First Woodlife Trails Diploma Weekend 2013

Last weekend saw the first visit of 2013 to Hatfield Forest for a Woodlfie Trails Diploma Weekend. The aim was to clear down most of if not all practical assignments from year one of the diploma, for those that attended this was achieved.

Of course alongside this is the great social element that is always present at any Diploma Weekend. Welcome to Vinny who has signed up for year one of the Diploma and becomes part of the Woodlife Family.

After the usual meet and greet I looked for a place to set up my shelter for the weekend. There is a central area where the Parachute is set up and where we have a fire, eat, learn and socialise. Dotted around this were various shelters including teepees, hammocks, tarps and ground dwelling setups.  I had recently purchased a new Sil-Mini Peak 2013 shelter and had yet to use it let alone put it up. The shelter went up pretty easily but I was a little worried that the short pegs wouldn’t hold purely due to the fact that the forest floor was very soft and wet. My worries were unfounded as the shelter was about to get a good test for its first time out.

JP and Rebecca had brought along Harry the Harris Hawk and Spock the Ashy-faced Owl, this in itself was an extra treat being able to get close up with these beautiful creatures.


Spock the Ashy-Faced Owl


Harry the Harris Hawk with JP


Harry with Me… 🙂

That evening it started to snow with the next morning revealing a white blanket across the forest floor, shelters and chute. The Sil-Mini Peak held up well, the sides were a little bowed inward from the weight of the snow as you would expect but a quick shake of the sides and some slight adjustments on the guys and all was good.



Through the course of the weekend  we covered verbal and practical assignments and in the evenings  a pleasant social get together aided by good company, conversation  and some nice warn mead  that we had purchased from the local onsite  National Trust shop.

Sunday afternoon came and once again it was time to pack up and leave the Forest behind, this was a finger numbing affair with even the guy lines to the shelters being so frozen that you literally had to fold them up. A quick cuppa in the National trust Cafe with some of the guys and girls to get some feeling back in the hands and then back off down the road to the Hampshire.

Another great weekend….  Cheers Guys

Here are a few more pictures taken just outside the camp..




Pheasant Tracks


Rabbit Tracks


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