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Glamping

Wild, and then some.

Leave behind the trappings of modern life, and join us in the wildest of spaces.

Matthew Wilson

Matthew Wilson

Our good friend Matthew Wilson – an award-winning garden and landscape designer, writer and radio and television broadcaster best known as a panellist on BBC Gardeners’ Question Time – has advised us on all the best natural, outdoorsy, eco-friendly, fun and educational workshops, activities and performances we could possibly fit into the already overgrown Wilderwild. Everything on offer has been given the big, green thumbs-up from Matthew and our gang of gardeners.

The Den Experiment

The Den Experiment

Remember how fun building your own den as a child used to be? The Den Experiment believe that the experience of den building is fundamental to children's development, allowing them to learn through play and exploration. Despite the proven value of den building activities, research suggests that it is dying out. Through engaging and inspiring people, our aim is to preserve the art of den building, providing opportunities to learn a broad range of skills, including team work, problem solving, mathematical skills and creativity.

THE FLANAGAN COLLECTIVE PRESENTS

The Flanagan Collective

In partnership with The Flanagan Collective, Deer Shed Festival will present a special Arts Council-funded promenade theatre production, created specifically for a debut performance in The Wilderwild. The story is inspired by the area’s topography and explores the relationships between its various inhabitants, both mortal and mythical. This isn’t just any old show – oh no! Characters will spill into other areas of the festival site to engage with the audience, encouraging everyone to immerse themselves in the wonderful woodland world. If you thought the festival’s award-winning ‘At The Movies’ film production was something to behold, just wait until you witness this truly wild, unforgettable spectacle.

Camp KindleWoods

Camp KindleWoods

Only some dare enter the depths of The Wilderwild! Are you brave enough? Head to the KindleWoods base camp to learn forgotten secrets from their tribe of woodlanders. They are experts that can equip you with the tools and skills you’ll need to survive the running rivers, dense forests and fend off any feisty fiends!

KindleWoods Expedition

KindleWoods Expedition

The KindleWoods expedition leaders will guide you through The Wilderwild’s on an exploration of the area’s flora, fauna and rivers. They’ll be equipped with a bow and arrow so you can learn how to hunt for food should you ever find yourself stranded there alone. You can search for clues on how to find the legendary Wicked Witch of The Wilderwild, before relaxing in front of a lit fire and toasting some yummy marshmallows.

KindleWoods Fire Lighting Masters

KindleWoods Fire Lighting Masters

Have you ever wondered how great explorers, adventurers and survivors on television and film spark a spontaneous fire from a thistle, a flint, or any other random thing you can find on the wild floor? You never know when you might need to light a fire out in The Wilderwild, and Kindlewoods will ensure you are never stuck for improvised fuel.

KindleWoods Mud Kitchen

KindleWoods Mud Kitchen

Far from cooking up delectable delights with Howl Bushcraft in the Wild Kitchen, the Kindlewoods Mud Kitchen might not necessarily be for foodies. Think of Heston Blumenthal’s kitchen if the only ingredient he could use was mud! Mud pies are the staple, but we’re not averse to the occasional three course mud meal: mud salad, followed by mud casserole, all topped off with some mud chocolate. Unleash your imudgination.

KindleWoods Wild Kitchen with Howl Bushcraft

KindleWoods Wild Kitchen with Howl Bushcraft

We all know that cooking our in the open world with an open fire can produce some of the most delicious food you’re ever likely to taste. From five staple ingredients KindleWoods’ wild chefs will give a cooking master class, teaching you how to make bannock, smoked eggs, flatbreads and have a go at flipping some campfire pancakes. For dessert: steamed sticky toffee pudding, the pièce de résistance.

KindleWoods Craft

Those wild things over at Kindlewoods are really determined to provide you with the survival skills needed for The Wilderwild, right? At their greenwood workshop, you can craft pretty much every item you will ever need in your personal inventory to take full advantage of nature’s wealth of resources. This includes spoons, wild camp stools, bows and arrows, tinder pouches, mallets and whittled tent pegs, and kindled drop spindles. Also on offer are coasters, because your parents will still get frustrated at ring marks out in nature!

Monster's new clothes

Monster's New Clothes

Our resident sea monster was born in 2012 when our theme was MONSTERS and our audience helped dress him with scales (made from recycled file dividers from Asda). Our monster is now quite tatty and we'd quite like to set fire to him, if we're honest, but all that plastic going up in flames is not very green, excuse the pun. So we're going to re-clothe him in Wilderwild foliage first, and then set fire to him. Eat your heart out Green Man ;)

Land art for kids

Land Art for Kids

As if there wasn’t already enough arty activities on offer at #DeerShed8, there will also be the opportunity to dabble with Land Art for Kids. The company make art and sculptures using materials you find in nature: leaves, twigs, pebbles, rocks, flowers and anything else you can think of. Be imaginative and resourceful with your creations, whilst learning about nature and natural places.

