When is Common Ground? How long is it?
The camp will last for 10 nights, Fri 29th July – Mon 8th Aug 2022.
Can I come for part of the camp? How much would it cost?
Yes, you can come for five nights, either the first half (29th – 3rd) or second half of camp (3rd – 8th). If you are involved in setup or takedown e.g driving a lorry or minibus then you may stay the first night or last night free of charge but you must let us know in advance. More information for drivers to the site will be provided nearer the time. We will not ask drivers to book via the camp booking system.
The cost for anyone attending for five days was £130 if booked by 1 Dec 2021, or £135 after.. Further camp fee increases apply after 15 June and there are no On the door tickets.
Where is it?
The location of the camp is Kelmarsh Event Field, Northampton NN6 9LY. This is in the Midlands of England with nice countryside. See next question for detailed arrival information.
How do I get there?
There will be plenty of space for parking should you want to drive, or arrive by coach. The camp has a separate entrance to Kelmarsh Hall and Gardens. When you turn off the Main Road (A508), the gate will be the third exit on your right. Please DO NOT enter the gates marked Kelmarsh Hall. Use https://what3words.com/originate.remotest.groups .
You can arrive by train to Kettering (recommended station) or Market Harborough. These are a 15 minute drive from Kelmarsh. Connections: 1hr by train from London St Pancras, 40 minutes by car from Birmingham International Airport, or 3 hours from Dover. Common Ground will be providing shuttle buses from Kettering station between peak arrival and departure times, on the first and last days of camp. If you already booked tickets to/from Market Harborough, get in touch and we can discuss how to resolve this. We will also provide shuttle buses from Birmingham International Airport for those coming from abroad, in the hours when most groups arrive. Places on these buses will need to be booked in with the Common Ground team by 1st July 2022. If you missed this deadline, please speak to your village partners or consider taking the X7 bus or a taxi from the train station.
International arrivals can also discuss coordinating UK transport with their UK hosts.
Travelling from mainland Europe, you could travel by ferry to Dover, Folkestone and Portsmouth. Or you can take Eurostar to London St Pancras, where you transfer onto trains to Kettering and Leicester (for Market Harborough).
Is there an Open Day?
There is a chance to visit on Sat 6th August if you are a family member or have a friend attending camp. See more information under Get Involved.
Do I need to speak English?
No. Although English will be the primary language used on camp, there will be three official languages; English, French and Spanish. These will be used all over camp, including in some of the programme. There will also be lots of ways such as signs full of pictures and colours that help people communicate and get around.
How many people will be there? Where are they from?
We expect between 2,000 and 3,000 people. Many people will be members of the Woodcraft Folk, but there will also be groups from across the world at the camp from our umbrella organisation IFM-SEI. You can find a list of IFM-SEI member organisations on their website.
Why should I come?
Mostly because it will be fun! You’ll have loads of opportunities to meet new people, play games and learn from people from all over the world.
International friendship is a central idea of Woodcraft Folk and IFM-SEI and by participating in, helping to build and contributing to Common Ground 2022 you’ll be a part of a really large community striving to make the world a better place.
These camps don’t happen in the UK very often — the last time Woodcraft Folk hosted an international camp was in 2011 — so this may be the best opportunity for to experience such a fantastic event. After the difficult experiences of the pandemic, all children and young people deserve to come together, for a fantastic celebration of friendship, peace and FUN.
What about media consent?
Media consent for Woodcraft Folk purposes is submitted for each participant via the booking system. IFM-SEI may seek consent separately from participants on the day, if they are capturing imagery or video for their own purposes. The participants without consent wear a different colour wristband. But the participants themselves will also be posting on social media. Speak to your young people about how they can respect others’ privacy.
1. Look out for different coloured wristbands
3. Some children have no media consent for their own safety but they may not be aware of this themselves.
4. Only take images of your own group, otherwise check that no young people can be recognised in images
5. You can still take active, fun images of hands doing crafts, dancing feet etc
How much does it cost for those from the UK or Western Europe?
UK and Western Europe (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Norway, Catalonia, Sweden, Switzerland, UK):
| ||Price 10-Day tickets||Price 5-day tickets||Deadline
|2020 Prices (historical bookings paid before 30 June 2020)||£205||£125||Deadline has passed
|Early Bird||£210||£130||1st December 2021
|Standard Ticket||£215||£135||2nd May 2022
|Late Booking||£230||£150||15 June 2022
|Very Late Booking||£300||£200||
How much does it cost for those from elsewhere?
