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The Woodsman Course | Tamarack Outdoors

The Woodsman



Come and join the Tamarack team on a three day woodsmans course in the Forest of Bowland, Lancashire. On this course we delve into the old ways of the woodsman - working with traditional tools to manage a woodland. This course is ideal for anyone who owns, rents. manages or is interested in woodlands and trees.


- Our woodland history 10,000 years ago to today

- Different types of woodland and natural succession

- Woodland management both ancient and modern, including coppicing and pollarding

- Basic tree biology, physiology of trees and tree species

- Uses,qualities and identifying features of our native trees and non indigenous species

- Safe use & maintenance of the axe

- Safe use of hand saw, bow saw, buck saw, cant hook, hookaroon, lever, winch

- Safe tree felling techniques

- Snedding/delimbing, bucking, moving/stacking timber, felling aid use

- Splitting timber using axe, wedges and riving rig

- Measuring trees ( mensuration ) for height and weight

- Planting and nursing trees in our environment

- Make a steam bent bowsaw and use of the shave horse

- Firewood selection, preparation and storage

- Woodland walk

- Modern tools and light machinery to manage a woodland

Brief Itinerary

After meeting at Tamarack Outdoors, we will load up our vehicles and equipment and drive 30 minutes to the woodland. Here, we will walk 500m from the vehicles into the wood and pitch camp where this will be our base for the duration of the course. After camp orientation, we will immerse ourselves in to the fascinating world of trees and woodlands.

The course ends around 16:00 on Sunday, we will then break camp and head back to Tamarack Outdoors if we need to.

Dates & Booking Details
Site & Equipment


Meet at 18:30 on the Thursday, the course finishes at around 16:00 on the Sunday.

Cost: £130 per person

Price does not include food. All specialist equipment will be provided

Additional Information

Course Size: 8

There is a minimum age limit of 18 for this course.

For more information on this event or to be added to the reserve list, contact the Tamarack Team on 01995 601011 or via email at [email protected]


Meet at Tamarack Outdoors at 18:30 on the Thursday, the course will finish at 16:00 on the Sunday.

Directions from the South

- From M6 North bound take junction 32 M55 signposted Fleetwood, Preston North.

- Follow signs for A6 Preston and Garstang.

- At roundabout take the third exit signposted A6 Garstang.

- After 5.5 miles turn right on the B6430, sign posted Garstang Country Hotel and Golf Club.

- Follow signs for Ray Lane and the Creamery Industrial Estate.

- Pass Garstang Country Hotel and Golf Club.

- Turn right onto Calder House Lane, sign posted Ray Lane Industrial Estate.

- Stay on Calder House Lane, after several bends this turns into Bruna Hill, then into Ray Lane.

- Follow Ray Lane over humped back bridge and under railway bridge.

- Pass under railway bridge and turn immediately left passing the Kenlis Arms on the right.

- Head for signs for the Creamery Industrial Estate.

- On entering the estate, straight in front you, you will find Tamarack Outdoors.

Directions from the North

 - From M6 South bound take Junction 33, signposted A6 Garstang and Fleetwood.

- At the roundabout take first exit, signposted Garstang, Blackpool and Fleetwood.

- After 7.8 miles turn left onto Cock Robin Lane, signed Garstang Country Hotel & Golf Club

- At the end of Cock Robin Lane turn left onto B6430.

- All other directions as from the South.


Overview of the Site

Our site is at 300 meters elevation and you will be working in the shade of the trees, because of this it can feel cool/cold even in the summer months. So please dress warmly, but have the option to layer down if we have fair weather and the woodland is warm. The site is in the North West of England, it often rains. Always use the layering system that is normally used in mountain areas.

Long trousers to be worn at all times, no shorts. There are Ticks on site (as with most such areas over the country) and many activities on the course involve kneeling, sitting and walking through brash. You will be fully briefed on arrival regarding best practise to avoid ticks but long trousers will greatly reduce Tick issues.

The food you bring can be anything from fresh meat, vegetables, fruit, wet or dry packet food. Pay particular attention on how you carry, store and preserve your food when packing, travelling and staying on site. A small coolbox is good for this.

Recommended Course Kit List

The following is a recommended kit list for the course.

The Rucksack

To help you organise and keep kit manageable on route to the site we recommend you use a rucksack or large holdall for the bulk of your equipment.

