News

The Power Of The Imagination.

13th Feb 2017

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The power of the imagination is a great tool to develop, while learning the skills of survival and Earth living. I often find it takes me to a place where I can more fully understand the new skill that I am working on. I so enjoy the quiet times, to transport myself to different lands, where I imagine tracking wolves in the woods or taking a walk through tribal villages. I am not sure if these are the lands of my ancestors, places far away, or completely fictional. It doesn’t matter. I learn so much by these experiences, these imaginative wanderings.

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CELEBRATING OUR 10TH YEAR

11th Jan 2015

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An Exciting Year Ahead!

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It All Starts With Native Skills 1

6th Jun 2014

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Native Awareness is proud to welcome an array of folk who come from many different walks of life. We count doctors, accountants, ecologists, teachers, IT workers, gardeners, archaeologists and pilots among our students. Our classes truly are for all.

We welcome the middle aged man who has finished his job in the city and has decided to deepen his relationship with nature, or those who have lived and worked in the countryside and want to take their understanding to a higher level.

Many of our students are women, so welcome, as too often the course is perceived as macho…. which it is not!  It is also an honour to have many international students, but the great thrill is in teaching someone who wouldn’t usually go on a survival course. These folk often seem to get the most out of the class and experience the greatest transformation. Invariably they return for future sessions. So many don’t realise that they want to take one of our classes until they take one!!

What do people get out of the three days?

As many of our students return to take further classes this allows the team at Native Awareness to get to know them and see their development with the skills that we teach.  It’s interesting to observe the subtleties of change over time; from body posture and muscle structure change, to how students, after a time, walk better because they’ve been outside, living in a way they were designed for, rather than sitting at a computer ! 

The Native Skills 1 class provides the key to open doors to much more than typical bushcraft skills. It empowers the holder to glimpse a time past.  However it is through the skills that one gains a greater understanding and appreciation of the natural world. Everyone knows we need to protect the earth but many do not understand or appreciate what it is they are caring for. It is a relationship with nature that is missing in life and that is what this class provides.

Taking that first jump into nature reconnection can be daunting, even scary and that’s why Native Skills 1 provides a unique opportunity to take that first step.

The Native Awareness venues ensure a comfortable camp and enthusiastic staff who gently guide the students into the skills and consciousness of our ancestors who lived close to nature, at a slower pace, so very different to our 21st century world. The food is great and Zara’s cakes are out of this world! 

We can assure all that every class we teach contains students and volunteers with different levels of skill. Most who take Native Skills 1 have no survival skills and there are those who have not camped before! Paradoxically we have taught professional bushcraft instructors from other schools, wishing to develop their own skill set.

Our classes are truly for all!

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Tracks And Herbs

15th May 2014

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It’s truly amazing how five days can change someone’s perception of the world. During this class our goal is to teach the students to be able to see what was first thought to be impossible! We don’t spend too much time looking at the clear prints that are left in mud or sand. Those tracks are fascinating but we quickly progress the student on to terrain that most would think would be impossible to track an elephant across, let alone a mouse. If we can teach to track across rock and gravel, think how quickly a student will be able to interpret the tracks that are generously left in the sand and clay!

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Wind, Rain And A New Years Gift.

10th Jan 2014

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What unusual weather we have had to starts us off for 2014. When I romantically think of January I visualise cold frosty mornings or if lucky, six inches of snow blanketing the countryside, not the wind, rain and mild temperatures that we have been witnessing.  I’d love to believe that this current weather pattern is just a blip and not the results of global warming. For me winter is a really important part of the year where I personally have time to plan the coming year both for my own development as well as Native Awareness’ Without a cold snap I find it hard to believe that Spring will come.

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2014 Schedule

23rd Nov 2013

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We are very excited by the schedule as we are running many new classes. Due to the success of our 2013 Natural Consciousness class, we are thrilled to announce that as well as running the class again in 2014, we are also offering Natural Consciousness 2, so that we can go even deeper! Other new classes we are offering are Medicinal plants and Caretaker 1. It is a dream come true to run these classes for James as they are of particular interest to him, as deep ecology and plants were his doorway into all the other skills that we teach at Native Awareness.

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What a year it has been so far with many highlights and memories!

