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The instructors

Rick van der Velde

Rick is the owner/founder and head instructor of Bushpappa.

After more than 20 years, Rick has left the financial world behind to fully focus on what he loves to do most, namely Bushcraft, hiking and canoeing.

Rick's love of nature and being outdoors and has been taugth by his parents to respect and embrace nature. Over the year Rick has done various courses and training at, among others, In de Outback, Extra, Ray Mears, Voshaar, and the Finnish Survival Guild to learn new skills and expand his knowledge. At the moment Rick is also part of the Team Living by Nature, where he is a teacher at the Parent/child yearcourse.

For Rick it is no longer conceivable to do anything other than teach people to experience nature and to teach them that it can also be very comfortable in nature.

Katrien Leemen

Katrien is an owner - instructor at Wild ONE Wilderness School and, together with Bushpappa.co.uk, offers Parent Child weekends and year-long training.

Not a typical outdoor child, she grew up in a big city and her contact with nature was limited
to the annual family holiday in the Ardennes.

Yet her urge for adventure was palpable there from an early age and, with many detours through the Balkans, it brought her to the virgin forests of southern Slovenia. These hidden primeval forests,
are known for their wide variety of species, as well as being home to animals such as wolves, bears and
lynxes. Wandering through nature, she became fascinated by the stories of the forest, the visible and
invisible ones.

Plants and trees, animals and their tracks, fire and its ancient history, the knowledge and skills of our
ancestors,... All parts of a powerful set of stories that demand to be heard and told. And that is exactly
what Katrien wants to do: listen, learn, see, experience and pass on to others.... After several years working for Living by Nature as CEO and as an instructor for parent-child activities, it was time to go her own way.

Willow Lohr

Willow is a well known name in the international bushcraft world and is the creator and founder of the Faith in Nature Annual Course and is your instructor for WOL Week, Drum Making & Painting and Drum Bag Making & TEAMBUILDINGS.

Curiosity and an utter belief in the existence of magic led Willow on the Path of Ravens and Hares. Has caused her to live deep in unspoilt Nature among the mountains in Scotland. And although she is now guided by Nature, Trees, Rain and Clouds, Moon and Horizon, Animals, Rivers and Voices on the Wind, her knowledge and insights come originally from 20 years of teaching Bushcraft, Tracking, Handcrafts and Wilderness Skills. So you can expect her nature knowledge to be thorough and grounded.

All her experience is deeply connected in the Earth and the Elements, but still finds a steadfast footing in underpinning sciences. She will take you on a wandering path from present to past and back.

Willow pursued her studies in philosophy with a specialisation in the philosophy of the 'mind' and then embarked on the path of Shamanism, teaching for four years at and with Native Elders.

The combination of scientific thinking and the experiences from the traditional ways makes Willow comfortable moving into nature with heart and soul and being able to stay here for long periods of time. From this basic attitude, she fuels your connection.

Stefan Sand

Stefan is your instructor for various bushcraft courses from past to present, as well as guide for various game walks.

For me, bushcraft brings together everything I find interesting: nature, ethnology and life in prehistoric times. The latter seems a long time ago, but it is only 1,000 generations. Our early ancestors lived with nature and from nature. And must have had immense knowledge of this. They shared that knowledge with each other and that is what I love to do. Like our ancestors, I love hunting and collecting: wild boar and beautiful pieces of wood. Then to do more with it than just eat the meat and cut firewood from it.

I took the annual training and instructor training course at Living by Nature and in the meantime, I also got my hunting licence and am now a hunter. Outside bushcraft, I am active as an ecologist and arborist. So basically everything in my life revolves around nature.

Anna Luijten

Anna is your instructor for the various bushcraft courses, Herbs workshops and various edible nature courses.

I grew up in Luxembourg where I spent hours scouring forests, following tracks, looking up which plants you could eat and which you couldn't, observing animals (deer, birds and even snails!) for hours on end, in short I was mesmerised by nature.

It is also no surprise that I decided to study biology and then become an ecologist. This happened in the Netherlands. Dutch nature contrasts with where I grew up. Lots of people, lots of rules, little space. I therefore went in search of adventure and wilderness during and after my studies, travelling to different countries. In cold isolated Russia, I hit it off. There, I fell in love with the endless plains where there is no human presence and where reindeer, musk oxen and bears are still king.

To feel connected to nature in the Netherlands as well, I started studying bushcraft skills. After completing the annual training and instructor training at Living by Nature, I became a bushcraft instructor there. Here, among other things, I gave the annual training, first together with Stefan, then I had my own groups. This, combined with my job as an ecologist, gave me a solid foundation for nature, bushcrafting and education.

Depending on who you ask, you will get different definitions for the word bushcrafting. For me, it's the skills -both mental and practical- you need to live in nature. Not survival. Live. It embraces the self-reliance, nature awareness, nature understanding, your head, heart and hands, your resilience, your creativity, the knowledge and skills and above all the respect for nature needed to live in nature. It is a way of life where you never stop learning.

