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“reconnecting to the landscape” PRY 1 race fF wy | iGraltt Magazinem WINBER 2012 | * X Ge on! b. Pal < Vim - How to tana rabbit skin » 1 y Traps, tracks and 1 rabbit recipes Simple spoon- carving skills Winter in Lapland lus Star Lore, Weather Lore and more Magazine . courses eh Spring 2012 ‘ur one-day taster courses cost £55 fora singe person £7010 afamly of up to ve You may camp overnight at out farm in Kent if you wish, at no extra charge. We wi providetes and coffee and a hot vegetable soup as part of the day Leatherworking Loam leatherworking techniques and make your own personal items under the experienced guidance and tution of our craftsman Paul Bray at an indoor ‘enue In Kent. There willbe a small addtional charge of £5 for materials, Advanced Spring Foraging = For those who like a challenge; learn how to identify edible plants in their early growth stages, Spee SS nese of habitats around Egerton in Kent under the ates Cetera areas yeh ey mee een ea et Shrimping and Sandy Shore Foraging Learn to use a shrimp net and collect shellfish in a beautiful sandy bay on the south coast of Kent under the experienced leadership of lifeboatman John Rutfhead. Bring warm clothes and waders or be prepared to paddle. No barefeet, please, because of Weever Fish. Keep up to date and book online at = Foraging Field, Wood and Hedgerow al No experience necessary; learn how to identify edible Spring greens in a variety of habitats around Egerton Jn Kent under the guldance of our expert forager Steve Kirk. A useful refresher if you've foraged before, with the opportunity to sample genuine wild food. Bushcraft Magazine May Meet BSGdL NG alauatate Fats Sate Mlincs ft busncratror ene adventurous families to share skills, and swap stories. Taster courses, demonstrations and mini-workshops include Animal Tracking, Atlats, Archery, Catapults, Ferreting, Fire and Forge, Fire-by-Friction, Green Woodworking, Spoon Carving, Star Gazing, Storytelling, Wild Cooking, Wild Forage and much, much more. See our website for full details. Costs for the weekend, including 3 courses/ workshops/demos per day, camping and firewood: £75 per person, £125 family of up to five. Single all-day ticket £35 per person (accompanied single child under 11 FREE); Family of up to 5, £70. . Intermediate Leatherworking | een enn eos anes ara ance vautieen eecoal cae nee eee > guidance and tuition of our craftsman Paul Bradley at an indoor venue in Kent. There wl bea smal editinal charge of for materi Fire and Forge (max. 6 people) ‘Try your hand at our blacksmith’s forge and make some gypsy fire-irons, tripods, pot-hangers or earths see teats reece ee toy Ge eevee ose His frm in Kent There willbe a smal edetional charge of for materiale Spoon Carving Lear the sls and tryout the tols under the guldance and tulon of our skilled craftsman Pau Bradley at our farm site n Egerton, Kent Make and take away your own spoons. es Saltmarsh and Rocky Shore Foraging Visit contrasting habitats on the north Kent coast with a view to discovering the foraging possibilities. Shellfish and seaweeds at Tankerton with samphire and salt-marsh plants at Oare Marshes. Discover the habitats and Identify your finds under the guidance of Steve Kirk “re-connecting to the landscape Volume 7 Number 4 Winter 2011/12 The Busherat Magazines published by: “The Busheraft Magezinens Egerton House Cottage, Egerton, Ashford, KENT TN27 98D Founder: Huw Woodman Editor: Steve Advertising: Matthew Selfe Webmastar: Paul Bradley Soup Dragon: Cathy Hill E-mail info@busheratt-maganine Advertising: CONTENTS 6 MAKING TRACKS ...THE RABBIT Steve Kirk is cold on its heels. 8 HOWHIGH IS THAT TREE? Phil Ireland knows a way to find out. 12 RABBIT, BEWARE MY SNARE Des Portelli keeps you in the loop. 45 WINTER FARE — COOK WILD with Caro! Hunt. 20 AHARDWOOD SPOON MADE EASY Paul Bradley makes it seem so simple. 22 THE RIGHT TOOL FOR THE TASK Paul Bradley has 0 so many. 26 “CATCH A LITTLE RABBIT SKIN" Kieron Stewart with the perfect cure for dead skin. 28 WINTER IN LAPLAND Kevin Warrington loved it so much, he moved out there. 