Campfire and tarp shelter in woods with man crouching
A warming fire and shelter in the woods of Sussex.

Frontier Bushcraft, one of the UK’s leading bushcraft schools, offers a range of bushcraft courses in Sussex. Indeed, we have a very strong connection to East Sussex and the Weald.

These Frontier Bushcraft courses include a 1-day Bushcraft and Survival Foundation course and a 2-day weekend Bushcraft Essentials course, prefect for getting a taste of bushcraft in Sussex.

Our bushcraft and survival training in East Sussex is centred in a large and beautiful area of woodland on the edge of the Ashdown Forest. This woodland, extending to many hundreds of acres, sits within a larger estate, which we also use for our longer courses. As such our bushcraft skills training area in Sussex runs to several thousand acres.

This large area in the heart of the Weald provides a breadth and depth of natural resources offering a richness to the learning experiences of our students. It also means we do not over-exploit any particular resource and our courses are delivered in a highly sustainable way.

At our Sussex venue, we also offer a range of different week-long programmes offering comprehensive training in wilderness bushcraft skills. These start with our 6-day Elementary Wilderness Bushcraft Course.

Our Sussex-based bushcraft and survival courses cater to students of all levels, from beginners to advanced.

For those in the South East of England asking about “bushcraft near me?”, then we are very local to you. Why not spend a day in the woods on a 1-day bushcraft course? Feeling more adventurous, then stay over and take our 2-day bushcraft course.

Frontier Bushcraft – Highly Regarded

Frontier Bushcraft - Best in Bushcraft Best Bushcraft School Winner 2012

Paul Kirtley founded the Frontier Bushcraft school of wilderness bushcraft in 2010, and it has since become recognised as a leading bushcraft school in the UK.

Moreover, right from the outset our students thought very highly of the experiences they had with us on our courses in Sussex.

Our students voted us the top bushcraft school in the UK within two years of opening, and we also won other categories in the “Best in Bushcraft Awards” held by Bushcraft and Survival Skills Magazine.

Despite this recognition, our main goal is, of course, to give our students the skills, knowledge, and confidence they need to enjoy nature. Even so, it was nice to gain such positive feedback from our students early on to confirm we were on the right track with our approach.

Our bushcraft courses in Sussex and elsewhere focus on developing confidence and self-reliance under the expert guidance of our instructors.

At Frontier Bushcraft, we are committed to providing the highest quality instruction and unparalleled wilderness experiences. To help deliver on this commitment, we have set up one of our main training areas in Sussex.

Bushcraft Courses in Sussex: A Natural Choice

Those unfamiliar with Sussex might think bush survival training in Sussex was an unlikely prospect, especially given the county’s relative proximity to London. But they’d be very pleasantly surprised. Moreover, for the many people in London who would like to get out to the woods and learn more about how to be self-reliant outdoors, East Sussex is an easy train ride or car journey away.

It’s not only the location of Sussex which makes Sussex wilderness skills classes so valuable. It’s also the natural environment found in Sussex, which makes it ideal.

Sussex has an interesting and beautiful landscape. There is a great deal of natural diversity. This alone makes Sussex a fantastic place to learn bushcraft – a subject that is firmly rooted in an understanding and knowledge of nature.

Sussex’s natural variety and diversity mean that we can teach comprehensive bushcraft courses that have both breadth and depth.

Bushcraft course group lesson in the Sussex Woods
The deep woodland of Sussex is a perfect learning environment for bushcraft courses.

Moreover, Sussex is the most forested county in England. There are fantastic, large areas of mature woodland that are just not found in other parts of the UK.

Hence, as a training ground for forest-based wilderness skills, Sussex is an excellent area in which to learn.

The High Weald: An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Running our bushcraft training courses in the northern half of East Sussex, to the west of Crowborough, means that we are also within the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), the fourth-largest AONB in the UK.

The area of the High Weald AONB represents only 1% of the area of England but it contains 3.4% of England’s woods. This makes the Weald one of the most densely wooded landscapes in the UK.

Indeed, the name “Weald” is derived from the Old English weald, meaning “forest”.

A map of the High Weald, within which Frontier Bushcraft runs courses
The High Weald spans several counties, including East Sussex, where Frontier Bushcraft runs courses.

At the time of the Domesday Book, 1086, the High Weald was the most wooded environment in England. Today, 24.6% of the AONB is woodland, compared with a national average of about 9%. The proportion in parts of the central area of the Weald is significantly higher.

17.6% of the High Weald is covered in ancient woodland; in other words, over half the area’s woodlands are ancient.

Frontier Bushcraft’s training area in the High Weald, borders the Ashdown Forest. This is an internationally important area of lowland heathland and occupies the highest sandstone ridge-top of the High Weald. We also use the Ashdown Forest area for some of our courses, including our navigation courses.

This beautiful and varied landscape is a wonderful place to spend time and a fantastic setting within which to learn bushcraft and other outdoor skills.

Bushcraft Training In Sussex: A Sense of Remoteness

Historically the Weald was quite inaccessible. The deeply forested nature of the area’s interior combined with its geography and underlying geology – in particular being hemmed in by the North Downs and the South Downs – meant the Weald for a long time remained literally “bandit country”. Until the Late Middle Ages the forest was a notorious hiding place for bandits, highwaymen and outlaws.

The Weald’s heavy clays and infertile soils means that much of the area remained free of agriculture. Pioneer farmers of the Late Middle Ages created small fields and this character remains today with small fields surrounded by thick hedgerows. This adds to a sense of a closed, woodland environment even where the land was cleared.

So, despite its proximity to both London to the north and the sea to the south, the Wealden landscape seen today still has a sense of remoteness. This is particularly once you get into the centre of more wooded areas.

Wild wood bushcraft course venue in Sussex
The wild woods of Sussex are an excellent environment for wilderness bushcraft skills training. Photo: Paul Kirtley.

While we don’t pretend that we are in the middle of a wilderness, the wildness of the Weald is an excellent backdrop for training in wilderness skills. Our varied several-thousand acre training area in Sussex provides a fantastic venue for developing your bushcraft and survival skills.

Whether you are preparing for a trip in wild and remote country or you just love to spend time in the great outdoors learning new skills and knowledge, Sussex is a wonderful, resource-rich place to extend your abilities.

What’s more, Sussex and the High Weald is a beautiful area in which to spend time in their own right.

Find out more about our range of bushcraft courses.