Discover the crafts of our ancestors and learn the techniques on one of our traditional skills courses.

Throughout history, crafts have been developed by makers which have stood the test of time and are still being used today.

These crafts form part of our cultural heritage and help us understand the significance they held to their creators.

Man carving on a traditional skills course

The UK has acquired many traditional skills that are still in use today. Here are some examples of the traditional crafts you can learn on one of our traditional skills courses.

  • Bushcraft – ‘Bushcraft’ is the study and practice of wilderness living skills. These skills rely on traditional knowledge and skills. The practice of bushcraft can provide you with food, shelter and all the necessities of survival. It also provides many comforts and conveniences that can be found in nature.
  • Bookbinding – The traditional craft of bookbinding uses a variety of different skills to assemble a book. The process involves many techniques, from paper folding and cutting to sewing and lettering. Understanding the techniques of hand binding can help you develop a deeper insight into this rewarding craft.
  • Basket weaving – Basket weaving is an ancient technique that predates pottery and stone carving. The original purpose for creating baskets was to carry and store materials. These days, basket weaving has become more of an art form. It’s a great way to engage with nature and the rural traditions of our ancestors. 
  • Spoon carving – Carving a spoon from wood can be a great first experience of whittling and carving. This process is something that nearly all cultures have adapted in their own way. It’s important you choose the right wood to carve from. Greenwood is great for beginners, but with more experience, you can progress to harder and seasoned wood.

Have a go at Traditional Skills with Field Studies Council.

The traditional skills courses we offer are a great opportunity for novices and beginners to learn a new skill. But, the more advanced artisan can try new techniques under the supervision of our expert tutors.

Traditional skills courses at Field Studies Council take inspiration from the beautiful natural surroundings of our centres, and local wildlife. The landscape is abundant with flora and fauna, so let the UK’s nature and wildlife inspire your creativity.

Basket weaving - a traditional skills course.

We offer creative courses ranging from day art courses, longer craft weekends and even week-long art and craft holidays.

The craft workshops do feature some studio time, but getting outdoors and immersing yourself in the natural landscape can have a whole host of benefits. This can be creatively, mentally and for all-round well-being.

More than just a learning experience, they are a chance to meet like-minded people and a chance to unwind. Experience the UK’s glorious countryside at our field centres. The most relaxing backdrop to your time away.

You can study traditional skills at some of our most inspiring locations. Flatford Mill in Suffolk and Bishops Wood in Worcestershire.