34 THE LAST WORD Lioyd Hooper has it. REGULARS EDITORIAL courses When yeu catch, butcher end prepere your food yoursetf you look the ethics squerely in E the eye. A quick: humane death should folow a tree and neturl fe. must be done with respec tore animal anda ine minimum of wast, in which case making use of ha gC AMORAGES Delis not only desirable but almost an obigaion if we dont have all tne nacessary sks ah WEATHERTORE to do so, we con endeavour toleamn them, Over tme you val find them inthe pages of this magazine. This time, Kieron Stewart shows how to prepare a rabbit skin. I you want 24 STAR LORE or naed to become mora Tully solf-aliant you may need the use of traps to help catch your food and in this issue Des Portel tells us about legally (and morally) setting snares Alongside the cultural mores of today’s society it stil could seem anachronistic and brutal. How devastating it would be to catch the wrong animal by mistake, and how badly that would reflect on us, i it were @ domestic pet, for example. All he more reason to learn the right way to do it. Carol Hunt telis us how she would cook a rabbit, ifthe hunt was successful, alongside some delicious vegetarian options as well. We even key you in to their tracks, trails and field signs, frst. Our thanks for the rabbit for being such & great provider. (On a more administrative note, please not that the P.O. Box is no longer valid and all correspondence should be sent to the new address (see above). | hope any mail will include examples of knowledge that you are willing to share. | can also be reached by ‘e-mail af the address below or via our website. My thanks to our authors and contributors who have written such quality articles over the years. That's not ust my opinion, Turn to pages 4 and 5to ses what! mean Steve Kirk, editor@bushcraft-magazine Mushrooms under a cloud Dea Cr eet erg ee eee a ee ere eee CUE Ca ea Need any more hints as to thelr texture? Actually, they tasted justfine. COR au Re ‘Mushrooms in Russia fall under the "risk of radioactively dangerous mushraoms.” In fact, atleast one COC ee ee eee Ce eu ae a ee ne eee soaking helps to some degree; or you can boil the mushrooms in water alone for 20 minutes, discard the water, boil again in clean water, drain, rinse and then continue cooking as norm: er eee ee ce ee ne eee See ee eon eed mushrooms, | might want to run a Geiger-counter over them first. My Favourite Bit of Kit ismy tnt. even though itis too big to carry around with me. Itis huge and majestic and fills me with awe and gratitude when I see it. When I get inside the tipi, | am filled with ‘peace and tranquillity. Its sometimes abit impractical It can be smoky ifthe location ‘and wind are not quite right. tt can be drippy if the rain is very heavy or prolonged and itis difficult to transport. But the joys Far outweigh its ‘Inconveniencies! Living with Lyme ‘There are sunny days with the sides rolled up to let in the bees, the. breeze and the sunshine. Then sleeping later, One of contributors, Edward Jones, whose search fora ona warm nightand woking to see the ee eer See eo eet ce Seer he oe ST oer subsequently spent the best pat of a year recovering Siar iecede aaa from a second bout (0 he tells me) ofthe tick-borne ee ee eae Infection, Lyme Disease. This has the potential to Sante tai ateonete te tan ee aed antag cas outside and inside at the same time. Feeling warm and alive. rere ete My tpt is my “HOME™ wherever putit. Whether tis on a quiet farm, the mide of «busy festival, or ona schoo! playing field. There isthe (EEF kitchen and the woodpile, the carpet, the reindeer skins and lanterns, and Wales were up 26% to 968. Those numbers only we woe eee ne eee eet | eT aie an metic testrequested by a clinician) and real number in the UK is iene unknown. Sufferers may remain undiagnosed for a number oF reasons: some may have ignored ther characteristic I named it"Great Nanny Florence’ rash and not seen a doctor; even if they di, GPs are Native American radon, alter an elder, ee eee to whom Lam very grateful ringworm, while others may believe that Lyme Disease Is inert rere era cathy Hill eee eter Cees ee ey running since 2003 and aims to relieve and support CS eee ee Sd Cee eee cre) the general public. f you think you are suffering or have suffered as a result of a tick-borne infection, contact Ce eee CeCe ea ce = ) Bushcraft Magazine of 2011! We recently had the honour and distinction of being named Magazine of the Year by Jonny Crockett’s Survival School. | cannot tell you how proud it makes us to be recognised by one of the UK's foremost bushcraft schools and itis a great reflection on our authors and contributors. Jonny had this to say in an e-mail to me; ‘Your magazine is our Magazine of 2011. have been contributing to magazines for 10 years Poster tnage cours) of 13015 (oF so and I reckon I know quality when I see it | just wanted to put my company behind yours and wanted to congratulate you on some brilliant articles over the year. Read more at! and check out the rest of their website Steve Kirk, Sa & Busha Magazine MakingTracks ‘A Rabbit's tracks are generally very recognisable because of the long-heeled hind feet. What's morethey are certainly the most common in the countryside after humans and their dogs! As you might expec, the tracks of both Browen and ‘Mountain Hares are going tobe similar, though considerably larger, ass the length of stride. In lowland Britain, however, under certain circumstances, such as n deep or powdery snow, the Grey Squirrel may cause you to have to lock more closely. 