22nd Aug 2013

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The August Native Skills 1 and 2 back to back classes, was definitely a time to remember. It’s great spending 10 days in the woods working on survival, awareness and earth living skills. So much is achieved and the students’ skills increase dramatically during the week.  A memorable time on the Native Skills 2 that will stay with me for a long time, was a breath taking light display. We were all gifted in seeing an amazing sunset through the trees that produced beams of light that were filled with multiple colours. I’ve never seen anything quite like it before. The spectacle lasted for about an hour. One of the participants, James took this wonderful picture, but in truth, it doesn’t do natures visual display justice!

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Even More Ways To Find Out What We Are Doing!

13th Mar 2013

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It always makes us smile that Native Awareness, who are a school dedicated to preserving the ancient primitive survival and Earth living skills of our ancestors, has to also keep to date with the modern world of social media. Of course we are delighted to do this, so that even more people can realise the importance of the skills that we teach and how nourishing they are to the soul for those who are learning them.

Our latest move into the modern world is by creating a Twitter account and Facebook page.  We hope to use these differently to the website by sharing with you the day to day occurrences at Native Awareness and the skills, the instructors and students are working on.  You can find our Facebook page by searching for Native Awareness and go to @NativeAwareness on twitter. Please feel free to recommend these pages on to your friends as we would really appreciate your support by spreading the word about us.

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News and Announcements

11th Dec 2012

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Over the next few months I will be working on editing a few videos for you all, so that you can see the skills offered at Native Awareness and show you the fun we have on classes. The first has already been posted on youtube. It was my first attempt at putting a video together and here’s the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dXc1bTHaGl4 We hope that you enjoy it and if you do then please feel free to share the link with your friends. The video was originally solely for the students on the class, with the intention that they could see their camouflage and to help develop their understanding of concealment and dead space. But now we thought others would like to see it too.

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News and Announcements

21st Aug 2012

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It has been a busy summer so far for Native Awareness as we’ve been running our regular schedule and the Earth Living Programme. For the first time in a long while we ran a Family Camp in July which was a wonderful event to be a part of. It was an honour to watch children and their parents grow together, in a natural environment and away from the distractions of the modern world. The children learnt to burn out bowls, to track and move like the animals and to make fire using, amongst other methods, a giant bow-drill set.

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Memories Of Camp

2nd Apr 2012

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Before the Native Awareness season begins I find myself very restless and full of excitement and anticipation for the coming year. I think about the adventures of that last year and all the laughter and good times, we had as I walk around our now quiet camp.

Recently, whilst looking through some old emails, I found one from student who took Native Skills 1 in 2011. I very much enjoyed re-reading it as it gives an insight into what the atmosphere is like on one of our classes and I decided to share it with you, as part of this news and announcements…

 

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Seasons Greetings!

6th Dec 2011

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It is with great pleasure that the Native Awareness Team can announce our 2012 course schedule. We are especially excited about offering our family camp, The Native Family Experience, as this is how we initially began. It is with great anticipation that we can run this class and expand the Native Awareness community to the next generation. 

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Exciting Courses!

29th Sep 2011

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Great anticipation is now present within the Native Awareness team due to the Native Skills 3 class that is to be run in October. We have the pleasure of John Lord’s company as he will be passing on his experience with stone and other primitive tools on the class. For those who are not familiar with John, we believe he is the most respected flint knapper in the UK and James has known him for many years as John has helped him understand the art of knapping. In fact it was John who helped put Native Awareness on the internet by designing the first website. Each meeting with him and his wife Val brings many fascinating insights into our European prehistoric ancestors and how we can use their skills today.

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Countryfile Magazine

15th Jun 2011

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Last spring Native Awareness was asked to participate in a feature written by The BBC Country File Magazine. For the day we were joined by presenter Jules Hudson and photographer Rob Scott. We spent it giving them both a flavour of the skills that we teach at Native Awareness as well as discuss ideas about prehistoric Britain.

It was an enjoyable time even despite the frigid temperature. The day before the interview we went up to the Elmley Castle estate to set up camp. The hill was beautifully still and really quite warm for February. The next morning we had a northerly wind that blew the warmth out of us all…

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Wild Foods, Fire Day And More!

