Firecraft: The Secrets of the Spark @ Brighton Science Festival

Ages: 5 - 18 years
Group size: 5 - 7
Parents must stay (and pay)
About this experience


Join educator, bushcraft instructor and entertainer Chris Packe, and go back to the birth of science, the dawn of civilisation, to explore one of the earliest technologies of them all - FIRECRAFT. It sparked off science, and is still at the centre of our lives today.

In this highly interactive and experimental 1 hour outdoor workshop we shall explore Chris's Six Scientific Ignition Tricks - all the different methods for getting a blaze going. Yes, we shall set lots of things on fire in many different ways, all in the name of science. Ancient methods, modern methods, natural tinders, artificial tinders... but we shall not be falling for the old scientist's trick of incinerating our own eyebrows.

Perhaps at the end you might want to accept the One Match Challenge...

A healthy interest in firecraft is inevitably entwined with a deep relationship with nature. If you want to get outdoors, get to know trees and plants, transform your average walk in the woods into an adventure, find new ways to relax, or if you just love creative, experimental science, then firecraft is for you, and this event is your launchpad.

Join us in Stanmer Park under the welcoming shelter of a big army parachute. Learn a lot, have a lot of fun, and then massively impress your friends with your amazing new skills.

1 hour workshops will run through the day on Tuesday 18th February 2020 in Stanmer Park
£7 per person (children 7 and under are free)
Time slots:
1030 - 1130; 1145 - 1245; 1300 - 1400; 1415 - 1515; 1530 - 1630
Choose the correct slot from the list on the right hand side of this page

Adults are most welcome, and hugely encouraged, to join in - children learn by imitation, so joining in is the best way to encourage learning.
Children aged 7 and under can come free.
Come dressed appropriately for being outdoors!

Along with Chris there will be Fergus the Forager's Wild Food Walk, where you can explore Fergus's Big Six essential wild food plants, and uncover the food potential of up to 25 other plants and fungi. Details here:
Put them both together for an alfresco science experience you will never forget!

For detailed directions, please refer to the Brighton Science Festival listing page; once you have booked I will also send you all the info you need for getting there.

See my website, Insights from the Outdoors, for wider nature musings, and details of youth programmes and father/son and father/daughter events I run:

Bookings on this firecraft event are subject to Chris Packe's Terms and Conditions. To review these, please copy this link and paste into your web browser:

About your mentor

I have been a bushcraft instructor for 5 years now (for 15 years I was an investment banker in London), and I am also a qualified hillwalking guide. I run mentoring programmes for teenage boys, events for fathers and sons/daughters, and events for adults - individuals and corporate groups - that get them out of civilisation, into nature and into new ways of seeing things. For these events and programmes I use tools ranging from fire, expeditions and axes through to poetry, silence and solitude. I have convened a consistent men's fire circle in the woods for over 3 years, I own a woodland where I carry out small scale forestry / conservation projects, and I'm also involved in performing sketch comedy. I have done writing, cartooning... even rap songs. I have taken myself out on a great deal of mountain, woodland and river adventures. I simply love getting families out into nature, helping them equip themselves for their own adventures and realise / remember what fun there is to be had together outdoors.

Strengths you may develop

Learning aims
To understand the five main methods of starting a fire, and the science behind them
To gain skill in starting fires, experimenting with different techniques, tricks and tools, and the different tinder materials available, from both outdoor and indoor sources
I’ll provide



Basic DBS  Basic DBS

Enhanced DBS  Enhanced DBS

Risk Assessment  Risk Assessment

Public Liability Insurance  Public Liability Insurance

Smoke detector  Smoke detector

First aid training  First aid training

First aid kit  First aid kit

Safeguarding training  Safeguarding training

Please note it is the responsibility of the booker to satisfy themselves about the adequacy of the safety measures. This platform is merely an introducer and does not verify the items listed here.


My experience consists of a leisure activity, on a specific date(s), and therefore the 14-day ‘cooling off period’ under the Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013 does not apply.

  • No refunds will be given for individual sessions missed or cancelled during the experience.

Cancellation process
This experience is offered by Chris

Forest Row

Chris used to climb mountains and work in the City until he had children, took off the tie, stopped travelling so far away and promptly fell in love with the woods and hills and their associated crafts. He is particularly fired up by running events and programmes that relate to men / fathers / teenage lads. This comes to life as nature-based youth mentoring programmes – year courses for young men such as Wolf Pack (13-16 years) and Odyssey (16-19 years), as well as Feral Fathers (feisty weekend events for fathers and sons / daughters) and convening a monthly men’s fire circle (since 2015). In addition, he does work that is variously described as coaching, mentoring and guiding (he is a qualified hill walking guide), and also sketch comedy, writing, cartooning and songwriting. Chris also finds himself owning a piece of woodland - a place to work, experiment and often to just go to alone and sleep in. He lives in Forest Row and has two children.