Askham Bryan - Tree climbing

Tree climbing

Let Jessica Herbert & Askham Bryan College Tree Climbers help you to safely scale the most magnificent specimens Baldersby Park has to offer. What is always the greatest urge you feel when you see such giants of the natural world? Climb! We will be welcoming Jessica Herbert, the Head of Horticulture at Askham Bryan, who will be scaling the most impressive trees, and helping you to conquer them with her. We guarantee this will be the most extreme bushcrafting you are ever likely to experience.

Askham Bryan - Wormery Workshop

Wormery Workshop

If you didn’t spend hours and hours as a child building makeshift homes for the worms in your garden then… well, frankly you probably had a pretty normal upbringing. But, if you’re like us and want to study them closely whilst providing the little fellas with a sanctuary away from the ravenous birds, join us in the wormery workshop. Create your own little wormtopia.

Askham Bryan - Soil detectives

Soil detectives

“The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes”. Ok, Mr. Holmes might not have been talking literally about the earth – the soil under our toes – here, but it certainly gave us an idea! The muddy stuff beneath our feet is full of microorganisms belonging to vast ecosystems. Sift through the soil under a microscope and, with the help of our dirtectives, learn about the natural, expansive world of a worm.

Askham Bryan - Pyrography

Pyrography

Pyrography is the art of decorating wood by burning it with hot metal to create pretty patterns. The word ‘pyrography’ literally means ‘FIRE WRITING’ which is pretty darn cool. Burn the wood with a picture of animals, flowers, or even just a fun message. At #DeerShed8, we will be living by the age old mantra: no pyro, no party…

Askham Bryan - Manual soil textural analysis

Manual soil textural analysis

The stuff under our feet might look pretty ordinary when we’re not paying too much attention, but there is a world of interesting things to discover about soil. The make-up of soil – or particles – is broadly segregated into three size classes: sand (individual particles visible to the naked eye), silt (visible with a light-microscope) and clay (individual particles are sometimes not even visible with a light-microscope). We’ll show you the differences and let you do your own textural analysis of some good old Yorkshire earth!

Askham Bryan - Seed sowing

Seed Sowing

You reap what you sow, and all! Our gardening experts will run a workshop on how to sow seeds in order to give life to a lovely flowery creation, which will blossom in the months after the festival. Who wouldn’t want to have a living memento of Deer Shed, and to learn how to make your garden flourish with plant life at the same time?

Askham Bryan - Composting

Composting

Composting at home is the most Earth-loving, environmentally friendly way of getting rid of kitchen and garden waste. Whether you have an abundance of grass, out of date fruit and vegetables, woodchips, or even some card and paper (providing it has been shredded first), Akham Bryan will teach you how to turn it into compost that can be used as an excellent soil improver in your garden. Well, those soil detectives won’t be settling for anything less than the best!

Clay Tree Faces

Clay Tree Faces

Every tree in The Wilderwild has its own unique personality, just like each Deer Shedder. Some are old, some young; some are Ent-like giants filled with wisdom, some are little more than saplings. Now you can put a face to the personality by making a clay tree face for your favourite tree in Baldersby Park.

Fairy Doors

Fairy Doors

It’s a well-known fact that fairies hate to fly inside through human-sized doors. The large frames make them look even more absurdly minute than they already are, and we’ve all heard about little fairy syndrome. Fairies are friends of the festival, so we want to give them a little confidence boost by asking Deer Shedders to design tiny doors for the flying, winged things. They like lots of colour and pretty patterns, and we can think of no better way to make them feel welcome.

Tin Can lanterns

Tin Can Lanterns

The last thing even the most intrepid explorer of The Wilderwild wants is to be stuck without light when ground still needs to be covered at nightfall. Luckily, the Deer Shed workshoppers you met earlier in your travels helped you to make your own tin can lantern, which you hastily spark to light your way through the darkness. As well as great survival tools, they’ll also make great home decorations if you manage to return safely...

Botanical Illustrations

Botanical Illustrations

Many great artists over the years have chosen flowers as central subjects in their work. Claude Monet, in his old age, actually claimed to have taken more pride in his garden than his art! No wonder botanical illustrations – the art of depicting the form, colour, and details of plant species, frequently in watercolour paintings – are so popular. The illustrations are often scientifically accurate, so the challenge is to know your plant biology as well as painting a pretty picture!

Miniature gardens

Miniature gardens

It’s always nice to keep your garden looking neat and kempt. Imagine what it would be like if your garden were Wilderwild-sized, though. By the time you finish cutting the grass, the side you started on is overgrown again. We’re pioneering a ground-breaking activity at #DeerShed8: miniature gardens for every man, woman or child who wants a lush lawn without labouring all day. Let your creativity blossom – who will be given the Best Deer Shed Show Garden Award?

