Bushcraft and Adventure Leader Training – Pip Park, Ashdown Forest – Feb 2013

My first Sea Cadet trip this year was down to Pippingford Park in the Ashdown Forest. This is an MOD training area but as I like to think of it as one of the best playgrounds in the world.

We went down to practice some Bushcraft and train one of the younger instructors on some navigation skills.

I was with my friends Keith Coleman, Charlie Brookes and Emma Deasey.

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Beautiful Pip Park

As we did not have any cadets to teach we took our time setting up our camp. We had our hammocks and a main tarp for a fire. It was a tad on the cold side but we had enough kit to stay toasty.

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Taking a break setting up camp

The site is full of great sites. One of my favourite trees is the Kissing tree.

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The kissing tree

The MOD have brought Exmoor Ponies in to help manage the land. They are a hardy breed and are quite happy to graze the low quality grazing found here so helping to manage the landscape as heathland.

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Exmoor Ponies

The park has over 600 Red and Fallow Deer so spotting droppings is not a problem. The droppings seemed to be pointed on one end and indented on the other so I took these to be Fallow.

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Deer droppings

Some great fungus to shelter under.

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Large Artists fungus

Much of our time was spent mooching around and as usual we were always picking up material for tinder.

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Foraging for tinder

The park has six lakes to wander along and it was not long before we spotted something…………….

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Lads have spotted something

The remains of a Deer by the waters edge.

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Deer remains

Further on on a stump I found some fox droppings.

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Fox droppings

But the surprise was spotting the Witch of the Woods.

The park allows filming and this was a scene from the tales of Albion.

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Filming for the Tales of Albion

We had to try out our new hammock seats from UK Hammocks

These are great for instructors as you can stuff them in your pocket and pull them out wherever you are.

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The three stooges

A new convert in Emma.

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Happy (but cold) Emma

As Sea Cadet instructors to go hungry is a crime.

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A typical Sea Cadet Breakfast

As usual I try and find Fire Faces in the fire.

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Cat Mask Fire Fac

The park is packed with archaeology. Please see the link below for further info on the park. This link is useful for all instructors bringing cadets here.

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Iron Age berm

One thing you always have to remember is that you are on MOD land.

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Got to remember you are on MOD land

More information on the history of Pippingford Park can be found here – http://www.pippingford.co.uk/history

 

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