The staggered fees for participants outside of Western Europe will remain as in 2020:
Eastern Europe, some Middle East – £155 (Armenia, Belarus , Czech Republic, Georgia, Hungary, Lithuania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey, Israel)
Latin America, Asia, Africa and some Middle East – £105 (Cameroon, Egypt, Ghana, Mali, Senegal, Western Sahara, Zimbabwe, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Nicaragua, Peru, Bhutan, India, Indonesia, Palestine).
What is included in the camp fee?
Included in camp fee: 10 days of camping, meal ingredients, central day / evening programme and replacement gas bottles (please see detail on gas under Site infrastructure).
Excluded: Travel costs, the first bottle of gas, cooking equipment, village / kitchen tents, tables, chairs or benches. Craft materials for village day activities.
Can I come for part of the camp? How much would it cost?
Yes, you can come for five nights, either the first half (29th – 3rd) or second half of camp (3rd – 8th). The cost for anyone attending for five days is £130 if booked by 1 Dec 2021, or £135 if booked before 2nd May. £200 if booked after 16th June 2022 and there are further increases as the camp approaches.
If you are involved in setup or takedown e.g driving a lorry or minibus then you may stay the first night or last night free of charge but you must book. More information for drivers to the site will be provided nearer the time. This will be arranged away from the camp booking system which only recognises Full camp/Half camp options.
What are the booking deadlines?
The early bird booking deadline is 1st December 2021. If you book and pay £100 deposit per participant before this point you will save £5 per person. The regular booking deadline passed on 5th May 2022. You should ensure all the details of your participants are correct and pay in full by this point. A small number of tickets may be available, at £300 for a full camp if booked after 16th June 2022.
Can I change my booking?
You will be able to amend bookings e.g. number of participants, names etc until 5 May 2022, by logging into the booking system. However if you have a participant with complex access needs, please do let us know as soon as you can so we can put reasonable adjustments in place. There is no fee for changing camper names/details.
Who has to pay to come?
Everyone 5 years old or older on the first day of camp will need to pay.
However many districts will choose to fundraise to subsidise the cost of each group member. Do connect with your district, either where you grew up or close to where you now live, they are often happy to subside your camp fee if you are willing to take on some responsibility.
Anyone under 5 on the first day of camp (29th July 2022) can attend Common Ground for free (accompanied by a carer). Full-time carers for young people with specific additional needs may be able to attend for free – email email@example.com to discuss this more.
How do I pay?
Paying by cheque:
We no longer have a head office in London where we could easily process your cheque. Please make a bank transfer if at all possible, or if your community account does not allow this, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for further advice.
Paying by bank transfer:
Account name: The Woodcraft Folk
Account number: 2039 2756
Sort code: 60 83 01
Use your unique reference, (CG-four digits) for all payments. You can leave out the hyphen if your bank accepts letters and numbers only. If you have paid without a reference number, please email email@example.com and let us know the amount, the payment date and who it was for. We can then match it to your booking and bring your payment record up to date.
For international bank transfers you will also need the information below.
Swift Code (BIC): NWBKGB2L
IBAN Number: GB93NWBK60023571418024
IMPORTANT: Please request a Foreign payment , NOT Swift payment or International money transfer.
Is travel included?
Travel is not included in the camp fee. Your district or organisation may collectively set a cost for travel, and include this in the cost advertised to you. Group travel can offer the best value for money for all, including the transport of equipment.
We aim to offer shuttle buses on the day of arrival and day of departure from Kettering, and Birmingham International airport. These need to be booked by 1st July. After this time, we cannot guarantee availability.
Who can come? Do I have to be a member to come to Common Ground?
All ages are welcome at Common Ground. You have to be a member of either Woodcraft Folk or another organisation coming as a delegation. This might be an IFM-SEI organisation or another organisation linked to a Woodcraft Folk group. The camp is primarily for young people, therefore we expect anyone aged over 21 to take some responsibility within their village or on the camp team.
Do I have to go with a group?
If you are under 16: you have to come to Common Ground as part of a group, although this group can be very small.
If you are 16 – 21 and from the UK: you can book on as a lone participant. However where possible you should book as part of a larger group e.g. your district or delegation. Coming along as part of a group will make it more fun and might be better financially. Have a think of any groups you have previously been a part of, or any groups that exist near where you live now.
If you are over 21: These camps are primarily for young people. We expect all over 21-year-olds to have taken on some responsibility within their village or on the central camp team. Capable adult volunteers are extremely welcome, but please contact the district directly that you have most recently been involved with.
We can’t afford it - what should I do?
