A pilot project with Furness College and UCLAN, aiming to introduce young people to Rusland's woodlands.
The six students partaking in this pilot project will have opportunity to learn bushcraft skills alongside the excellent Gareth and Ro Thomas (Woodmatters). They will, through the creative experiences of greenwood carving, learning basic foraging and tracking and through meeting together round the fire, learn about Rusland's ancient yet vulnerable woodlands. They will learn about coppicing and its place in sustainable woodland management, about the challenges and threats faced through overgrazing by deer, competition from invasive species and climate change. Students will then apply their newfound skills and confidence in the woodlands to learn about making use of a tool developed by Plantlife known as Rapid Woodland Assessment process. By partaking in this venture, students will learn about a range of professions they may not have previously been aware of, broaden their own CV and hopefully begin a lifetime of appreciation for places like Rusland’s horizons.
In addition, this venture is being used as a research case study by the University of Central Lancashire. Researchers there are using the creative and collaborative process of film making with the young people as they experience the woods, to help empower and enable often not-heard young people's views on landscape and how best to care for it.
The process of selecting the students has begun and dates in June and July have been set for the activities. We are excited to get going! We are also excited that this project will hopefully lead onto further collaboration with larger groups of students and for longer in the future.