Nature is deeply rooted in my DNA. Outside, I feel at home. And I like to pass that on to other people.

Anton van den Heuvel 

Anton van den Heuvel

Anton is your instructor for various bushcraft courses, workshops and coaching.

He is the eldest son of four children, father of three daughters, teacher of historical wooden shipbuilding, construction master of prehistoric buildings, NLP coach, trainer and teaches wood crafts, primitive skills and bushcraft.

Anton is an open, positive and creative person who loves being in nature and creating inspiring moments there with others. Raising awareness in the physical and non-physical world. He uses crafts and knowledge of nature to facilitate this.

Since 1991, he has guided countless people in their personal and professional development. He worked as prehistoric master builder at Archeon, as assistant master builder on several wooden shipbuilding projects (from prehistory to 18th century) and was head builder at the Batavia Yard.

Christian de Wolff

Christian is your instructor for various primitive living skills and bushcraft courses.

He can be found in the woods close to home since childhood, building huts and spending the night in them as a child.

Holidays were always in nature too. He grew up hiking, canoeing and wild camping.

As Christian grew a bit, the treks through nature became longer and longer, collecting berries and other food from nature and learning to fish. His craving for adventure and the desire to roam in the wilderness grew for him.

After many treks through the forests of Sweden, Germany and the Ardennes, where he spent several weeks at a time, in winter and summer, in nature, he came across Bushcraft around the age of 25. Since then, he has done several courses and training in the Bushcraft, Survival and Primitive livingskills direction in the Netherlands and the UK.

Christian's speciality is primitive livingskills and he has extensive knowledge of tanning hides and making clothes from them, mending nets, braiding traps and making fish hooks from bone, among other things. He is also one of the few experts in flint knapping in the Netherlands.

"I did an expedition to Sweden, where we lived off the land for a fortnight with only homemade clothing from animal skins, fishing nets and bone hooks , flint tools and other homemade objects.

Being involved in this a lot made me want to start teaching this as well, so I can share my knowledge. In this way, I hope to be able to offer people a beautiful experience and let them discover how beautiful and soothing but sometimes also rough and tough life in nature can be."

Natascha van den Berg


Natascha is your instructor for various bushcraft courses and workshops on working with natural materials.

I enjoy helping people feel more connected and at home in nature.
Learning new things makes me happy. Do you? I would like to share my knowledge and skills with you.

Nature is my greatest source of inspiration. To live in and from.

Historical crafts teach me a lot. For example, living without electronics and plastic.

Pim van Hoeve

Pim is your instructor when it comes to forging in the widest sense.

Since childhood, I have been fascinated by history and making things. In high school, my mother gave me a forging workshop as a gift.

From then on, I wanted nothing more than to become a blacksmith. After several years of wandering (including a course in mechanical engineering), I ended up at the vocational school for gold and silversmiths in Schoonhoven.

After graduating, I first started working as a goldsmith, but after two years I decided to go for the traditional forging trade and joined Smederij Zwolle.

I also work as an independent blacksmith, under the name of Van Hoeve Knives and Metals.

Thijmen Apswoude

Thijmen is your instructor for the Living by Nature annual course, Bow Building, Wild skinning and cooking and various bushcraft courses and workshops

Nature is the dominant theme in Thijm's life. It has been for as long as he can remember. When he was a little boy, his father regularly took him out to see wild animals, tending bees.

Thijmen grew up among hunters, nature lovers, beekeepers and many other nature-oriented enthusiasts. At the age of 17, Thijmen left, already well prepared for the harsh demands of nature.

He is adamant in everything he does in nature and with his business. He wants to introduce people to 'the bushcraft experience' and make them realise what it is like to renounce many ways of modern civilisation.

Mikko Kettunen

Mikko is the founder and chief instructor of Karu Survival Oy and will mainly accompany the courses and trips in Finland together with Rick.

He has 16 years of experience in the Finnish Defence Forces as a Jaeger (Ranger) and trainer/trainer in different divisions as intelligence and leadership. Mikko specialises in survival training and extreme arctic conditions.

Mikko believes that people are always in nature. In nature, it is easier for us to understand our place in the world. Without nature, we cannot understand our roots or our history. Mikko wants to bring nature and the outdoors closer to people.

Dennis Hardeman

Dennis is your coach/instructor at the MAN-POWER weekends.

Dennis Hardeman of Manpower 10, loves to let people and teams get close to themselves. This allows them to make choices that suit them. So that they function better as a team and person, and their potential comes to the surface even more. This ensures greater job satisfaction and mutual involvement.
As a professional, Dennis looks for the depth in others, based on his own experience and vulnerability. Not as a goal, but as a means to empathise, to persevere and to confront where necessary. He enjoys working from creativity and humour, with the goal and result being paramount.