13th Jan 2011

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We officially commence mainstream classes this year with Native Gift. In March we will be teaching one of our most anticipated classes. Native gift is as the title suggests, a Gift for those students who have taken Native Skills 1 and above. We very much appreciate the support of our students and so we only charge a minimum cost for this class; it also provides us with the opportunity to meet up with old friends from previous years and share skills. We whole heartedly encourage you to come and bring with you skills that you might be working on for others to see as well as to offer advice. 

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What a year this has been!

13th Oct 2010

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I believe that a large part of this year’s success is a direct result of the venues which we have used. The owners of both Ravens Hill Woodland and the Elmley Castle Estate have been very supportive of the classes that we have run. The venues are abundant with wildlife which helps to make teaching nature studies a breeze. A couple of memorable moments include, seeing goshawks fly through camp at Ravens Hill and badgers and deer walking through the students’ sit spots at Elmley Castle.

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A Significant Year

29th Jan 2010

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In May we are to launch Earth Living, our twelve month programme. The team at Native Awareness are thrilled about offering this curriculum of learning and having the opportunity for continuous contact with a group of dedicated students. We are also looking forward to expanding on some of the subjects found in the mainstream courses as well as going into great depth with new and inspiring skills. If you are interested   in the Earth Living programmes we recommend you book as soon as you can as we are limiting the number of students attending.

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The Perfect Present.

4th Dec 2009

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The festive season is approaching and what better gift to give than to reconnect people with Nature.  Why not make use of our voucher scheme. We can arrange vouchers to any sum of money for a course. This works as a great way to introduce your friends and family to Native Awareness or for them to help you pay for your continued study.

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Breathless!

15th Oct 2009

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I have to say that I feel deeply honoured to have helped create these classes, they were our finest to date! The level of community created and peoples growth, with their individual relationship with Nature, was staggering.

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Special Announcement.  A Native Gift!

9th Jul 2009

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Due to the global financial instability that prevails, we are to run a free class for our committed students. It pains us to think such vital education is being sacrificed due to matters that are beyond our control. Time and time again we receive comments from folk who are struggling to make ends meet and who otherwise, would have joined us in the woods, to learn more of the ways of the Earth.

We at Native Awareness are so very committed to the passing on and preservation of the ancient wisdom and skills we feel this will help!..

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June Natural Mystery Quiz

28th Jun 2009

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Thank you to all who sent your answers into us concerning the last Natural Mystery Quiz and yes, it was a badger latrine!

For this month’s quiz we thought we would like to ask something a little more challenging…

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Primitive Tanning Class Announced

1st Jun 2009

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As we were packing up the owners of the venue, an American bison farm, informed us that sadly one of their calves had died that morning and they offered us the animal. As a group we set about skinning the calf and removing its sinew and we were all involved; holding a leg, peeling away the skin etc.  It was a beautiful and fascinating time. The calf was only a couple of days old but was as big as a roe deer. Feathers and I have dedicated ourselves to turning the hide into something beautiful for the Native Awareness school, to mark the great gift and the short life of the calf.

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New Website And Natural Mystery Quiz

1st May 2009

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Welcome to the new Native Awareness website. We are delighted with our new site and would like to give great thanks to student and friend Emily Heath and her partner, North, from Whitespace Design for creating it for us. We hope you enjoy navigating around it. There are now many more exciting pages to view.

I would like to mention a few new changes on our site. We now have things for you to get involved in. Each month we will have an item called Natural Mysteries…

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Looking forward to 2009

1st Jan 2009

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As do many, I find the beginning of a new year to be the ideal time to firstly review the previous year, then plan and develop new ideas based on what I have learned. Thinking back to 2008 and the courses run by Native Awareness, my abiding memory has been of the dedication to the old skills new and returning students brought with them to class. I am filled with enthusiasm when I receive emails and letters from students that are full of excitement about the new projects they are working on. Only recently a student came to dinner with a bag of wooden spoons, a beautiful length of rosebay willow herb cordage and a couple of deer hides he was working on. I could see in his work that he had not only made an eating utensil but also had created a work of art! What a great way to give thanks to the tree that they came from.

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What to look for in the woods this month:

July