery centre/ GP or can self-refer. The WWP is approved by the NHS as a social prescription.  Participants do not need to have been diagnosed with a mental health condition to attend, they could simple be someone who recognises the need for some time out to de-compress. 

We operate with small numbers to retain the quality of our courses. Each overnight programme can accept 6 participants and our one day workshop accepts 15 participants. 

The WWP is funded by grants and private donations and is entirely free for all participants.

Bee Keeping events are run by Louise who is a member of British Beekeeping Association. All other WWP events are run by

Hidden Valley Bushcraft. 


There is a wealth of evidence suggesting that woodland activities have huge benefits to physical health and mental well-being. 

A study conducted by the Forestry Commission established that stimulating the senses through contact with nature reduces stress. A further study conducted by the University of Essex found that spending time participating and engaging in outdoor activities is effective in enhancing mood and improving self-esteem. 

Their research showed that it can significantly reduce feelings of anger, confusion, depression, tension and fatigue, whilst also making participants feel more active and energetic. 

Natural environments can also introduce an element of physical and mental challenge, something that is often lost in those suffering with mental health issues. 

Spending the night or several nights in a woodland environment throughout the seasons brings its own personal challenges.  This has proven to be a life changing experience for many.  

Examples of activities included in the programme include foraging, tracking, making fire and shelters, archery, wild cooking, natural history, woodland management, woodcrafts and wilderness living skills, hedge laying and basket weaving. All food and refreshments are included throughout the course.

Below are some examples of the benefits the WWP offers:

Woodcraft activities- Provides an increased sense of accomplishment and achievement from learning a new skill, leading to increased self esteem, resilience, self worth and confidence. Whittling provides a physical and mental challenge. It develops problem solving skills and increases focus, motivation and concentration as well creativity and adaptability.


Traditional woodland management- Educational and offers new experiences, it involves physical exercise which results in increased health benefits, builds social skills and the ability to work with others as part of a team. Builds respect for nature and each other and increases sense of belonging. Deepens understanding of our rural countryside, increasing employability in this sector. 


Day to day running of camp and group cooking- Increases social skills and strengthening of social bonding. Increases co-operation and working as part of a team; leading to heightened self esteem, motivation, confidence and independence. Reduces isolation and improves relationships. Develops key life skills used in every day life, which may lead to a reduction in family breakdown, homelessness and an increase in employability.

Participants are welcome to return to the woodland to volunteer to utilise their new found woodland management skills or participate in a rural experience day.  Since 2019 beneficiaries have returned to assist with planting 1000 new trees in our Pensford woodland.  We also run dry stone walling, hedge laying courses and basket weaving workshops to name a few. 


Individuals are  ideally placed to progress onto qualifications accredited by the NCFE such as:


Bushcraft Level 1 Award – equivalent to NVQ Level 1 

Bushcraft Level 2 Award – equivalent to NVQ Level 2 

Bushcraft Level 3 Award – equivalent to NVQ Level 3

Bushcraft Leadership Award Level 4 - comparable to a Higher National Diploma

If you are considering funding a Woodland Warrior Programme, please do get in touch.

