Calvert Trust Exmoor at Home: Bushcraft Activities
Outdoor activities are globally recognised for their ability to help us build on our social skills and strengthen our capacity to solve day-to-day problems.
Adventure enriches people’s lives and releases endorphins, no matter their ability. However, that’s not to say you need to do extreme adventure sports to reap the rewards of these endorphins. Local activities, even ones enjoyed at home, can be just as rewarding and beneficial as those deep in the wilderness.
What is Bushcraft?
Bushcraft includes an assortment of survival skills. When practised and learnt, bushcraft enables you to survive in the wild and make the most of your surroundings. If this interests you or you know someone who would benefit from taking a hands-on approach to the great outdoors, take a look at our activity holidays for disabled people, which are catered to both children and adults.
As part of the Calvert Experience, we provide a great range of outdoor activities. Among these inclusive activities, we offer bushcraft sessions; bushcraft activities can enrich your outdoor experiences, broaden your horizons and, ultimately, are a lot of fun! Once learnt, you can hone your newly acquired knowledge to embrace new challenges on your next adventures.
Bushcraft is not only useful when trying to navigate tricky situations, but it also helps you to develop your interpersonal skills, form connections and make new friends. So, while learning valuable skills and getting a better understanding of nature, you can also enjoy a sense of community through shared experiences together.
Bushcraft at Calvert Trust Exmoor
At Calvert Trust Exmoor, we recognise the difficulty that some people with disabilities may encounter when accessing the countryside and spaces in the natural world. To ensure that everyone has the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors, we have developed an accessible woodland area that allows everyone to get involved.
Our range of activities covers a broad spectrum of needs and learning practices that include cognitive skill development and sensory experiences, meaning everyone gains something from our outdoor sessions.
Calvert Trust Exmoor Bushcrafts Include:
- Fire lighting
- Woodland craft
- Cooking over an open fire
- Shelter building
For more information on the importance of bushcraft, take a look at our article on the benefits of introducing bushcraft activities to disabled children.
Bushcraft Ideas and Activities to Try at Home
There’s a great range of bushcraft activities you can enjoy at home, whether you want to experience them with the family or a group of friends.
It should be noted that there are some activities we highly recommend having an experienced instructor around for. That being said, here are some of our favourite bushcraft activities that you could safely do at home!
Foraging is a great way to get out and about with friends and family. It can also be a wheelchair accessible activity.
Essentially, foraging is the act of exploring woodlands, hedgerows and any other natural areas to seek wild foods. Before venturing out, make sure you have access to an array of reliable resources when identifying plants so that you and your group can practice foraging safely.
Foraging allows you to enjoy the great outdoors while still staying local to your home – you’d be surprised by what you can find right on your doorstep!
Even if you don’t come across any edible plants, there is a lot to learn about what kinds of things grow around you and what’s available in each season. With this activity, there are so many opportunities to build stronger connections to the natural world.
There are also plenty of ways to cater this activity to particular locations and those taking part. You could plan a leisurely meander along some country roads and pick blackberries in early autumn, or adventure through some woodland in the spring and harvest wild garlic from a sea of green!
If you live in a city, there’s no need to feel like you’re missing out! There are still plenty of plants to enjoy; even in more urban areas, you can often find Rowen or Hawthorn trees from which you can collect berries to create some delicious homemade jam!
If eating edible plants doesn’t interest you, then that’s fine too! You can always turn a foraging adventure into a game of bingo and identify local flora without picking or touching any plants.
Building shelters is a great group activity that can create relationships and establish a sense of teamwork.
As a team, you can work together to make the most creative den you can, complete with all your essential needs, whether that’s a toilet, lounge or gaming room! There is no need to limit the imagination when it comes to creating a shelter; you can be as serious or silly as you like!
But make sure to keep an eye out for anyone carrying anything too big. It’s always best to ensure that the weight is shared among others and everyone’s aware of their surroundings when walking around with long sticks. It’s also worth noting that it’s not always safe to enter the den, so always try to check its sturdiness before anyone makes themselves at home.
Once you’ve created your wilderness retreat, feel free to sit back and enjoy a picnic or share stories of adventure and survival!
If you can’t get to a woodland area to build your shelter, why not set up camp in your garden? Just use whatever materials you have and get creative!
Tracking is a wonderful way to gain an understanding of the animals that live among us, hidden in the surrounding landscape. Grow your knowledge with your friends and family as you learn all about your neighbours!
