Reading Brian Hildreths ‘How to Survive’ and Roahl Dahls ‘Danny the Champion of the World’ at a young age sparked Chris’s interest in the natural environment and wilderness skills. This inspired Chris to join the Cubs and Scout Associations of which he was a member for many years. Later, at university Chris was a member of the universities Expedition Society which organised ice climbing, hill trekking and mountaineering ventures amongst others.
Following university, a career as a project manager beckoned spanning 15 years during which time Chris worked in Europe and the private & public sectors in the UK, gaining several prestigious awards along the way. However the call of the outdoors was too great and so in 2012 Chris founded Forest Skills Ltd and as Chris puts it, he now has “a proper job”.
Since the early 1990’s Chris has actively sought to expand his knowledge of traditional and modern skills and techniques for living and teaching in the natural environment. To this end, Chris has gained several internationally recognised qualifications as part of his personal quest to ever increase his knowledge, including studying friction fire lighting under Dale Collett; perhaps one of the best in the world at the floating hand drill technique. A former member of Cheshire Search and Rescue Team, Chris volunteers with the Cheshire First Responders working alongside the North West Ambulance Service, as well as teaching first aid, child safeguarding and food hygiene courses.
Ash is incredibly busy at the moment, with a new baby and moving house, so hasn’t written his biography yet. So we thought we’d make one up for him 🙂
Ash is a fully qualified elephant pilot & most recently flew his pet elephant (he only has a part share in the elephant) to the North Pole. Born and bred in Atlantis, Ash has a background in deep sea diving where he specialised in welding sand to the underside of blue whales. Having successfully coated his mandatory 25 whales with sand, Ash spent then next 50 years lobster fishing off the coast of Ecuador where he lost his second pair of legs in a duelling incident involving two seagulls. Following his recovery, Ash moved to Cheshire where he became an art teacher.
Victoria grew up in the Cheshire countryside where she developed a love for wildlife, adventure and the outdoors. Obsessed with nature programmes, she was often found climbing trees or building dens and would sometimes ‘run away’ on survival missions with only a backpack and sleeping bag. With a passion for travel Victoria has spent time exploring many countries and cultures including South Africa, Thailand, Tanzania and many countries in Europe, often living out of a backpack and therefore gaining a great respect for ‘simple living’ and trying wherever possible to live off the land, learning from the local people. In 2012 Victoria spent six months living in Morocco learning many traditional life skills that have been long forgotten in our busy ‘throw-away’ western world.
Victoria has worked in Secondary and Primary schools in both Cheshire & London, working alongside charities such as the Prince’s Trust, Duke of Edinburgh and Catch 22 (providing alternative curriculum programmes for those at risk of exclusion). Now working as an Outdoor Education Tutor in a Cheshire primary school and as an instructor for Forest Skills Ltd, her mission is to spread the Forest School ethos and continue on her own personal learning journey, to enable her to pass on her passion and knowledge and create unforgettable outdoor experiences for others.
As a child, Luke spent most of his time outdoors playing in the fields and woodlands that surrounded his home. Luke joined the Cubs, the Scouts and the Army Cadet Force, where he learned many fundamental skills and spent as much time as he could camping out under self-made shelters with friends and putting his new found skills to use.
Luke is proud to say that he never really lost that connection with nature, which he says is as strong today as it ever was. Luke still enjoys learning new skills, practising existing ones and generally just getting muddy, but he gets his biggest kicks from passing on the skills he learned over the years to new people. “I look forward to guiding you on your journey into the amazing world of Bushcraft and Ancestral Living skills, enabling you to feel more at one with nature”.
The Forest Skills Ltd Team