1] Shows ¢ set of reasonably crisp Rabbit tracks in shallow but granular snow. ‘The first thing to notice is there are no long heel marks The second is that the hind feet land in front ofthe fore feet They are the larger imprints. The two smaller tracks are the front feet and depending on how the rabbit was moving, they will be either side by side hopping) or one infront of the other along the median Ime (walling, or bounding/leaping). This rabbit was walking, 2) These are Gray Squirrel tracks in poor quality snow and they are at first {glance vary similar to the above. If some detail can be discerned they ean be separated as follows The larger outer tracks show the impression of 5 claw marks, compared to 4 in the rabbit. There are the impressions of irregular bumps from the interdigital pads, The front feet in between the hind show some side- ways spread from four digits The neat teardrop shape of rabbit feet is only ap- proximated by the squirrel. Indeed, ifthe tracks were clearer, separate slender toes would be visible and various pads, while there is little more detail to be found from rabbit tracks because of their dense covering of hair In deep snow, where no detail and only approximate measurements are to be had, identity may ‘cccasionally have to be inferred by behaviour e g does the trail begin and end at atree? 3] Tracks of a paused Rabbit It is evident that most of the animal"s weight was ‘over the hind feet and that difter- ‘ent pressure was being applied to ‘each of the front feet in this case ‘Sometimes, ina slow-moving or stop-start animal, three front footprints may be seen, where the animal steadies itself with ‘one paw, raises its foot and then drops on to all fours A squatting ‘bunny may show a rounded rear and a scut (bob-tail) impression 4] A hopping or jumping trail vill not be consistent but varies according to the speed of the animal. An unhurried Rabbit, represented by this trail, may have stride/bound lengths any- ‘where between 33 and 79cm, with intergroup distances measuring 30 o Stem, or there- abouts, typically slightly less or slightly more than its body length. Stride or bound length, and intergroup distance increase with speed as does the spreed of any group ofttracks Stride or bound is measured from the front centre of the foremost track to the same point in the corresponding track in the next grouping, In- tergroup distances are measured between the front centre of the foremost track to the rear centre of the rearmost track of the next cluster 5] A bunny in a hurry will leave impressive intergroup distances and bound lengths The © magazine = : 5 é 5 i one represented by the pictured trail must have been spooked, for it broke off from feeding and dashed away, putting on a spurt that increased the distance between track clusters from around 1 5m (51) to 2 72m (almost 9”) I did not appear to have been chased Feeding signs 6] A little snow will not deter a Rabbit from finding food, # can locate protruding plant tops and dig down easily enough Rabbits are selective feeders, picking out the most tender and tasty plants and avoiding strong flavours and prickles. Whatever the farmer is, growing will be of interest Young rape and other Brassicas are also eaten by Badgers, so when out tracking, a close inspection of any scrapes and tracks is in order. Ifthe crop is growing near @ ‘warren it soon becomes apparent what kind of economic impact Rabbits can have. 7) In deeper snow Rabbits will tum these attention to the bark of trees and green twigs. Tn areas where there are apple orchards, winter prunings are a favourite source of food These are left lying between the tree rows by the workers for collection by tractor Inter, and often get buried by snowfall The Rabbits concentrate on what is exposed or can be made easily accessible as is evident in the photograph, When the snow thaws itis possible to get an ‘idea of how much cover there was by the amount of bark remain- ing or, on the