Make sure to use all your senses as you listen out for calls and other noises that echo through the air!
You can follow footprints, tufts of fur and feathers, and many other clues that they may have left behind!
A lot of us rely on apps such as Google Maps to get us from one place to another, but when you don’t have any signal, it can be quite stressful working out which way you need to go. Returning to the basics is a great way to activate your mind and create a sense of independence.
There are a range of activities you can use to help you and your group navigate from one area to another. Try starting from using a compass and getting a grasp of the basics so you can progress through to the more challenging methods. You can even add in a few games to mix things up and have fun with the activity.
Navigation is a great tool that can be used throughout every season, with lots of scope to create themed trails such as an easter egg hunt.
To make sure the activity is accessible to everyone, plan out a route that offers a terrain friendly to wheelchair users and considers the group’s abilities.
Story Telling Over a Campfire
Campfires can make for the perfect evening, especially when in good company! Sit under the stars and toast some marshmallows as you share stories and enjoy some delicious hot chocolate.
Campfires can be incredibly educational, as they provide a comforting and exciting environment that allows for a natural learning environment. The science and method behind creating a campfire is not only fun but is also incredibly informative!
If you start to get a bit peckish, break out your favourite campfire recipes and create some delicious concoctions over the fire to share a family-style meal together!
It’s worth noting that there are some hazards involved with campfires, so it’s important to highlight these and make sure everyone understands the importance of keeping a safe distance while still enjoying the activity.
Why are Outdoor Skills Important?
There’s no denying that outdoor skills are important; they will provide you with the essential information you need to know when enjoying the wild, and they are guaranteed to leave you with a strong sense of empowerment and independence.
Outdoor activities, such as bushcraft, allow you to tackle the world in a way that is unavailable in our urban environments. When embarking on this journey, you will be met with new challenges that require creative problem solving, determination and humility.
These environments place you on the journey of self-development, where you will learn the importance of:
- Understanding your role as an environmental citizen
- A positive and realistic attitude.
What are the Benefits of Learning Bushcraft?
Bushcraft increases your awareness of the natural world and your connection to it. It allows participants to establish their respect and understanding of the outdoors while also inviting them to experience a wholesome activity and natural environment.
Bushcraft has been proven to increase personal and social skills while also strengthening existing relationships; other benefits include:
- Character building
- Outdoor appreciation
We hope this article has inspired your inner adventurer! For more information about our bushcraft sessions or any of our other accessible activities, contact a member of our team.
How an Adventure Break can Help You Set Goals
Embarking on new challenges through disability adventure activities can be a great way to help you set and achieve your goals.
Whether your goals are oriented around overcoming fears or focus on pushing yourself to try something new, getting involved in exciting adventure activities can help anyone reach their full potential.
When surrounded by support and encouragement, new accomplishments can be achieved in no time!
The Benefits of Setting Goals
Setting clear goals is one of the best ways to help you make positive changes in your life. It helps you look to the future and make plans about what you want to improve or overcome.
Thinking about your goals, whether they are long or short term, also gives you an opportunity to reflect on yourself, thinking about your feelings and aspirations. It will prompt you to really think about what you want to do and how you can make it happen.
Here at Calvert Trust Exmoor, we’re dedicated to supporting our guests as they work towards their goals on their adventure break. With unique, fully accessible experiences, we are always striving to help everyone achieve their full potential!
Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone
A goal is something you have to work towards. It will likely be a challenge, but the sense of the achievement you will gain when you reach it will be more than worth it!
When taking part in an adventure activity, you might find yourself leaving your comfort zone a little bit. This can be nerve-wracking, but it’s also a good thing!
It will allow you to work towards any goal, big or small, and prompt you to gain new experiences that you might not have had if you hadn’t pushed yourself slightly.
This point goes hand-in-hand with the idea of getting out of your comfort zone.
One of the biggest obstacles to overcome when setting goals is the fear that comes with thinking you can’t achieve your goals or when you are too nervous to try.
An adventure break can really help when it comes to building general confidence and showing you you’re capable of much more than you thought possible!
Our friendly team at Calvert Trust will support you when building your confidence as you participate in a range of exciting outdoor activities.
Learning Something New
When you try a new activity, there’s always something to be learnt from it. An adventure break is full of great, new experiences that might help you think about what kind of future goals you want to set or what you want to try next time.
When you do something you’ve never done before, you’ll learn things about yourself and the others around you, giving you a fresh perspective!
