Camp under the stars in first for forest festival

Woodfest at Hatfield Forest. Picture: NATIONAL TRUST

Woodfest at Hatfield Forest. Picture: NATIONAL TRUST - Credit: Archant

The organisers of the annual WoodFest event are offering a wild camping experience in the heart of the ancient Hatfield Forest this year.

WoodFest is the highlight of forest's events calendar and celebrates the traditions of woodcraft, food, drink and music.

This year, for the first time, the organisers are offer the opportunity to sleep under the stars and the ancient oak trees and learn tracking and bushcraft survival skills.

The team from Woodlife Trails will show visitors how to set up a wild camp with a small tent, hammock, tarp or bivvi and a sleeping bag and teach visistors the skills of carving and whittling, fire lighting, wildlife tracking and wild tree and plant identification.

Festival director, Ian Pease said: "We are really excited to be able to offer a bushcraft experience at WoodFest this year. Not only will you build your own campsite but you will learn to light a fire and cook your own food. For those wanting a more luxurious experience there are also pitches for tents, caravans and campervans.

"People travel from far and wide to come to the festival and it's great to be able to celebrate the work we do with so many people. Many locals also take the opportunity to camp in the forest for a really different experience. WoodFest has been growing year on year and really helps to support the important conservation work we do here. It's wonderful that so many people of all ages turn up to support it."

The festival starts at 7pm on Friday, September 6, and runs until 5pm on September 8. It will have more than 80 live music acts on two stages. There will also be story-telling, craft stalls as well as locally-sourced food, cider and real ale and a gin bar.

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WoodFest is also open to non-camping day visitors. This year sees the introduction of a day entry fee of £5 per car, plus parking which is free to National Trust members and £13 per car for non-members which includes parking. Caravan and campervan pitches cost £80 for the two nights and tents costs £75.

Tickets for camping and the bushcraft experience are available from the Hatfield Forest website or via the National Trust box office on 0344 2491895.