New nature quotes!

We’ve nearly doubled the number of nature quotes in our database, if you have any favourites or any we have missed please let us know!

As long as I live, I’ll hear waterfalls and birds and winds sing. I’ll interpret the rocks, learn the language of flood, storm, and the avalanche. I’ll acquaint myself with the glaciers and wild gardens, and get as near the heart of the world as I can- John Muir
The mountains are calling and I must go.- John Muir
Posted in nature, News, Uncategorized

Sylvan Bear’s eastern European tree tent testing road trip.

Sylvan Bear’s road trip to Germany and Czech Republic to test the tree tents.

Sylvan Adventures had just taken delivery of some Tentsile (http://www.tentsile.com/) tree tents and as I was off hiking and camping in eastern Europe I swung by Sylvan Adventures to collect a three man tree tent and the bear himself. if you are going to test some kit why not do it 1250 miles away!?  We were that confident we didn’t pack any spare tents, just bivvi kit.

We drove in a 20 year old Suzuki Vitara to the centre of The Czech Republic taking in various sites along the way. The total trip was 2500 miles (for reference Moscow is only 2000 miles away). It was glorious weather (over 30 degrees) and the little Vitara didn’t have air conditioning and if you opened the windows too far they would rattle and deafen you.

Hopefully you will enjoy the photographs of the little bear enjoying quaint German towns,  https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Tourism-g635851-Lohr_am_Main_Lower_Franconia_Franconia_Bavaria-Vacations.html touring car racing at the Nurburgring http://www.nuerburgring.de/en/home.html, amazing Czech rock formations http://www.czechtourism.com/c/adrspach-teplice-rocks/as well relaxing in the tree tent. We also took the time to explore some of the military history of the area but we left Sylvan Bear relaxing at the campsite that day.

We tested the tent in glorious sun as well as short but heavy rain showers and it did amazingly well. It drew lots of attention from the other campers who all wanted to check it out.

It was quick and easy to put up although finding three good trees the right width apart was the hardest job. It went up quicker than a normal tent (non pop up) and its pack size was good, comparable to a three man tent, lighter if you only taken one tensioning set (rather than all three). The weight is even better considering you probably don’t need roll mats or camp / air beds and the floor of the tent is more than comfy enough. We did find we had to tighten up one of the straps each day to ensure we didn’t start creeping towards the floor but it takes seconds and you only need to do one.

Getting in and out took some getting used but it wasn’t difficult even though we placed it at the maximum height recommended. The novelty off being in a tree tent didn’t wear off, especially on warm days when you could remove the fly sheet and watch the sky.

With two people in a three man tent we did find we occasionally ended up playing footsie as we gently slid towards each other. We considered using our kit to provide a counter balance but didn’t need to as it wasn’t really a problem.

With the rain cover and optional walls on we and our kit stayed dry and the tent still felt roomy and secure. The walls do however make the tree tent look less cool almost like a normal tent.

If you camp a lot in places with trees we strongly recommend these tents as they are comfortable, easy to carry and cool as heck. Do consider where your equipment will go and where you will cook but as experienced campers that shouldn’t be a problem.

Sylvan Bear gives it two paws up!

I like this place and could willingly waste my time in it- William Shakespeare
Posted in nature, News, The great outdoors

Off Grid festival and Hennock Fayre.

Last weekend the webmaster got out from behind my keyboard and headed down to Devon to help out Sylvan Adventures in person.  Unfortunately I live over two hours away so am not able to help in person as often as I would like. 

Off Grid festival

Off Grid Festival

On Saturday we were on the road bright and early to help at the Off-Grid Festival.  Sylvan Adventures ran the Wild Wood area. The Wild Wood was a quiet, cool haven set away from the main festival. The weather was glorious so the shade of the mature trees was lovely and the area was busy all day with some folks just relaxing in the trees and nets or continuing to develop their skills with the shave horses in constant use. Throughout the weekend there were scheduled activities including bug hunts, green woodworking, shave horses, twilight nature walk, fire making and bat walks.

Off Grid festival Wild Woods and shave horses

Off Grid Festival firelighting and camp fire stories

 

Off Grid festival Wild Woods and shave horses

Off Grid festival Wild Woods chilling in the nets

Off Grid Festival Feedback

I taught archery all day mostly working one to one with children and adults to not only ensure they had a good time but also to help them improve their skills and technique. We had several regulars who kept coming back and they came on leaps and bounds with their skills and hopefully left feeling accomplished and satisfied. The day wound down with a twilight bat walk, fire twirling and marshmallows and stories around the camp fire led by Dan

20160813_105530Off grid festival teaching archery

Up early on Sunday we headed over to Hennock Village Fayre to teach archery. Another glorious day had me don a funny hat (better that than sunburn). I was on the go all day teaching everyone from 3 year olds and up. Once again aiming to deliver skills and fun and more often than not I guided the young archers to get a gold on their last one or two arrows which would lead to a round of applause from the spectators.

