Words & photography by Daniel Wildey
I remember sitting in the school gym, aged around six, in my vest and pants wondering what the point of a “movement” class was. PE was fine (except I could never climb a rope…) but movement felt like esoteric prancing, even to someone who’d only recently graduated from toddling.
So why, 30-something years later, am I rolling around the gravel car park of a 4 star hotel in the Lake District, while guests in luxury cars try to find a space unoccupied by contorted humans?
Cumbrian bushcraft outfit Woodsmoke, run by Ben McNutt, have taken the idea of primitive skills to a more elemental level than most by teaming up with Rafe Kelley and Ben Medder, from a company called Evolve, Move, Play to design a 6-day course called Wild Woods.
“Movement felt like esoteric prancing, even to someone who’d only recently graduated from toddling”
I first tried bushcraft in order to learn some basic survival skills, useful to all of us who like to play outdoors. But I hadn’t expected to become thoroughly absorbed in pursuing bushcraft for its own sake. Yet once you begin to appreciate how nature shaped us as a species, looking at how our movement evolved seems to warrant further examination.