Wilderwild Run

Wilderwild Run

There really is no better feeling than striding through the fields, mud and streams of Baldersby Park; the wind blowing through your hair as you are cheered across the finish line by family and friends. This year we are offering both a 3k and a 6k track so you can test yourself a little more if you fancy a challenge. Equally, nobody will judge you if had a bit too much fun on Friday or Saturday night to really push yourself to the limit the next morning! Runners must be aged 10+. 10-15 year olds must be accompanied by an adult.

Padding Around Yorkshire

Padding Around Yorkshire

Hands up who loves the sensation of bare feet on wet grass, paddling in a cool mountain stream, padding along a leafy path in autumn and having a good ole splash in a muddy puddle. If you don't know what we're raving about, join Padding Around Yorkshire on their guided barefoot walks around Baldersby Park. We’ll all look mad but boy does it feel good to finally release your feet from those sneaker cells. (ALSO an afternoon nature photography workshop An evening light painting session A torch walk)

Wild singing

Wild singing

Here’s another trip down memory lane: think back to the halcyon days of scouting when you would embark on a trip to a faraway wood to sit around a campfire eating marshmallows on a stick and singing traditional songs. Fancy reliving them? Join Sally Egan for a trip into The Wilderwild for some wild singing with the birds. Classics like Kum Ba Yah are bound to be brought back to life, while we’re sure you can slip in some songs from main stage headliners. Kate Tempest around a campfire, anyone?

Animal acting workshop

Animal acting workshop...

...with West Yorkshire Playhouse. Ever been jealous of the birds soaring freely through the sky? Ever wished you could run as fast as a cheetah? Maybe you just wish you could relax all day, moving at one mile an hour, like a sloth! Our good friends at West Yorkshire Playhouse will present an acting workshop where you are tasked with hunting for, and channelling, your inner spirit animal. Hmm... I think I’d be the walrus

Tree ID Walk

Tree ID Walk

It might be a little easier to decipher the personality or mood of a tree once we’ve anthropomorphised them with clay faces, but that won’t really help us to identify their species, will it? The UK has at least fifty species of native trees, and many more of introduced non-native trees. Sometimes it’s easy-peasy to identify their species, but often you have to look closely for subtle details. Is it a broadleaf or is it a conifer? How do the seasons affect its features? All these burning questions, and more, will be answered!

Minibeasting with Charles Darwin

Minibeasting with Charles Darwin

Go searching for butterflies, millipedes, spiders and other minibeasts with the renown Victorian naturalist, Charles Darwin AKA Graham Branwell. Make a slug dance, count the legs on a centipede, spot the Harlequin ladybird (an American invader), or discover the difference between moths and butterflies – these are some of the many things you could be doing on this session.

Askham Bryan - Large sculpture communal willow piece

Large Sculpture Communal Willow Piece

We love collaboration at the Deer Shed Festival. Often some of the best works of art have been produced through a communal effort, with many hands working to leave their own little fingerprint on a huge piece. Last year, this was reflected in our Monsters v Machines film (due for release imminently) which actually starred Deer Shedders. For 2017, we want our festival goers to collaborate on a gigantic willow sculpture. We don’t know quite what the sculpture will be of yet, but all will be revealed in good time!

Willow fish

Willow Fish

One of the most loved traits of the willow tree is its flexibility, letting us create many symbols and structures out of its branches. . Our lovely helpers in the arts workshops are taking full advantage of this quality by teaching you just how to create your own art pieces out of willow. Willow fish are apparently all the rage at the moment. They might not be the best swimmers, but they sure will look lovely on your wall at home!

Abundant Earth Black Smith

Abundant Earth Black Smith

Back in the days of yore, if you needed something crafting out of metal, you would go to the black smith. Swords, armour and horseshoes would be on offer, but no Deer Shedder needs a sword or armour and the hobby horses don’t need hooves! Instead, you can heat up some metal until it’s malleable and bash it to make some lovely hooks to take home for hanging in house or garden.

Abundant Earth Felt Making

Abundant Earth Felt Making

The Abundant Earth team will show you how to turn the ordinary scraps of felt you might have lying around the house into bracelets and small felted rugs. They will be introducing you to the age old, tried and tested techniques of our outdoorsy, artsy ancestors.

Abundant Earth Willow Making

Abundant Earth Willow Making

They’re a little bit good at showing you how to make gorgeous gifts and decorations out of the good Mother Earth over at Abundant Earth, aren’t they? In this workshop, they will show you how to make various great creations using ancient willow weaving practices, adapted so you can take the lovely ornaments, like willow flowers, home as an ornament.

Breathing Circles

Breathing Circles

The pioneers of breathing circles upon devising the activity allegedly proclaimed, “We’ve discovered the power of our own breath. Once you find out what breathing can do, you want more of it!” Deer Shed aren’t quite claiming to have discovered oxygen, but they will be running a truly relaxing breathing circles workshop in The Wilderwild! Nothing like a bit of mindful reflection to keep you fresh for the rest of the festival.