20160814_124726 Hennock Fayre archery range 20160814_112004

Hennock Fayre archery range, family shooting bows

Overall an excellent but tiring weekend!

This will be the first of a series of blog posts from me detailing what I have been up to over the spring and summer. Even though I don’t often work closely with the Sylvan team I aim to get out in nature with my camera as often as I can.

“I like this place and could willingly waste my time in it.”
William Shakespeare

http://www.hennock.org.uk/

http://offgrid-festival.co.uk/

 

 

Posted in children, Community, families, nature, Play post Tagged with: , , , , ,

DDads Torbay: Autumnal Adventures

Trees

 October 24th will see the Dangerous Dads Torbay group meeting at the Growing for Life site in Preston, Torbay to enjoy and explore the autumn countryside through games, activities and free -play.

They will meet at 1pm – 4pm, for pumpkin carving and making pumpkin soup, apple bobbing and many more fun games.

Please check out their Facebook event for more details: www.facebook.com/events/465273043651893/

Posted in children, Community, families, nature, Play post Tagged with: , , ,

FSA SW Group Autumnal Gathering

1

The Forest School Association Southwest group is having its autumnal gathering and AGM  at Dticheat Hill Farm, somerset on 3- 4th October. Its a great relaxed event, where you get to meet up with old friends, making new ones, network and learn new skills.

Who can come
Spaces are limited and priority is given to people who are already qualified and practicing Forest School Leaders or Assistants, and members of Forest School Association (who qualify for a discount). It’s not suitable for people who are still training or thinking about it as there are other events around that would be better focused for them. However do ask if you have extra reasons for wanting to attend. Please let us know what qualification and experience you have to help us prioritize places.

For more information please check out their website: www.forestschoolswss.wordpress.com/

Posted in Community, Forest School, nature Tagged with: , ,

Ageing Well Festival

Ageing Well Festival Logo - ORIGINAL_2 (2) DSCF0135 

A Traditional Crafts for All Workshop

Sylvan Adventures is proud to be delivering “A Traditional Crafts workshop”, where the whole family can learn new skills in a relaxed friendly atmosphere.  There are three to choose from Felting, Green woodworking and Outdoor  cooking or you could do all three. They are suitable for all ages and abilities.  Join us to learn new skills or share existing skills with family members.

Traditional Crafts for All” is happening at Growing for Life, Preston, Torbay as part of the Ageing Well Festival, Saturday 3rd October. 10 am – 2pm.

 

      Workshopsforest gathering 14

                                                           Ever wanted to try Felting? 
PizzaOvenCO3000

                                Making Pizzas in a cob oven (similar to the picture)?

 

Well now is your chance.  Join us at Growing for Life, Preston, Torbay

      Drop in anytime between 10 am -2pm.   Everyone is welcome

        Supported by National Lottery.     Donation only 

Contact:  danbest@sylvanadventures.org for more details.

 

 

Posted in children, Community, families, News, Play post, The great outdoors Tagged with: , , , , , ,

Dadfest 2015

DadFest2015

 Sylvan Adventures is excited to be involved in Dadfest 2015, after hearing such great stories of it last year.
 DadFest2015

The only festival in the UK just for dads and children

Friday 18th – Saturday 19th – Sunday 20th September 2015

For dads, male carers and granddads with children all ages [from 3 to 16]

NEW in 2015! This year we also have green-woodworking, DIY smoothies and archery, as well as campfire story-telling, woodland games, fishing, Silly Science, good food, wild walk, cave painting, the Official 2015 World Dad Dancing Competition, magic shows, beer tent and music… and loads more

DadFest tickets:  covers all activities, camping spot, shower, etc
Children under 5: FREE
Children 6 – 16: £15
Dads [all ages!]: £45
Concessions available – please contact the organisers

Food Tickets [six meals & all hot drinks, all weekend] 
Children: £15
Dads: £35
Don’t worry about bringing food, cooking & washing up – buy a weekend food ticket. Includes full English breakfasts, tea & coffee all weekend, evening and lunch meals, snacks, toast and water whenever you and the children need it.


Hire a Tent?
If you don’t want the hassle of bringing a tent, pitching it and taking it down… you just want to turn up, get stuck in and enjoy the weekend, why not book a tent? You can hire a new 4-man tent and one will be pitched, waiting for you. We’ll take it down on Sunday too. £20 [limited number of tents]

Book early as this amazing weekend books up very quickly.

Workshop leaders:

Pete Moore: Forest School Leader at Forest & Beach


www.forestandbeach.co.uk

Chris Holland: story-teller, bushcraft & outdoor education specialist… and lots more


www.wholeland.org.uk

Hat McKool: superb [and very daft] children’s entertainer

Dan Best of Sylvan Adventures: archery, green wood-working, Forest School and more…

http://sylvanadventures.org

plus: artist David Harbott, food from ‘Toad in the Sky’, and locals beers from The Bridgetown Brewery in Totnes and South Hams Brewery.

for all info & to book email: dangerousdads@btinternet.com

01803 840990
077 317 95160

 

Check out the DadFest2014 film – it gives you a great idea of this unique festival 
DadFest2014 film 

Posted in children, Community, News, Play post, The great outdoors Tagged with: , , ,

Dangerous Dads Torbay. Planting & Play at Growing for Life

DSCF0530

 

Planting and Playing is what we will be doing for the 2nd session of the newly form Dangerous Dads Torbay group.