If you want to find out more about our adventure breaks and the exciting experiences we offer, please get in touch today. You can speak to one of our team members by calling 01598 763221 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Being active is an essential part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Not only are there distinct physical advantages, but the NHS website expresses how exercising consistently is proven to improve feelings of self-esteem.
Here at Calvert Trust Exmoor, we promote a can-do attitude and aim to encourage all our visitors to achieve their heart’s desires. As a result, we have selected some of the top sites online where users can search for local activity and sports clubs across the UK.
Whether you would like to try swimming, bowling, football, tennis, surfing or any sport, these sites can share with you the accessible activities available in your area. Take a look at our blog on the Five Benefits of Surfing for People With a Disability for more information on this unique activity and discover the fantastic work led by the Wave Project!
ParalympicsGB has created the Parasport website alongside Toyota. Their goal is in ‘making movement better for everyone.’
The site has been produced in the hope of becoming the largest inclusive, online community which shares valuable information about sporting opportunities across the country. It shares not only information about offered sports, but also a place to read up on the stories and accomplishments of people who have joined exercise groups and clubs.
With an emphasis that everyone should have equal opportunities in trying the sports they want to, they promote that everyone can find an activity that they can enjoy!
What the Site Offers:
Parasport can be used as a search engine to discover available sports across the UK. They also share information about upcoming events regarding accessible activities and provide an online community for those involved, or would like to be involved, in sporting events and clubs.
The Parasport website also has a section of suggestions for sports you can try for inspiration. Each sport featured has a general summary of what to expect, as well as some handy tips on things to take along to a session.
They offer information on the amenities of local leisure centres too.
The NHS provides users with a trove of information for health issues, including both mental health and physical health matters. It offers advice on symptoms and how to get help where necessary.
The Live Well section of the site can provide you with tips for eating better, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising tips, how to improve sleep patterns as well as support for issues with substances such as alcohol.
What the Site Offers:
The NHS provides an online guide for improving your levels of exercise. The advice includes tips on:
• How to build exercise into your day
• A search for events and activities
• A list of disability sports and associations
• A list of national bodies
Here you can search for clubs and forums nationwide and see what there is on offer, while learning about little changes you can make to improve your lifestyle.
Para Dance UK
‘Everyone can dance!’ is the motto of Para Dance UK! The charity is the national governing body for the sport for Para Dancing throughout the country.
UK wheelchair dancing is believed to have been developed in Scotland in the late 1960s. While people were learning how to move their wheelchairs, it was here that it was realised it could be done to music.
In the 70s, the Wheelchair Association began, and in 2006 the co-founders of the charity started the Wheelchair Dance Sport Association (UK), also known as the WDSA (UK). Under the influence of the International Paralympic Committee who rebranded the sport internationally to Para Dance, the WDSA (UK) also adjusted their name in 2017, creating Para Dance UK.
Their goal is to ensure that the sport is promoted in the UK and encouraged as an accessible activity for all to enjoy, especially for those who feel like dancing is something they might not be able to participate in.
What the Site Offers:
The site supplies an in-depth look into the history of the sport, which makes for a fascinating read. They are a source of information for budding dancers by offering information on how they can get involved. The site provides a directory which can ‘Find A Group’ in your local area through merely entering your postcode.
You can also discover a course that Para Dance UK provide and read up on dance competitions.
Activity Alliance is focussed on making sure we all live the most active we possibly can, no matter our abilities. They provide help to other organisations across a range of sectors so they can support the needs of disabled individuals and create inclusive environments.
It is their mission to change their perceptions of what disabled people can achieve and want to make the UK a more comprehensive country.
They work with places such as leisure centres and local and national groups by offering additional support such as:
• Inclusion programmes
What the Site Offers:
The site offers information on inclusive gyms in your area which have been made possible through the Inclusive Fitness Initiative, IFI. This scheme has run for a number of years and has created inclusive gyms and leisure centres by ensuring they are accessible.
You can also search for information on current events and happenings in your local area.
The help doesn’t stop there, as they also provide a ‘Beginners Guide’, with handy hints and tips for those just starting out.
Council for Disabled Children – Transition Information Network
The Transition Information Network (TIN) is an organisation set up by the Council for Disabled Children.
The inspiration behind TIN is to ensure that disabled children have access to activities and sports, which could positively influence their lives.
The site offers a range of activities including:
• Social places
• Weekend clubs
• After school clubs
TIN believes that by encouraging children to join these local communities, they will make more friends and live a happier life.
