Getting Hygge in the Woods

December 8, 2015

A day in the life of a Rural Trainee…and if you fancy following in their footsteps please check out our Rural Trainee opportunities Work for Us


We recently spent a day in the woods with our Rural Trainees. As well as learning about the serious side of event planning and management – the risk assessments, landowner permissions, and health & safety – we also had lots of fun and indulged in some foodie treats, taking inspiration from all over the globe!

Sweden first, as the trainee’s chainsaw skills were put to good use to create a pair of Swedish log candles – tall logs with deep crosses cut into the top using a chainsaw, which can then be lit in the centre using wood shavings. Despite their name, apparently they may originate from Germany (from the German word “Schwedenfeuer”, meaning “Swedish fire”). Either way, these attractive centrepieces proved to be perfect for cooking and providing long-lasting warmth during our woodland adventures in the Dales.

DSC_0109 Swedish Log Candle

Swedish log candle

We had quite a competitive start to the day, as the girls and boys went head to head in the den building challenge. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the boys went all out to create the biggest and most practical and weather-proof den, whilst the girls focussed more on design and the finishing touches of their tepee-style den, including a soft bracken carpet!


Back at our ‘camp’ we cooked up a feast of sausages and baked potatoes for lunch, finished off with hot chocolate and s’mores (the traditional American campfire treat, consisting of a fire roasted marshmallow and a layer of chocolate sandwiched between two biscuits).

DSC_0106 Lunch

Baking potatoes

Then back to business, and Gail Smith, Community Worker at YDMT, showed everyone how to whittle, leading to an interesting discussion about how the activity could be tailored to meet the needs and abilities of different groups, to ensure the activity is safe and rewarding for all age groups.


The group also touched on an unexpected new Scandi skill – Hygge: a heart-warming lesson from Denmark. Pronounced “hoo-ga”, it is usually translated into English as “cosiness”. I think we all need to work a bit harder on this though, as apparently it is an entire attitude to life, but we certainly felt happy, cosy, content and at one with nature in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales 😉


Read more about this story here in our official roundup of the day.


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