Having decided to press pause on proceedings quite some time ago, we are officially announcing the postponement of the next Global Bushcraft Symposium until 2022. We are glad we have managed to negotiate new dates with the original venue. The new dates are 27th-31st July 2022.
Put simply, with the current state of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, we cannot envisage any scenario in which an international group of several hundred people can meet, mingle, and interact at an event in the UK this year.
Coronavirus cases remain very high in many parts of the world, including the UK, which currently is experiencing record numbers of coronavirus patients in hospital. The UK is in full lockdown until mid-February, after which restrictions on travel and meeting with people, even outdoors, are considered likely to remain for months, until a significant proportion of the population have been fully vaccinated.
Globally, international air travel remains severely restricted. In recent weeks requirements for travel to, or entry into, many countries has been tightened even further. Entry to many countries is not possible for non-nationals. Even if entry is granted, long quarantines are mandatory. This includes returning to one’s own country. Moreover, the borders of some countries are simply closed. Many airlines are not flying at all. Further, we cannot envisage any responsible government easing entry requirements until the epidemic is unquestionably under control, especially with new localised variants coming to the fore.
It should not be surprising to anyone that these are not circumstances in which we can hold an international conference.
Further, the industry of bushcraft, survival and traditional skills instruction has undertaken significant financial damage over the last year, as has outdoor instruction, guiding, adventure travel and tourism more generally. Many instructors simply have not been able to work for much of the past year. It will take some time for businesses to recover. We expect many of our colleagues will be focussing on rebuilding their livelihoods through 2021, to the extent they can.
We hope, then, we are able to rekindle the fire in 2022. Please save the dates in your calendar. In addition to physical attendance at the event, we are currently looking at options for part of the event to be held online if travel options – for both speakers and delegates – remain compromised in 2022.
We will have further updates in due course.
Paul Kirtley and Lisa Fenton,