The Naming of Acorn Bushcraft
When we decided to develop this website we needed to come up with an easily remembered name and one which pointed too what the website was about. However, this proved to be quite challenging as we considered, rejected and drew up a short list. Eventually, after some deliberation Acorn Bushcraft was chosen due to the importance of the Oak tree in our history and the folklore surrounding the tree and its fruit the humble acorn.
What’s Special About The Oak Tree
Within the Oak Family(Quercus ***) there are some 600 different variants and the English Oak (Quercus robur) is perhaps the most widespread throughout the UK. A typical tree can support up to 284 species of insects and 324 types of lichens growing on the bark. This vast array of insects means that it supplies the most food for birds such as Tits and Tree Creepers.
The timber from the Oak tree has been used for firewood, buildings, ship building (Viking long ships and naval men of war) and furniture throughout the ages because of its excellent burning properties, great strength and resistance to decay. Oak planks are still used today to make barrels for vine making and the exact type used can influence the taste of the wine.
Oak trees are known to live for centuries, with the majority living at least 200 years. The oldest oak tree on record is estimated to be more than 1,000 years old.
The oak is a common symbol of strength and endurance and has been chosen as the national symbol of many countries including the UK.
The fruit of the oak tree, acorns, provide a harvest for many wild creatures such as wild boar in ancient times, jays, pigeons, pheasants, ducks, squirrels, mice, badgers, deer and pigs when the acorns fall in the autumn.
What About the Folklore
Given that Oak has been used throughout history, it is hardly surprising that there is a fair amount of folklore about the tree and its fruit and some of the more appealing ones are listed below.
The fruit of the oak, which has been associated with a variety of superstitious beliefs since time immemorial. The oak was venerated by the Druids in pre-Christian times and was similarly revered by many early civilizations, including ancient Rome (the goddess Diana was often depicted wearing a string of acorns).
In Norse legend it is believed that Thor sheltered from a thunderstorm under an oak tree and this has led to the belief that having an acorn on a windowsill will prevent a house from being struck by lightning, hence the popularity of window blind pulls decorated as acorns.
Back in the seventeenth century, a juice extracted from acorns was administered to habitual drunkards to cure them of their condition or else to give them the strength to resist another bout of drinking.
Young lovers, meanwhile, may place two acorns, representing themselves and the object of their affection in a bowl of water in order to predict whether they have a future together. If the acorns drift towards each other, they are certain to marry.
In Britain, one old tradition has it that if a woman carries an acorn on her person, it will delay the ageing process and keep her forever young (a reference to the longevity of the oak tree itself).
Why Acorn Bushcraft
Given its place in history and enduring properties of endurance and longevity, it seemed appropriate to encompass the oak tree into our company name. However, to use the word oak seemed disrespectful to the tree. Therefore, as this is a new venture, we decided to use Acorn Bushcraft as I’m particularly fond of the the saying ‘From Little Acorns Grow Big Oak Trees.’