trunks of saplings, by what height the damage starts at Interpreting behaviour 83} The benuty of tracking in the snow is that you can miss the actual show but read all about it the following day, as if you had been there. A certain amount of translation may be necessary ‘You may come across events in the wrong order, for example, and hhave to back track before you understand what has unfolded. At cone end of e fallen tree trunk was the shape of a Rabbit's hind feet. The deepest impressions were at the toes of the hind feet where the animal had stood up launched itself upward. Snow was knocked off the trunk. Tracks then followed its length to the other end, The photograph shows where the Rabbit jumped down from the fallen tree and landed in deep snow, sinking deeper on the heels and at the rear, before applying pressure to the toes as it hopped off again. The trail ended (and began) at a burrow behind my garden shed It should be remenibered that a rabbit is very vulnerable in the stow Ttis highly visible against the white and unable to move as freely and swiftly as on solid ground. Rabbits tend to be most active at dusk and dawn and are naturelly ceutious, moving out from safety a little ata time, grazing as they go The more other ‘Rabbits there are around, the more time individuals can spend feeding, as many eyes and ears detect dan- ger better than a few. However, with a layer of snow cover, solitary animals in particular may be forced to take more risks. Also, towards the end of January the animals might be ,distracted"as the mating season recommences This may be reflected in the Rabbit's trails n the snow. Lanes of footprints might be paired or show signs of pursut, for example Lock out for any signs of drama. ‘Whether you are motivated by simple curiosity, love of nature or a hunter"S instinct, tracking is always a 7 fascinating way of reconnecting to the landscape www. busheraft- Mr ~=How That Phil Ireland nter and early Spring can be lean times for outdoor educators. Hows within deciduous and mixed woodland this can be the ideal time to talk about trees and to measure their heights. These activities can cover not just ature studies but also applied mathematics and record keeping. Apologi ematical prepare le for most ages an £2 to make pon twelve inch len, In the centre of the or two and put in @ n beheld 5, using the thu to glue a length act as a sightin High is Tree? Tan of angle Distance to tree First identify the highest point of the tree This may be best done by walling around st from a distance significantly further avray than the optimum measuring position of 45 degrees. The next twro stages may be reversed, particularly ifthere are obstructions in the way which may hinder movement Measure the angle to the top of the tree using the protractor makeing sure that you have it the right way round, © that Angle_| Tangent horizontal is zero degrees Mark your position with astick Two [10 [0.18 people are easier for this as one can line up the tee andthe as Second can record the angle Swap over to canfinm the reading po Now meazure the distance tothe tree using a tape measure, a mescunng wheel orby pacing Lookup the tangent of your i} angle and multiply this by the distance tothe tree This figure, a : added to the height from your eye level to the ground, will give 18. O20 you the height of the tree te | 029 a7 [031 ‘This simple method assumes a tree on level ground but can still re [032 be used on a constant siope if you tale measurements from 19 [038 ther sie ofthe tres and collate the average For older S| —a36 sbidents,no doubt thes mathe salle may be stretched by Tp inchuding much factor a a leaning tree ee ‘A second, amusing, technique for younger kids using no 23. Daa complicated equipment is to stand facing away from the tree, 24 0.45 Tooke between your legs and move back end forth until you can 25 [a7 just se the tp ofthe tree Unless your bac is as bad as mine, 26 | 049 the angle will now be roughly 45 degrees, gnring a tangent of 27 [081 one, meaning that your distance tothe tree is now equa to its za —| 055 height 29 055 30, 058 at 0.60 32 062 33 065 34 O67 Q | 2 Busnaar E Magazine Shark-Tinderbox ST Oe ee eee Pr eka one eu 01624 241 049 Oak Bark Leather Belt Hand Made to Last mm Oak bark tanned De ched with Walsa hand sti Bushcraft g & magazine 10 Sea Th cane eet buy oy actually » continue oe that had predominated late Novernb WINTER WINDSTORMS jeaths and a few f the New Year resulted i serous injuries, widespread powe blown and trees downed If anythu ally worse with