Growing heartfelt community in nature

New! Bushcraft and Survival Skills Course – March to May 2020

Learn the necessary skills to survive outside on this new course at Sladebank Woods, Stroud. Over four sessions you’ll learn fire lighting, carving essential items from green wood, camp craft, shelter building and the knowledge to enjoy a night outdoors, ending with an overnight camp in the woodland.

During the sessions on 25 April and 9 May, we will make a range of tools and equipment that can be useful as survival aids. In addition to mallets and tent pegs, we will make a simple bow and arrow, an ‘atlatl’, and use a ‘monkey fist’ knot to attach a stone to a cord to be used as a throwing line.

28 March: Basic survival skills and camp crafts (10:00 to 15:30) You’ll learn how to light a fire using a range of different techniques including arc lighters, ferro rods and storm-proof matches – and how to keep it going so you can cook lunch! Green woodcarving projects will include making a tent peg and a whistle. After lunch you can either carry on working on your project or take part in a carving challenge. BOOK YOUR PLACE HERE

25 April: Advanced outdoor skills (10:00 to 15:30)

9 May (Bank Holiday weekend): Making survival aids and a knife (10.00 to 15.30)

30 and 31 May: Overnight survival camp (from 14:00 on 30 May to 11:00 on 31 May)

The sessions will be led by Jack Stone and assisted by Nicola Damery and Kat Piper. Jack is a young and talented local bushcraft and survival enthusiast. He enjoys teaching others these skills and is a Young Leader with the Scouts and has helped to run a Forest School group. As well as being passionate about bushcraft and woodwork, Jack has made his own forge and has carried out blacksmithing work experience.

Nicola is an experienced Forest School assistant who loves being in the outdoors and enjoys supporting young people and adults to learn new skills in a safe, fun and creative way. The course will be overseen by Martin Jakes who owns and manages Sladebank Woods. Kat is a trained Level 3 Forest School leader who runs a weekly session at St Joseph’s school in Nympsfield and specialises in mixed ability projects. The course will be overseen by Martin Jakes who owns and manages Sladebank Woods.

Anyone aged 14 or over is very welcome to join in, and we recommend that you have some experience of using hand tools. The groups will be small (six people on each session) ensuring that you have the opportunity to learn and develop skills.

The price per session is £35 for adults (18 or over) and £30 for young people (17 or under). The overnight survival camp costs £70 for adults/£60 for young people.

Book your place using our online booking form, or email Sladebank Woods on

Please bring a packed lunch and appropriate outdoor clothing. Twist bread dough (damper bread) will be provided to cook on the fire.


Earth Songs March – POSTPONED

Apologies, JJ has postponed Earth Songs until April – please keep an eye on our newsletter and website for the date of the next event. Details about Earth Songs, which is generally held each month on a Friday, are available here.


Ongoing events

Woodland Saunas


  • Big Tree Planting Posse
    Big Tree Planting Posse
  • Circle Time
    Circle Time
  • Forest Fun whatever the weather!
    Forest Fun whatever the weather!
  • Strike Fire
    Strike Fire
  • Fresh coppice
    Fresh coppice
  • Well earned break
    Well earned break
  • Kesty & Martin
    Kesty & Martin


Big Tree Plant 2014

A place to build and grow community in nature

To promote the use of Sladebank Woods as a local community resource.
To provide people with a deeper experience and understanding of their relationship to the earth, themselves and each other.
To provide experiential opportunities for people to learn about woodlands.
To raise awareness of the educational and productive benefits of managed woodlands to the public.
To provide opportunities across all ages and abilities by organising a programme of activities throughout the year.
To develop outreach projects to further the aims of Sladebank Woods including Forest School programmes, school visits and Camps.

 500 Trees planted at Sladebank Woods

Many thanks to all our friends and neighbours who helped to plant trees donated by Stroud Valleys Project, as part of The Big Tree Plant over the last two years.

Identifying trees to plant

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