What the Site Offers:
The site offers a list of activities to charities and groups in the following sectors:
• Clubs and Forums
• Short Breaks
Each area provides a link to the charities and groups within these sectors for individuals to try.
Hopefully, we have provided you with some helpful websites so you can choose a sport to begin! If you have any information on accessible groups and clubs in your local area, we would love to hear from you on our social media channels!
Calvert Trust Exmoor is an accessible site where we want everyone to enjoy themselves! If you require more information about the adventure breaks we offer and are interested in our programmes for Devon adventure activities, please feel free to contact us on 01598 763221 or e-mail us at email@example.com.
Tips for Choosing an Accessible Activity Holiday
Here at Calvert Trust Exmoor, we are dedicated to providing accessible holidays for everyone to enjoy. With this in mind, we have selected some hints and tips to help you choose your dream activity break.
Research What the Provider Means By the Term ‘Accessible’
When choosing an accessible holiday, it is essential to make sure the holiday provider is fully equipped to meet all your requirements.
Where a provider describes themselves as ‘accessible’, you may need to enquire into what facilities they have and if they are relevant to what you need.
One idea might be to check that showering facilities are fitted with any further aids needed. For example, a simple one would be a shower without a step.
Here at Calvert Trust Exmoor, when we use the term accessible, we mean that our activities and accommodation are fully accessible, no matter the needs. We are equipped with specialist facilities which means we can ensure that all our guests are fully catered for, and all requirements are met.
Our accommodation is built to ensure all our guests receive ultimate comfort when staying with us and a selection of our bedrooms feature h-track ceiling hoists. We also provide other rooms with mobile hoists.
Please take a look at our accessibility statement for more information about our site facilities.
Consider the Location and the Activities You Would Like to Try
What you achieve on your holiday will likely depend on where the site is located and what is available in the area.
Perhaps you would like to try water-based activities? Would you prefer to be a travelling distance to the sea? Are you keen to learn some bushcraft skills? These desires need to be taken into consideration and locations chosen accordingly.
Our accessible site in Exmoor is situated in the perfect part of the country for a variety of activities. To name a few, they include :
• Water-based activities such as canoeing and sailing on the stunning Wistlandpound Reservoir
• Accessible cycling
• Abseiling and climbing in our indoor and outdoor facilities
• Equestrian sports in our indoor and outdoor arenas
• Swimming in our indoor heated pool or relax in our Jacuzzi
We are also in partnership with Surf South West and the Wave Project, based in the beautiful surf village of Croyde. This fantastic opportunity allows us to offer our guests one to one surfing lessons!
And don’t worry about the weather, we have a selection of rainy day activities for our guests to try, meaning that typical English drizzle will never get in the way of a fun-filled accessible activity break with us!
Ensure the Site Has a Focus on Providing High-Quality Staff
So much of an activity break is dependent on the joy and expertise provided by the instructors and staff at the site.
Making sure the site promotes professionalism and invests in employees with the skills required to ensure the safety of guests amongst their staff is essential.
Here at Calvert Trust Exmoor, we are dedicated to safeguarding the welfare of children, young people, vulnerable adults and our staff.
To ensure this, our staff must comply with the following:
• Provide two satisfactory references
• Complete a satisfactory check by the Disclosure and Barring Service (previously names the CRB check)
• Complete a probationary period of at least three months
All our staff are fully qualified and have received specialised training. We like to allocate one continuous staff member to the activity group for the duration of the stay. This is so you can form a trusting relationship which ensures all needs are met so you can get the most out of your time with us!
Consider Your Leisure Time
After a busy day of activities, you may need a relaxing place to sit and unwind and to take some time out for yourself.
At our site, we have a selection of places for both socialising and relaxing. You can choose to hang out in:
• The Barn bar and games room
• The TV room
• The sensory room
• Our conservatory and dining rooms
• Our lovely courtyard garden
Looking into other little extras provided by the activity site, such as Wi-Fi, may also be worth researching, especially if you would like to contact home to tell everyone about your achievements!
At Calvert Trust Exmoor, our Wi-Fi is free and is available in Reception, the Barn Bar, the Acland Room and the Courtyard.
Think About if You Would Like a Fully Inclusive Stay
Consider what food requirements you need for your stay. For example, would you need meals supplied?