The Common Ground Board understands that the pandemic has had a catastrophic impact on some participants’ finances, and we want as many people to enjoy Common Ground as possible, regardless of their financial background. Do connect with your local district if you are an individual – fundraising works best when it is done together as a group.
Have a look at the Fundraising page of the website for tips on fundraising, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more help on making Common Ground affordable.
I'm just driving a Van do I need to book?
No, you don’t need to book if you are just driving a Van to deliver equipment to Common Ground e.g. tents for a village.
However if you are intending to stay overnight on the night of the 29th of July before driving the van home, you will need to be a member of the woodcraft Folk and have an up to date DBS, you will receive a paper wrist band for the night, and will need to leave before midday on Saturday the 30th of July.
Same if you are intending to come on the Sunday the 7th of August.
What is a Village and what is a Town?
Everyone at Common Ground 2022 will camp in a Village, which is a circle of tents with around 70 – 130 people camping and eating together. Most likely, this will be 1 or 2 Woodcraft districts as well as 1 or 2 international groups. Each Village will have a Camp Chief/coordinator, a KP (=organiser of the kitchen), and a First Aider.
Between 3 and 5 villages will come together to form a Town. A town is around 500 people and will have a shared Commons area which has one tent big enough to hold informal evening programme, maybe a cafe and other low-key activities. Each town will share a town pantry (food ingredient collection point) with another town.
What are international delegations?
Common Ground 2022 is an IFM-SEI camp which means that all members of other IFM-SEI organisations are invited! They will bring groups of young people with their leaders to our international camps.
There are two types of delegations:
1) Most delegations will be from Europe. They will pay for their own travel and camp fees, and will take part in village duties such as cooking and washing up. However the delegation may travel by plane and might need some sleeping tents provided.
2) Some districts from outside Europe will need extra fundraising support, due to the high travel costs and financial position. Some UK districts might choose to fundraise for one of these ‘Solidarity’ delegations to cover some or all of the travel costs and camp fees, providing sleeping tents and hosting them in their village.
We may also ask a European delegation to support or link with a solidarity delegation, especially delegations who are well equipped and/or will travel over land.
Who will be in my Village? Do I get to choose?
Broadly yes. Districts can choose which other Woodcraft groups to share with and if they wish to support a solidarity delegation. The camp is about international solidarity and friendship, so we encourage all groups to start building those international links well before camp.
As the central organising team we want to ensure that everyone has a tent to sleep in and a village to be part of with a kitchen tent and marquee. Occasionally this might involve asking districts to welcome delegations into their village and lend a few sleeping tents for the camp.
What is the ratio between adults and children?
Small children are very welcome on camp, and we have lots of activities for under 10’s. But when planning your group size, please ensure you have enough adults. You will need to meet the required ratio between adult volunteers and children as follows:
1 adult volunteer to every 3 children aged 0 – 5
1 adult volunteer to every 5 children aged 6 – 9
1 adult volunteer to every 8 children aged 10 – 12 and
1 adult volunteer to every 10 children aged 13 – 15.
What if my young person is only a month or to away from the next age group
Overall, we need to follow usual age groups. You may have some young people who are close to their next birthday, and/or have friends in the older age group. This could raise queries around who needs to be back in the village by 10.30pm, and who gets to attend the evening programme.
We as the Common Ground team are happy for you as a group leader to make sensible judgements about treating young people as if they are in an older age category especially if they are only a month or so away.
As a village, please be clear:
1. How to be consistent, and fair to everyone
2. Follow the official adult and child ratio based on biological age
3. DFs in positions of responsibility needing to have background checks
4. Legal restrictions cannot be overridden, ie. Camp pub will only accept over18s.
How are the villages organised?
Villages are organised into groups of 3-5 called towns. Each town will have a large Marquee, called a town common, and each town will share a town pantry (ingredient collection point) with another town. Some activities will be organised at a local town level.
What equipment is needed and who provides this?
We will publish an example kit list nearer the camp but you will need tents, sleeping bags and sleeping mats.
Villages will need tents for individuals to sleep in, kitchen tents with cooking equipment and a marquee to eat under if it rains. Woodcraft districts will need to bring this with them to Common Ground as well as tables and benches if they want them.
If you are coming from another country by plane, your host Woodcraft Folk district may have equipment they can lend you. If you are a Woodcraft district you may be able to apply for funding for new camping equipment. See the Fundraising page for tips. If you are a small or new Woodcraft Folk district you may be able to share equipment with a larger, more established district.
We are a small district, can we ask for help?
