Lisa is lecturer across Outdoor Studies degree programs, both undergraduate and postgraduate, at the University of Cumbria. In 2019, Lisa developed a Bushcraft pathway of the Masters Programme in Outdoor and Experiatial Learning; currently running from the beautiful Ambleside campus. Lisa is both an academic and practitioner of wilderness survival and bushcraft skills. She combines her academic background in ethnobiology and anthropology with her long-standing field experience in bushcraft and wilderness survival skills. Initially serving her apprenticeship with Ray Mears, Lisa then co-created her own bushcraft organisation in the Lake District National Park for 17 years. During that period she took an MSc in Ethnobotany from the University of Kent and in conjunction with Kew Gardens, and continued to study for her doctorate in Bushcraft & Indigenous Knowledge. 

Through both her academic research, and through a myriad of local and global experiences that ranges across a variety of remote environments, Lisa feels sure that bushcraft engenders a way of being in landscape ecologies that knits us closely into the very fabric of materials and conditions of our natural environment. Learning from peoples who have retained the skills to live in and utilise the vast possibilities a landscape can afford us, for clothes, tools, food, medicines, and shelter, Lisa advocates an approach to bushcraft skill and study that respectfully moves towards these traditional ecological knowledges.

Qualifications and memberships

MSc Ethnobotany, University of Kent & Kew Gardens

Ph.D Ethnobiology, University of Kent, Department for Anthropology & Conservation

Academic and research interests

  • Human-Nature Relationships
  • The ethnobiology of Bushcraft practices, cultures, processes and thoretical perspectives
  • Ethnobotany
  • Bushcraft as pedagogy
  • Outdoor & Experiencial Leraning
  • Wellbeing and thereputic aspects of bushcraft pratice and outdoor education
  • Tradtional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) systems
  • Local & Indigenous knowledge
  • Traditonal land-based crafts and rural skills
  • Socio-cultural & political landscapes
  • Rewilding & human rewilding
  • Human-Forest interactions

Research supervision

Phd Supervision


  • 1st supervisor for Hannah Field: Can place-based decision making be used to protect the natural resources and local communities? (current)
  • 2nd supervisor for Owen Morgan: Belonging and Connecting: The value of social and cultural capital with in UK Hill farming communities. (current)
  • 2nd supervisor for Rebecca Hordern: Investigating teacher-student relationships in classrooms and outdoor learning spaces: listening to the voices of the young people to improve their engagement in learning (current)
  • 3rd supervisor for Sally Hawkins: A grounded theory of change for rewilding (current)



  • 3rd supervisor for Amy Smallwood: Primary Encounters:towards a conceptual model of place relations in outdoor adventure education (completed 2023)



Fenton, L. and Playdon, Z., 2022. Blending science and Indigenous knowledge systems. Routledge Handbook of Rewilding.

Fenton, L., Playdon, Z & Prince, H.E. (2020) Bushcraft Education as Radical Pedagogy - Pedagogy, Culture and Society.

Mayhew, M, Cramer, J,D , Fenton L, Dittrich, A and Armstrong, R (2020) A new hot spot for Temminck’s Red Colobus (Piliocolobus badius temminckii) in The Gambia: the feasibility of a community approach to conservation. Primate Conservation.

Fenton, Lisa (2016) 'Bushcraft' and 'Indigenous Knowledge': transformations of a concept in the modern world. Unpublished (PhD) thesis, University of Kent.

Recent external roles

Co-Chair of the 2022 Global Bushcraft Symposium