Furthermore, would you prefer everything to be onsite? Our accessible site in Exmoor provides a fully inclusive experience. The total price will include:
• All activities
• Food and drink
• The use of the swimming pool
• The use of the sensory room
• Evening entertainment
Some of our apartments are also complete with a kitchen. We can cater for a variety of circumstances such as residential trips, families and individuals. We also provide an onsite shop which can help out with any forgotten necessities, so you needn’t unnecessarily leave the site!
Check Reviews and Testimonies
It is always best to do your research before committing to a holiday! We would recommend taking the time to read the company’s reviews and testimonies on their website.
If you would like to know more about our guests’ experiences, take a look at our guest stories. Here you can see how the Calvert experience has provided accessible holidays for so many different guests, families, residentials and groups.
Hopefully, we have provided you with some helpful advice so you can book your next holiday!
If you have any other handy hints and tips, we would love to hear from you on our social media channels!
We are proud providers of charity holidays for the disabled in Devon and are committed to ensuring all our guests can achieve what they want on their stay. If you would like to know about the breaks we offer, we would love to chat with you! Please feel free to contact us on 01598 763221 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Having fun isn’t only possible in the sun! Here at Calvert Trust Exmoor, we offer an array of accessible, outdoor adventure activities in Devon which can be enjoyed come rain or shine. Whatever the weather, our activities will continue as long as our instructors feel they are safe. It is worth noting that the water activities we provide are only available between the months of April and October. With the incentive of staying dry in mind, we have selected a few of our indoor based activities as well as those which do not depend on good weather that you can expect to experience while staying with us. Calvert Trust Exmoor is an accessible site that provides adventure activities for people of all capabilities, ages, experience and confidence levels.
The Giant Swing
Intending to improve self-belief, the giant swing is a fun activity which has been implemented as a sensory experience for all to enjoy. Situated in our indoor activity centre, our adaptive harnesses and supports can be customised for each individual and fulfil any requirements they may need. It’s up to you how high you would like to go. Just pull the release when you feel ready and away you go! If you would like to push yourself, we can heighten the hoist, or if you would like a relaxed swing, we will always make sure you feel safe and secure.
The Crate Stack Challenge
An excellent activity which can be used to bring together and improve the relationships between groups and school communities. It is a fantastic experience that can test problem-solving abilities and as a result, increase feelings of self-confidence upon completion. It is an activity which can be accessed by all, including wheelchair users.
Our horse-riding sessions are only available on weekdays unless we have organised one of our ever-popular horse weekends. Our courses encompass extra activities such as learning to communicate with horses and understanding the behaviours of the animal. Stable management is also a possibility if guests would like a closer experience with the horses. It is the opportunity to groom, tack up and muck out as well as completing horse agility sessions. For children who are unable to support themselves, we can organise a tandem ride which is the arrangement of a member of staff sitting behind a child and acting as spinal support. For those who are unable to horse ride due to specific medical reasons, carriage riding is an alternative activity that we can provide.
Here at the Calvert Trust Exmoor site, our centre has many facilities to enjoy, including an indoor swimming pool. Fitted with specialist equipment, each person of any capacity or with any condition can access the pool. Heated to a minimum temperature of 30 degrees, you can enjoy being in the water without any chance of feeling cold. Complete with a Jacuzzi, it is a lovely way to spend some leisure time while staying at our accessible site.
While this isn’t an indoor activity, why be concerned about the rain when you are already in the sea? Surfing is a challenging but fulfilling sport which can be enjoyed in the sun or accompanied by rain. Our Calvert Trust Exmoor site is in proud partnership with both Surf South West and the Wave Project, and we love including surfing as an accessible activity for our guests. Our new one to one lessons are a welcome introduction and provide even further learning opportunities than our usual sessions of ten guests to one instructor. Surfing can be a fantastic sport for those with disabilities, for more information, take a look at our previous blog.
After an exciting day challenging yourself in a fun and safe setting with our qualified instructors, our beautiful site has many areas you can enjoy and unwind in. Our courtyard is a peaceful place to sit back and reflect on the day. The Barn bar is a hub for socialising and a great place to share your stories from the day. The games room is available for guests entertainment, and the TV room is a place to relax for a bit. Our five-star accommodation is complete with free Wi-FI in all communal areas if you would like to report back home about your fun-filled day.
If you would like to know more about the adventure breaks we offer, including our themed breaks, and would like some guidance on the booking process, we would love to hear from you. Please feel free to ring us on 01598 763221 or e-mail us at email@example.com.