Yes! Many large established Woodcraft districts are happy to take small districts under their wing and share equipment. However there is of course a cost to storing and transporting equipment. So we suggest small districts consider paying £10 per person towards a district which is sharing their equipment.
How will the water work?
The site has a 60mm pipe all around the edges of all of the fields. There are already lots of standpipes already placed around the fields, the estate managers are adding in more, and we will add in some during working week.
There will be a minimum of one stand pipe per 2 Villages, some villages may get their own Standpipe but this cannot be guaranteed.
All villages will be placed such that they will have local water access, but not necessarily directly into kitchen tents so villages should come with jerry cans and a small trailer or some way to move water around, alternatively you may consider brining a certified blue drinking water hose.
Will there be electricity to charge personal devices?
No. You will not be able to charge personal devices at Common Ground.
The site itself does have some mains power. However the mains outlets are in an awkward place a long way from where the power will be used. A qualified electrician with help will install enough power to run the toilets, showers, central centres and cafes, as well as town marquees and some lighting in key places. The cabling for this distribution is expensive and the power available is therefore very limited. If you need to keep medicines cold, or charge other medical devices, please let us know. We are confident we can provide power for this but will need to include it in our plans.
We will not not be providing power to charge persona devices e.g. mobile phones, laptops, kettles, hair straighteners etc. Plugging in personal items are likely to overload the system and cause it to stop working for everyone, this will include stopping the toilet trailers from flushing.
Does the site have a road?
Yes, the site has a well built track forming a loop around the half of the site we are using for Common Ground 2022. This will be available for anyone to use during the Arrival Day and Departure day, but during camp we will limit vehicles to food deliveries, toilet emptying and emergencies.
Is gas provided for villages?
Some gas for villages will be included in the camp fees as follows:
Villages of 80 people or under: 5 refills,
80 – 119 people: 6 refills and
120+ people: 7 refills.
This is based on 10 days of camping and gas bottles of either 13kg of Propane (Orange) or 15kg of Butane (Blue). Please arrive to camp with enough (Calor) gas bottles to run your kitchen for at least 24 hours, these bottles you can then swap for a refill.
You are welcome to bring gas from companies other than Calor, but we can only provide refills of Calor Gas.
How will the toilets and toilet cleaning work?
The site does not have any of its own toilets. We will be hiring in toilet blocks and portaloos. The toilet trailers will be placed in groups for each town by the road so that they can be serviced easily. We will additionally have some portaloos for villages which are further from a toilet trailer.
The maximum walk between any tent and a toilet block will be around 150m, so you might want to consider bringing a toilet tent for your village if for example you want something close by for young children to use at night. You can empty these in the portaloos, which the contractors will empty every other day.
Cleaning toilets: we will be asking Towns to provide a Clan a day to do a toilet clean. So as a Village you will be asked to provide a clan to do toilet cleaning once across the 5 days. Cleaning items will be provided centrally.
How will the showers work?
The site does not have any of its own showers. We will be hiring in shower blocks. These will be placed in groups for each town to use. The grey water will simply run off into a ditch or wooded area, so we will need to be considerate about how much shower gel or shampoo we use, or ideally use biodegradable soap.
How are the meals organised?
Food on camp is a very important part of a successful event. That’s why we have a whole page dedicated to food-related questions. See more here: https://www.commonground.camp/food/.
Are we allowed camp fires?
The event site will allow fires as long as they are raised off the ground. This could be in some kind of fire bowl (bought or homemade) or some kind of raised platform to protect the grass underneath. Fire safety information will be included in a handbook nearer the time. Please read this carefully and take note of any announcements during camp.
Are visitors allowed on camp?
We are planning an Open Day at camp on Saturday the 6th August 2022 when parents and family members can visit. More information to follow for booked participants.
When are Vehicles Allowed on Site?
At Kelmarsh hall we have plenty of space, and will have a large carpark. All Vehicles must be kept in the Car Park except in the following scenarios:
1) If it is a camper-van or caravan and you are living in it for the duration of camp.
2) If it is a vehicle containing village equipment .e.g Marquees, Cooking equipment, a large number of sleeping tents, tables or benches. These will be allowed on site up until 22:00 on 29th of July and will be allowed after 6:00 on a 8th of August.
3) If it is a vehicle containing village equipment .e.g Marquees, Cooking equipment, a large number of sleeping tents, tables or benches. These will be allowed on site between 8:00 and 16:00 on the 3rd of August, but during this time a Steward, or someone with a high Vis jacket must walk in front of the Vehicle as it moves around site.
Is there firewood available?