It is happening on our new allotment, which has been kindly given to the group by the Growing for life project in Preston. We will be playing and exploring Occombe woods, before planting pumpkins and other vegetables between 1 – 4pm. The poster for this event is in the link below:

Torbay Dads Growing poster May 15

Posted in children, Community, Play post Tagged with: , ,

looking for a sponsor

Dan outdoors educating

  Thanks to me being successful in gaining a place on social enterprise course being run by Dartington school for social enterprise in the Autumn of 2014, we are in the process of formalizing Sylvan Adventures into a community interest company or C.I.C.

 This means that the profit we earn through our birthday parties, training and bespoke nature awareness projects, will go into the Sylvan Adventures Social Fund. This fund will allow us to support community groups like Dangerous Dads Torbay and Forest School Association Southwest group, as well as providing free events and workshops etc.

 To help us achieve this aim, we are exploring options for uniforms, banners and are on a hunt to find a company or organisation to sponsor them. We would able to offer the following benefits depending on how much amount donated:

      Uniform: Their company logo on the front of the tops.

      Website: Mention and logo on our website.

      Facebook: Regular mention on our varies social media platforms e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc.

      Banner: Their company logo on our banner or flags etc.

 So if you know any organisations who might be interested in us and this sponsorship deal, then please do spread the word. It would allow us to use more of our income on Sylvan Adventures Social Fund.

Posted in children, Community, John Muir Award, News, Play post Tagged with: , , ,

Forest School SW Spring Gathering 2015

Its nearly time for the Forest School Association Southwest group’s spring gathering.This year exciting spring gathering is happening on 16 -17th May at Tremayne Quay in Cornwall, with the kind permission of the National Trust and is being organised by group member Sarah Henn.bosloe1-460x267Please check out this website for more information on the National Trust site:  http://www.ntsouthwest.co.uk/2013/03/tremayne-quay-restoration-appeal/Who can come
Spaces are limited and priority is given to people who are already qualified and practicing Forest School Leaders or Assistants, and members of Forest School Association (who qualify for a discount). It’s not suitable for people who are still training or thinking about it as there are other events around that would be better focused for them. However do ask if you have extra reasons for wanting to attend. Please let us know what qualification and experience you have to help us prioritize places. Venue details. Tremayne Quay, Helford
This is a large woodland valley that skirts part of the Helford river leading down to a historic quay. Frenchman’s creek is just around the corner. This site has basic features, a compost loo, and no shower facilities. Water for washing will be available on site in bowsers. Treat this a ‘wild’ camp. There is no mobile phone reception on site. There is a camp site at the farm for those who would like to extend their stay, please ask for details.

The plan
Most of the plan will be worked out both in the weeks beforehand and at the event itself, using various participatory methods. However we have already had a request for “wild smithing”, so a blacksmith will be on site to run some beginner’s workshops. If you are interested in this you will need to book a place in advance as he has to limit numbers for safety etc.

Food and Catering.We will provide food to make basic breakfasts, lunches and suppers over the weekend, which everyone can help with and assist camp manager – so we need to know when you will be on-site. If you have special dietary requirements or allergies, get in touch to discuss the best way we can deal with this. Cooking will be done on one or two camp fires and will be all our responsibilities, along with clearing up. Please bring any luxuries you can’t live without or treats you’d like to share! Alcohol policy is ‘in moderation’ and not at all when tools are to be used – in line with our Health and Safety policy.

The Cost: £20 a day for non FSA members and £15 for FSA members.

£40 for full weekend for non FSA members and £30 for FSA Members.

For more information about becoming a Forest School Association Member, please check out this weblink: http://www.forestschoolassociation.org/membership-options-page/

All weathers policy. The Gathering will take place in all weathers except extreme weathers (e.g. strong winds / torrential rain / snow), when we will cancel at least 24 hours in advance.

Transport, parking and car share. There is very limited parking on site and we are asking people to only use this for dropping off their gear. There is parking available at a nearby farm and we will organise a shuttle service from the farm to the site. People will also be encouraged to car share where possible. The nearest bus stop is about 2 miles away, but lifts can be arranged. The nearest train station is 25 miles away.
More info about travel arrangements will be sent later. If you can, please offer or request a lift. Do car share where possible please.

For more information and Booking Form. You can either contact the Forest School Association Southwest group by email on fssw@gmx.com or Sarah Henn on sarah@miraclewood.org.uk

Posted in children, Community, Forest School, nature, The great outdoors, Uncategorized Tagged with: , , , , ,

Tweets

@PrimaryTimesDev @GlasdenburyFest. So exciting seeing our name on the menu of activities going on. Is it time yet?

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