Wilderness workshops at Sutton Hoo

Foraging and Natural Navigation

Wilderness workshops are coming to Sutton Hoo this summer. It’s a fantastic opportunity to learn all about wilderness living, and connect with nature in the same way the Anglo-Saxons did with survival expert, Ray Chin, from Back to Wilderness. From spoon carving to axe throwing- there’s a new skill for everybody!

The Back to Wilderness team are dedicated to helping people connect with the natural world and understanding how we interact with it. To an Anglo-Saxon the landscape was the source of everything from food to building materials and people’s lives depended upon their knowledge of the outdoors. 


These summer workshops are designed to encourage people to try new challenges and learn practical skills in a fun and creative way. They teach the fundamental skills required to survive and live in the wilderness, much as our ancestors did. From making fire, foraging, identifying and sourcing a meal to cook, to understanding what is readily available in our natural environment which can be used for a variety of everyday purposes.

We are running three sessions across August and September. Two of these- Foraging and Natural Navigation, and Axe Throwing are both ideal activities for older families, whilst spoon carving provides an opportunity to get hands on with natural materials and green woodworking making the most of the great outdoors.


Foraging and Natural Navigation
Friday 16 August 10.30am – 1.30pm
(minimum age 10 years)
Discover more about the natural resources that surround us and explore the landscape of Sutton Hoo as the Anglo-Saxons did.
Foraging is an activity that is so much more than seeking food. Natural resources can be used for a variety of daily uses including plants used for dyeing cloth through to the wide array of tree species that grow here and the different objects their timber can be used for.
Natural navigation is the art of finding your way through the landscape using features including the sun, plants and animals. It's not just a way of reaching a destination but also gives the chance to connect with nature.
To book this session click here: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/events/5942e305-4d89-4424-b393-57e178393fb6/pages/details

Axe Throwing
Friday 23 August 10.30am – 4.30pm
(minimum age 10 years)

Battle like an Anglo-Saxon warrior with the axe throwing sessions. The Anglo-Saxons would use a specially designed throwing axe (a francisca) before the initial clash with the enemy, throwing them to create damage & havoc. During this session, you’ll not only learn how to throw an axe, but to make it stick in specially prepared wooden targets, rather than an enemy! We will be running five sessions across the day.
To book this session click here: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/events/fa0cbd84-ee3f-41b0-85de-7eaab985e8a2/pages/details

Axe throwing

Spoon Carving
Monday 16 September 10.30am – 3.30pm
(minimum age 14 years)
Discover the techniques used to carve wooden spoons which will provide you with the basic principles to create other wooden objects. Learn how to legally, safely & respectfully use a knife in a woodland environment to make a wooden spoon or two – you get to take home what you make! The techniques used to make just a spoon, will provide you with the basic principles and best practices to safely make many other items with wood – much like the Anglo-Saxons did.
To book this session click here: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/events/8e3f74ce-dbbf-47cf-b640-5d346b3f7807/pages/details

Families can connect by working and discovering nature together. By developing skills such as the ability to navigate using the natural world,  youngsters can build self-confidence and gain a sense of achievement.
Wilderness School sessions are the perfect way to plan an exciting new family experience which will create lasting memories. Let Back to Wilderness help you explore the natural world, reconnect with our environment and rediscover the skills developed by our ancestors which have become lost in the modern world.