We are not allowed to use the Kelmarsh grounds for collecting firewood. Instead, Common Ground team has found a local sawmill that will deliver off-cuts that can be used for making campfires. The groups generally don’t have to bring their own, or budget for this, but we ask everyone to be sensible and not collect excessive amounts, so that there will be enough firewood for all villages who wish to use it.
What happens in the evenings?
We want to encourage a good balance between educational activities, partying and rest for all participants. Central programme is organised every other evening. This will finish at 11.30pm. At this point all programme including any amplified music will end. Participants can stay in the central area until 1.30am if they want to, and some centres will be open for low-key gatherings until then. We will encourage people to be quiet there and on their way back to their tents. Stewards will be at hand to assist with keeping noise and disruption down.
On two evenings the music will go on until 1.30pm, as agreed at pre-camp in May 2022.
Every other evening, villages and towns can make arrangements for lower-key programme in their own areas, including acoustic music, games or local performances.
How do bedtimes work?
It is important that the youngest campers get enough sleep. Leaders and parents set bedtimes for the young people they are responsible for. We recommend districts within villages agree consistent bedtimes for each age group to avoid any perceived unfairness.
When will the central area close?
1:30am – at this point anyone still up will be expected to leave the central area and go back to their villages.
Will there be alcohol on site?
This camp will be all about international friendship, with a special focus on welcoming under 10’s. There will only be one space where people can buy alcohol on site. We envisage this space as a calm ‘pub’ environment where over-18’s can enjoy each other’s company while being able to buy and drink alcohol. There will be other, alcohol-free spaces for evening programme that will have much more ‘party’ atmosphere. This is to encourage camp participants of all ages and backgrounds to enjoy the non-drinking spaces.
THINGS TO BRING OR NOT BRING
Basic Stuff to bring.
You will need a sleeping bag and a roll matt.
You will need to bring a plate, bowl, knife fork spoon and mug, unless you group or district is bringing this for you.
You will need to a tent unless you group or district is brining this for you.
You will need tooth brush, tooth paste other toiletries especially sun cream (Please check if Almond based and don’t bring if it is).
No Nuts on Camp please
Common Ground is a Nut Free camp, like all big Woodcraft Camps recently. We have several people coming to camp who have severe allergies to nuts. Products that say “may contain traces” are ok to bring. But nuts cannot be an ingredient.
Please bring plastic free/ natural shower gel or soap
The Showers at Common Ground will simply drain into a nearby ditch. If you could bring a ‘Plasic free’ or ‘Natural ingredients’ type shower gel that will be better for the local wildlife. But please don’t bring almond-based soaps or skin creams, as they can affect people with nut allergies.
POSTPONEMENT TO 2022
What happens to bookings from 2020?
PAID BOOKINGS: Any bookings made and paid for (Full fee or just the deposit) will remain in our booking system. You do not need to make any changes to attend Common Ground 2022, but if you need to amend camper details, please update these before May 2nd 2022. There is no fee for changing camper names/details.
UNPAID BOOKINGS: Any unpaid bookings from 2020 still appear on our booking system. You can update the camper details and will need to pay 2022 prices. See the ‘How much does it cost’ FAQ for more details.
You can find your existing booking at https://bookings.commonground.camp . Refunds can still be claimed up until the 1st of December 2021. However if the payment came from a group (UK district), the refund cannot be made to an individual camper. This would need to be administered by the group that paid the money in. We are happy to talk through anything you need clarifying.
We already put named participants on the booking system. Will we be allowed to change the names?
You will be able to amend bookings e.g. number of participants, names etc until 2 May 2022. However if you have a participant with complex access needs, please do let us know as soon as you can so we can put reasonable adjustments in place. There is no fee for changing camper names/details.
We paid from outside the UK and lost 100e in banking charges, will you reimburse us for these?
We are really sorry but we are unable to reimburse you any additional costs.
What happens to the funds we have already raised?
Please contact your donors directly to seek permission for funds to be carried forward, to be used in 2022. Many funders have been sympathetic to the genuine challenges the pandemic had posed to events in 2020.
What about coronavirus travel restrictions?
While there are currently restricts on who can travel to the UK, we are working on the basis that by 2022 restrictions will have significantly reduced if not been totally removed. We will update our guidance as we get closer to the camp.
Will Brexit mean that EU citizens need visas to the UK?
No. The current guidance from the UK Government is that “EU, EEA and Swiss citizens can travel to the UK for holidays or short trips without needing a visa. You can cross the UK border using a valid passport which should be valid for the whole time you are in the UK.”