Camping Equipment

- Tent, tarp or hammock - 2-3 man tents are advisable, or tarps measuring 4x4 meters approx

- Sleeping Bag - the woods are shaded so pack warm

- Sleeping Mat

- Medication (if applicable)

- Wash kit and towel

- Toilet roll and hand sanitizer

- Insect Repellant

- Gas / Ethanol Stove - fires only allowed in designated areas

- Spare fuel for stove

- Pots / Pans / Mug

- Cutlery / Cooking Utensils

- Lighter

- 3mtrs of 3mm cord (Paracord style)

- Head Torch

- Spare batteries

- Water bottle

- Food and snacks for the full course

- Hat / Gloves / Buff (a pair of work gloves can be useful)

- Clothing for the course

- Spare clothing - optional, for travelling home

- Insulated jacket or warm mid layer

- Waterproof clothing

- Walking boots or wellies or similar

- Notebook and pencil

- Camera

- Binoculars

Specialist Equipment

- Axe - Gransfors Bruks Small Forest or Hultafors Forest/Hunting Axe 840710 or Wetterlings Outdoor Axe 118 or very similar

- 24" to 36" Bowsaw blade

- Two split rings (similar to those on your car keys)

- Fixed blade knife (Mora or very similar)

- Folding saw (Bahco Laplander / Kershaw Taskmaster or similar)

Q: When I arrive at Tamarack, what happens to my vehicle ?

If you have a 4x4 this is an advantage to get within 500 meters of the site. If not, there will be some car sharing to get to site and change over of equipment into other vehicles. If a non 4x4 needs to go to site, the vehicle will be parked in the nearby farmyard which is secure. Some vehicles will remain at Tamarack and parked adjacent to the shop, where there is CCTV in operation and the estate is locked at night.

Q: Do I need to be fit ?

You need to be of fair fitness, the hardest part of the course is the walk to and from the vehicles. However, some of the tasks can be strenuous and expect to get dirty, sweaty and sap on you and your clothing.

Q: What do I need to bring ?

You will need food and snacks for the duration of the course, stove (gas, wood gas or Ethanol) and cooking pots, tent, tarp or similar shelter, sleeping mat and sleeping bag. Waterproof and warm clothing, hat, gloves, scarf along with walking boots or similar. Toiletries including toilet roll, towel, head torch, note book and pencil, foam mat to sit on, camera, wash kit, mosquito repellant, binoculars and spare clothing once you get back to the car on the Sunday afternoon. 

All this must fit inside a rucksack or grip, remember you will have to carry all your equipment into the woodland.

A full list of recommended equipment for this course can be found on the Site & Equipment tab above.

Q: Do I get a discount on any equipment I need for the course ?

Yes, all course participants get a 10% discount on all products purchased at Tamarack for the course.

Q: What if the weather is bad ?

Don't worry about this, the course goes ahead whatever the weather - unless high winds are forecast.

Q: I can't make the Saturday, but can I come on the Sunday ?

Sorry, full attendance of the course is necessary, even if you have been on another course previously.

Q: Can I bring along alcohol ?

Alcohol and any recreational drugs are not allowed on site for the duration of the course. Anyone found using either, will be removed from the course immediately. However, this does not include any student who is on medication.

Q: Can I bring food and cook over the fire ?

No problem with this as long it does not effect the flow of the course.

Q: Can I bring my dog ?

Sorry, no dogs or pets allowed on site.

Q: What about first aid and anyone having an accident ?

All Tamarack staff are trained and qualified in first aid, with a full comprehensive first aid kit on site. If a student needs to go to hospital, this is a 25 minute drive from site. Risk assessments and emergency procedures are in place for any eventuality.

Q: What about insurance ?

Tamarack hold the relevant insurance to carry out this type of activity. However, it would be an advantage to all students to have there own travel insurance.

Q: What are the toilet facilities like ?

You will have to wash in a bowl or Billy can and go to the toilet in a hole/latrine in the ground, in a discreet area on site which will have been pre-prepared.

Q: How do I get rid of my rubbish ?

That's easy, you brought it in, so you take it out.

Q: What happens now that I have booked and paid for a course?

After you have booked and paid to attend one of our courses you will find all the information you will need within the FAQ or the relevant course page you have booked on. Here you will find dates, timings, meeting point, what kit and food provision you need etc.

One Day Courses - If you have booked on a one day course you will be contacted firstly by telephone one to two weeks prior to the course. If a message has to be left we follow this up with an email. The reason for contacting you is to ensure you are still able to attend and that if you have any further questions or queries regarding the course we can sort this out.

Multiple Day Courses  - If you have booked on a multiple day course you will be contacted firstly by telephone  two months then again one month  prior to the course. If a message has to be left we follow this up with an email. The reason for contacting you is to ensure you are still able to attend and that if you have any further questions or queries regarding the course we can sort this out.


Q: If I have booked and paid for a course and I need to cancel, do I get my money back ?

To see our full course terms and conditions please click here


The course venue features in the following Tamarack Video


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