I have commenced a new, epic journey in my life.
After more than twelve years of publishing Bushcraft & Survival Skills Magazine and seven years of running The Bushcraft Show, I have decided to take a new direction into an area I feel strongly guided towards, which coincidentally, still involves fire!
This is a scary decision and one that I have not taken lightly. The joy derived from working with the magazine and the show has brought me happiness beyond measure – primarily because of you, the people I have met and engaged with over the years. The wonderful letters I receive on a weekly basis telling of how the show and the magazine has changed their lives, whether that be by way of developing a new confidence to get outdoors, nurturing a new skill or how it has assisted with conditions such PTSD. Thank you for your heartwarming letters that have often made me cry.
Through these years I have also had the opportunity and pleasure to work with people from all walks of life; from our lovely volunteers, writers, editorial team, traders, exhibitors, advertisers and contributors to leading figures in the industry and bushcraft and survival celebrities, such as Ray Mears, Lofty Wiseman, Steve Backshall, Les Stroud, Mykle Hawke, Les Hiddins, Cody Lundin, Dave Canterbury, Johan Skullman and many others…
I have also been given opportunity to travel and to experience adventures that have impacted and possibly changed my life forever. One of the most emotional experiences was the Woodland Ways Expedition to Kenya where I lived with the Maasai people in the Rift Valley. I cannot go into the experience here other than to say it was moving, humbling, challenging and truly enlightening.
In 2005 I co-founded the UK’s first bushcraft magazine and the world’s first digital bushcraft magazine. Despite numerous challenges in the publishing industry we have managed to defy all trends and statistics by building a niche publication that enjoys substantial year-on-year growth. The printed version, in addition to being dispatched to our readers on a Pan-European basis, is now distributed in seven other countries – USA, Taiwan, Singapore, New Zealand, Malta, Malaysia and Australia.
The Bushcraft Show was founded in the Lake District during 2011 and has gone from strength-to-strength to evolve into what is now the leading bushcraft show in the world. The Bushcraft Show’s success has enabled us to grow an amazing event, continually invest in the infrastructure and show offering, provide famous bushcraft and survival celebrities from around the world giving visitors and exhibitors alike, an experience that cannot be found anywhere else in a single event.
David Thompson is the new owner of Bushcraft & Survival Skills Magazine and The Bushcraft Show. David has been working for Bushcraft & Survival Skills Magazine and The Bushcraft Show for a number of years and has gained extensive knowledge and experience of the bushcraft industry and community. You may have seen David at The Bushcraft Shows and other outdoor events we have participated in where he worked as a volunteer for nine years before becoming fully integrated with the business.
If you are a long-term reader of the magazine you will also be familiar with his wonderful son George Thompson who became the first writer to establish our Bushcraft Bairns feature, which is a section of the magazine written by a ‘bairn’ and therefore aimed at nurturing and inspiring children. But as we know with Ben Abbott’s articles, they have a certain appeal to readers of all ages. George wrote for the magazine for just under four years, from Issue 9 until issue 30 when he retired as he could no longer be classed as a ‘bairn’!
I would like to wish David and his new team of talented staff, the greatest of success – I have every confidence in their ability to maintain growth, to stay firmly connected and to continue exploring new opportunities. I will be working very closely with the team to effect a smooth transition. You will see me at The Bushcraft Show this year where my dream has finally come to fruition, and that is to actually attend the show as a visitor. Please stop me and say hello.
I would love to share the next chapter of my life with you. To join me on my journey, please follow me on Facebook.
Thank you all for a truly wonderful twelve years.
Bushcraft & Survival Skills Magazine and The Bushcraft Show extend an invitation to you…
The invitation is to join us in celebrating the tenure Olivia enjoyed at the helm of this business and the incredible contribution made during the last twelve years of her life as the co-founder of both Bushcraft & Survival Skills Magazine and The Bushcraft Show.
Establishing both elements of the Company that I shall now be managing, has been no mean feat. This has been achieved not by luck or largesse in any form. It has been derived by considerable endeavour, long hours, risk-taking, shiny intellect, conceptual thinking, a willingness to listen, to engage and not least by her charming demeanor and irresistible smile!
During this twelve year period the magazine has seen many changes in its writers, management and of course, its format – all of this whilst maintaining an ethos and a resolute commitment to the greatest quality for its readership.
Likewise The Bushcraft Show. This has morphed from its utterly charming origins in The Lake District into something quite unique in its offering and most certainly in its scope and scale. During the last two years in particular, there has been a powerful, tangible vibe amongst all the visitors and staff attending The Bushcraft Show – a discernible energy that remains with you long after the show has ended.
Olivia, having undertaken training as a Firewalking Instructor last year, is about to embark on a new venture in her life and in doing so passes considerable responsibility onto myself. I have been involved with the business on a number of levels during the past twelve years and feel that my apprenticeship will serve us well. I am determined and resolute in my efforts to retain the core values and identity established by Olivia whilst continuing to challenge the parameters of both key elements of the business. I have an array of ideas for both the magazine and the show that I will be implementing over the next few years and hope you will enjoy engaging with them.
Thank you for your continued support during these exciting times, equally, thank you Olivia. Collectively, we celebrate you.