buildings su pled, at no deat ough once agai there were some serious weather-related mjurses Although hurmieane-foree winds (great ‘T3mph) w se events was actually @ humieane They were all tense extra-tropical cyclones, orded, none (extra meaning ,outside the tropics, in temperate latitudes"), more familiar to us as deep Atlantic with between cold, polar air masses and warm, subtropical air masses, such as that formed by the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) when in positive phase, Because the temperature contrasts between these air masses are greatest du y and intensity of European windstorms peake during this sea horizontal temperature ng winter, the son as well. Where the semi-permanent low pres sure system ct at their ‘ \ Photo © steve ‘boundaries, storms pick up heat and moisture from the rela- tuvely warm North Atlantic waters and are sent spinning across the Atlantic from west to east, with the British Isles, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany in the firing Jing If the NAO is in negative phase then southem Europe suffers poor winters and we may experience snow and cold from the east. ‘Tropical cyclones, such as Atlantic hurricanes or Indo-Pacific, typhoons, on the other hand, derive their energy from the vertical temperature contrast between the warm lower layer and cold upper reaches of the tropical atmosphere. Unlike northem windstomms they have no ‘weather fronts — wedges of air of contrasting tempera tures butted up against each other — because the lower ‘tropical atmosphere tends to be of an even temperature ‘Their winds and precipitation are concentrated in the ‘ing of intense thunderstorms surrounding the eye, and inthe spiral rain bands that feed those thunderstorms instead It is the warm seawater near the equator send- ang rising air to mex with cold, high altitude ar, that makes the hurricane'$ engine tum. Because ofthis, its ‘winds quickly diminish when the eye moves over cooler water or land and the temperature gradient evens out The horizontal temperature gradient that powers an extra-tropical cyclone, however, can persist asthe centre of the storm makes landfall. Thus wind speeds in these storms can remain high, or even increase, after they move over land. What causes such a storm to lose energy rapidly is the intermixing of air masses within st, while a hurricane can sustain the same minimum central pressure for up to 5 days, ‘The line and latitude ofthe jr stream (a band of upper atmospheric winds) define what track the storms will tale. Although the jt stream is constantly shifting, storms moving along the storm track tend to reinforce the st and make ithold a line This is called eddy feedback. By kceeping the jet stream inthe same place, eddy feedback often causes European windstorms to occur in series (as with the recent ses) The forward motion of an ETC, swept along by the jet stream, generally ranges from 20-45 mph, but can reach ashigh af 50 mph In domg 50, a storm's windfield ‘becomes highly asymmetrical (caused by drag away from the centre) Thus, a mature storm often forms massive ,comma* shape of cloud (whereas a hurricane is symmetrical) with a ‘warm front and a cold front radiating from the ares of low pressure at the storm’ hub, Damaging winds are generally restricted to the south or right hand side of the track, ahead of the advancing weather front. Thus, a stor tracking across the English Midlands will adversely affect south-east England (as did the Great Storm of 1987, alea ,the huricane’) and one tracking tlong the English Channel will batter northem France Under these circumstances people living north of the storm" path may be unaware of a major disruptive event occurring further south Storms seem to be defined by their wind speeds, their death {oll and the monetary value of the damage they cause. In ‘recent years all European windstorms have been given names = unfortunately not all countries allocate the same name. The ‘January 3 2012 storm was called Ulli out was also dubbed Emil by the Norwegian Weather Service) and the January $ storm was Andrea In January 2007, Windstorm Kyrill, following a typical track, crossed over Great Britain, the North Sea and the Baltic Sea cutting power, forcing road, port and atrport closures and claiming the lives of 50 people, 11 of whom were in Britain ‘What was unusual about this extratropical cyclone was the large number of countries affected because of the depth of penetration into eastem Europe Damage was widespread from the intense winds, which reached 160 krvfh (99 mph) in