Frequently asked questions

  • What can I expect from a one day workshop?
    A relaxed day in our private woodland. You could be foraging for wild edibles, whittling, spoon carving as well as cooking on the campfire. The activities depend on the course you book onto. All food and refreshments are included in your day. Our one day workshops usually run from 10:00-16:00. There is usually a short walk to the woodland under uneven ground. Meeting points will be sent to you upon confirmation of acceptance on the workshop.
  • What can I expect from an overnight stay?
    A chilled weekend with five other like minded individuals participating in woodland based activities from our private woodland location. Overnight stays run from 10:00 am on day 1 to 16:00 on day 2. Activities are seasonal and vary from course to course but some examples of the activities you may get involve with include foraging, tracking, wild cooking, woodland management, woodcrafts and wilderness living skills. You can choose where you would like to sleep for the night and we’ll help you pitch your individual shelters and camp beds (kit provided by us). We all muck in together with the running of the off grid camp and food is cooked as a group over the campfire. All food and refreshments are included throughout your stay but feel free to bring your own food too. We have a compositing loo and fresh water is available throughout.
  • What do I need to bring?
    We will provide all equipment required to participate in our activities as well as an individual shelter and camp bed for those staying overnight. If you prefer to stay in the local B & B (at your own expense) these details will be provided to you upon registering. Please bring any medication you need with you. You must bring your own individual hand sanitiser, reusable mug and gardening gloves and you will need to bring your own sleeping bag, pillow and toiletries if staying overnight.
  • Where are you based?
    Our main woodland is based in Pensford, Bristol. It is set within a Hidden Valley and cannot be seen from the road. The nearest postcode is BS39 4HW. Our second woodland site is located in East Harptree, Bristol. We like to protect the species living and growing wild within the woodland and so directions to the woodland will be sent to you once you have booked onto a workshop or overnight stay. There is a short walk from the car to both woodlands accessed via a public footpath, unfortunately, this makes it unsuitable for those with walking difficulties. If you do have walking difficulties and would still like to take part please contact us and and we will try our best to accommodate your needs. Our small holding is located in Winford, North Somerset, again details of the location will be sent to you upon confirmation that you have a place. Our registered address is for postal correspondence only.
  • What facilities do you have?
    We have created quirky off grid woodland camping areas with fresh running water and composting toilets. We also have suitable shelter systems in place if it rains. All the kit you need to participate in the activities will be provided.
  • How much does it cost?
    Our workshops and overnight stays are FREE for all qualifying participants as they are kindly paid for by grants and donations. If you would like to donate to our CIC or sponsor a place, workshop or overnight stay please do get in touch and we would be delighted to provide you with more details.
  • Which date can I book onto?
    We have allocated dates according to your occupation i.e military, emergency services and/or blue light community. This is because of the different funding streams that have been made available to us. Please make sure you sign up to the correct workshop or overnight stay for your circumstances. If you meet the criteria, you can choose any of the dates which have spaces available.
  • I am not diagnosed with a mental health condition, can I still attend?
    You do not need to have an official diagnosis to attend. You may be someone who has disengaged and lack confidence to continue as before, or you may simply have recognised that you need a bit of time away from the hustle and bustle of your demanding life.
  • Who qualifies as a Blue Light Community Member?
    A member of the Blue Light Community can be a member or former member of the following organisations : 4x4 Response Ambulance Service Blood Bikes Border Force British Army Cave Rescue Community First Responders Fire Service Highways England Traffic Officer HM Armed Forces Veterans HM Coastguard HM Prison Service Immigration Enforcement Lowland Search and Rescue MoD Fire Service MoD Police Mountain Rescue NHS Police Red Cross Reserve Armed Forces RNLI Royal Air Force Royal Marines Royal Navy Search and Rescue Social Care Workers St Andrews Ambulance St John Ambulance UK Visas and Immigration
  • I am still serving, can I attend?
  • Can a group of us come?
    Provided all members of your group meet the criteria, you can book on as a group or we can provide a bespoke workshop or overnight stay for your team. Do get in touch and we will be happy to arrange. If we have funding available we will cover the costs but if not, we will let you know the pricing structure upon enquiry. If your team or group do not meet the criteria Hidden Valley Bushcraft may be able to help.
  • I have booked onto a course, what happens next?
    Once we have received your application we will contact you as soon as possible to let you know if your application has been successful. PLEASE CHECK YOUR JUNK. We will send you further details about what you’ll need and where to meet. Please check your junk mail as our emails often drop there. If you haven’t heard from us within two weeks please send us an email and include a contact number to check the status of your application.
  • What happens if the weather is bad?
    Prior to the activity, we will monitor the weather forecast for the location. In extreme weather conditions we may have to cancel and reschedule the workshop or overnight stay if it is deemed the weather is likely to put anyone attending in potential danger. Appropriate clothing must be worn or carried by participants to prepare for all anticipated weather conditions. If it does rain, we have suitable shelter systems in place.
  • What time of year are you open?
    We run throughout the year during weekdays and weekends. Available dates are listed on our website.
  • Why do you need to know about my medical/dietary needs?
    You must inform us of any special medical conditions or dietary requirements that may effect your well-being during the visit . This is to ensure that we can cater for your specific needs. We will ask you for these details as well as emergency contact details when booking a date. All information will be treated with the strictest confidence and in line with our Privacy Policy.
  • Are the activities safe?
    All activities are carried out in a controlled environment and are supervised by a qualified bushcraft instructor. Risk assessments have been completed for all activities and the fire is managed responsibly at all times.
  • What are your policies?
    If you would like to see a copy of our policies please contact us :
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