Something different for the weekend
There are so many weird and wonderful ways of making the most of your rural area, as Abigail Whyte finds out.
This combination of treasure hunting and hiking was born with the revelation of GPS (Global Positioning System) technology that you find in many mobile phones and other hand-held navigation devices. Using your device you can set out on an adventure to find one of many ‘treasures’ – or geocaches - hidden in the countryside. Visit the geocaching website for all the details of this fun modern-day activity.
Ley Line Hunting
Herefordshire man Alfred Watkins first came up with the concept of Ley Lines; the idea that all churches built on ancient sites, and landmarks like Stonehenge, are laid out in straight lines criss-crossing the country. It is an intriguing British phenomenon that tests your mapwork and fieldwork, so if you fancy becoming a ‘ley hunter’, find out how on the their website.
Who’d have thought that mushrooms and toadstools could be so interesting? Members of nationwide fungus groups seem to think so, and they show their enthusiasm on weekly walks in the countryside with expert identifiers to find specimens of all things fungi related. Any field mycologist is bound to be a fun guy.
This delightful ancient craft still has its niches across the country. Coracles are often basket shaped boats that are traditionally lined with animal hide, but modern ones make use of canvas and pitch paint. There is a comical art to paddling one, but once mastered, it’s a fun and unique way of travelling downstream. The Coracle Society is a great source of information for coracle-making courses and paddling events.
Ray Mears makes it look so easy but it takes a certain amount of stamina and determination to live out in the wild and make practical use of the natural environment. In a world of technological advances and convenient living, bushcraft schools like Woodsmoke in the Lake District bring you back down to earth and teach all sorts of essential skills, like fire-lighting, water purifying and shelter building.