the UK, with stronger gusts in Germany and the Czech Republic after the storm intensified The cost in damages was around €3.5 billion Three years later, windstonm Klaus reached Wester Europe on 23% Tanuary, 2009 and tracked through mid-France Southem France and northem Spain were in receipt of the strongest winds which exceeded 120 kh (aurrieane strength) over lower lying areas Damage was estimated at £1.57 billion and 26 deaths were attributed to the storm ‘Windstorm Xynthia developed over the subtropical Northen ‘Atlantic Ocean in February 2010, tracked north-eastward passing just south of the UK. We are probably largely ‘unaware, therefore, that there were 59 fatalities in Portugal, Spain, France, the Low Countries and Germany on 27" and 28H February and an estimated damage to property of €1 3 billion ‘As bushcrafters, a keen interest in weather conditions and their comfort or safety implications is very much atthe fore- front of our minds. Even the smallest branch torn from a tree can damage the person ithits, and something much less than an entire tree can badly injure or kill someone Itis a reflection of the times we live in, however, that the people ‘with their minds most bent towards forecasting these weather events are not meteorologists or climatologists — but ssundkey pidey SIO “OAS DIYS YRNJO Asotin a 2 Busharart = magazine 11 Rabbit, Beware My Rabbi cour only experience of rabbits is as a pet that you keep in a hutch, feed and water and give an occasional ‘cuddle, then snaring rabbits may seem tobe a controversial subject Ihad rabbits as a child (ten, in fact, all at once) and then as a parent, my children hhave had them as pets, too. I'S easy to see the appeal, they'te cute and easy to look after, don't need walking twice a day and small children can get invalved in taking care of them ‘The farmer, landowner or even the conservationist may have a very different opinion of their wild ‘cousins, which are officially classed as “vermin”. The damage and expense they can cause to crops and the ‘modification to the landscape they ean bring about, when in large numbers, 1s substantial That said, they ‘ean also be of benefit to an ecosystem, by maintain- ing a short sward grassland where itis required, such as on chale downland, allowing many plants and invertebrates to thrive Nonetheless, they have no legal protection and ean be taken at any time of year ‘The rabbit is nothing if not resilient, however I survived an attempt at eradication by biological warfare in the 1950s, when myxomatosis was deliberately introduced into the environment. And of course, they are renowned as prolific breeders, They are also an important component in the food webs of foxes, stoats, buzzards and formerly, human beings. ‘Though less important as food today, they still have their place on the table of country folk, not to men- tion bushcraflers All of this is as a result of deliberate introduction into these islands as a food resource, by the Normans in the 12 Century. “Apart from the economic damage, the reason rabbits are considered a pest can be one of health and safely, Horses are sometimes prone to jolting snkles in the shallow serspes dug by rabbits I declared recently to ‘a campsite owner that I was showing some course students how to lay snares and recognise the beats eto He welcomed me with open arms, as he was overmun with rabbits and also granted permission to ‘hoot atthe ste tool The open field was covered ia scrapes and dips and he was concerned sboutthe 3 posmbilty ofthe scouts, who se the ste, hurting themselves 8 Smares z As most of you will be aware, busheraft and out- door living skills require practice, but especially snaring or trapping A high proficiency is required so that no unnecessary suffering is brought upon any animal, You must keep within the law and acquire 12 the landowner's permission. If you were to be caught snaring an animal on land you have no right to be on, it could be regarded as poaching Snares are effective for catching rabbits and squirrels, either as a form of pest control or for food, and are considered humane and lawful f they are properly set Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 the use of e ‘self-locking’ snare is illegal self-locking snare is a wire loop that continues to tighten by a ratchet action as the animal struggles Free-running snares ean be set lawfully. With this type, the wire loop relaxes when the animal stops pulling Iwill describe twro kinds of free-running snare The first ss the loose snare that comes inthe form of www.