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Making wild garlic olive oil

Chris Evans has a great crop of Bay Boletes in his woodland - don't tell the maggots!

Applause for the cliché please, but Chris really is a fun guy!

Field Blewits

Haw berries

Haw jelly slices

Mystery girl finds impressively sized Orange Birch Bolete

Chicken of the Woods Fungus

Reedmace pollen pancakes with birch sap syrup

drying yarrow leaves

Travis and I find loadsa morels in a VERY secret location

large morel

Pressing elderberries. How come I'm sweating and she's making it look so easy!

Mysterious wood nymph hides shly behind a chanterelle

kitten finds mushrooms

Foraging the Wild...
A one-day course
run by Fergus for up to 8 people.
One of the 10 best food related courses - Telegraph 2010

six innocent ladies, one wild man equals.......
Five innocent young ladies + one wild man = a great day foraging - what else........

For details of courses run throughout the year or to check on availability for 2013 courses or to contact me to be put on a course waiting list:

By email:

(START TIME: 9AM -meeting in Canterbury or Herne Bay, Kent)
NB Start is 8.30 am for courses after October

last updated 5th March 2013

March 10th Mothering Sunday. FULL
  17th (Sunday) St. Patrick's Day
  31st (Sunday) British summer time begins, at last. FULL
April 7th (Sunday) 4 of 8 places available
  14th (Sunday) 6 of 8 places available
  23rd (Tuesday) St. George's Day 4 of 8 places available
  28th (Sunday) 6of 8 places available
May 25th (Saturday) FULL
June 16th (Sunday). Father's Day

4 of 8 places available

23rd (Tuesday) 3 of 8
August 6th (Tuesday) 3 of 8 places available
September 7th (Saturday) 6 of 8 places available
October 6th (Sunday) Fungi foray with 4 course wild food-based lunch

10 of 10 places available

  12th (Saturday) Fungi foray with 4 course wild food-based lunch, 9am-4pm 10 of 10 places available
  19th (Saturday) Fungi foray with 4 course wild food-based lunch, 9am-4pm 10 of 10 places available
  19th (Saturday) Fungi foray with 4 course wild food-based lunch, 9am-4pm

10 of 10 places available
  22nd (Tuesday) Fungi foray with 4 course wild food-based lunch, 9am-4pm 2 of 10 places available
  28th (Monday) Fungi foray with 4 course wild food-based lunch, 9am-4pm 6 of 10 places available
  31st (Thursday) Fungi foray with 4 course wild food-based lunch, 9am-4pm 5 of 10 places available
December 7th (Saturday) 8 of 8 places available

please contact me:

Full details will be sent - including a booking form.

For cost and cancellation policy see below....

Do NOT forage outside the Ministry of Defense - it's irresponsible and only asking for trouble.

In spring when the sap is rising there is no better time to celebrate the wild and get to grips with nature's celebratory abundance. On this one-day course we shall harvest the sap, not just metaphorically with respect to the sense of individually connecting with that rising sense of energetic well being but, also, literally, as we tap our native birch for its delicious syrup giving sap. Looking forward to the revelries of summer we shall alchemically distil this innocuous sap, this powerful essence of nature's fertility into a potent Bacchian Birch Sap wine. And then, of course, there is my favourite wild white: Dandelion and
Gorse wine.

where not to forage 2....

Energy. In a complex and challenging world we need copious amounts of it just to get by. But, it is possible to transcend our reliance on crap, nutrient deficient mass-produced food. Wild plants are nutritionally rich - uniquely so. Unlike cultivated vegetables, salad leaves and herbs for which - even if grown organically, many of the essential nutrients - in the form of manure or chemical fertilizer - have to be transported to the artificially set aside growing site, a wild plant germinates and flourishes where it is because the perfect balance of water, sunshine and nutrients come together in that unique location.

.shingle oven... .....

At all times mindful of sound ecological harvesting practices, we shall identify and harvest a number of these nutritionally rich salad plants to create a healthy seasonal salad. Of course, despite the claims of extreme elements, the body can unlock the nutrient potential of plants other than those consumed exclusively in their raw state. Foraging, generally, should be about finding balance, not just ecologically within the connected web of inter-relational life systems, but also in terms of the ingestion of foraged foods. Many nutrients are best absorbed only when a plant is cooked. So, finding the best available spring greens we will endeavour to wok the wild, get creative and give full reign to the beneficial harmonious blending of the plants we find with respect to their full aesthetic, nutritional and gastronomic potential - with out forgetting dessert, of course.

gingko..... .....

Plants give life; in a bouquet of flowers or the gingko leaf concealed with shy, agonising and embarrassed hope within the letter of a Japanese lover, plants have been used to flame the passions, express love and ignite latent desire. But love and life dissolve into insignificance in the face of the tragedy that is ill health. Plants can act as potent weapons in the fight against many common ailments, and this is something we will investigate in an ad hoc manner as we come across plants with such healing potential. However, we should not forget that the intrinsic power of plants is attested to with respect not just to their life giving potential but, also, with regard to their death inducing capability. In 399BC Socrates fell foul of the Athenians inability to distinguish sophistry from wisdom and suffered their stupidity in the form of a hemlock induced terminal and fatal paralysis. Stupidity is a demon lurking in the undergrowth patiently awaiting those unable to distinguish, amongst many other things, wild chervil from its deadly cousin hemlock. In the course of our walk we shall shine an astute eye on such demons.

.... ...

I look forward to meeting you.

(Wild Man Wild Foods)

Courses typically last for between 12 and 13 hours and involve foraging in different habitats, for example, woodland, field, river, seashore and brown field sites (waste ground). The aim is to provide a general introduction to seasonally available wild plants, how to harvest them sustainably and how to utilize them as food. Lunch is served inside with a range of deliciously cooked seasonal wild food that you will have collected. Dinner is cooked on an open fire. I like to encourage people to get involved with the cooking.

However, because these courses are tailor-made to meet your requirements, you don't have to cook at all! All courses are limited to a maximum of 8 (but usually 6) people.

Please do be aware that cooking does constitute up to 30% of time spent on the course. If you are purely interested in identification to the exclusion of all else then this course is not for you (try the Field Studies Council).

All courses begin at 9am except Novermber courses, which will begin at 8am. The end time varies between 9pm and 10pm.

The cost of the course is: £150 per person. This includes a full 12-13 hour day, 2 foraged three course meals*, a tasty drink and pickle to take home, tasters of preprepared wild food products throughout the day, information sheets and transportation back to your hotel at the end of the day if required.

*Occasionally only a two-course meal is prepared in the evening in November courses begin at 8.30am and finish between 4 and 5pm. These late season course include a 3-course wild food lunch but not dinner; this is reflected in the cost: £100

Corporate bookings by special arrangement for up to 20 people

Courses on dates not given can possibly be arranged for group (6-8)


Gratuitous rabbit picture - my friend Sue's gorgeous bunny. Shortly after this he knocked over my camera and broke it - thanks bunny.

The last words goes to....

"I wanted to say a great big thank you for such an amazing day.... all we did was follow you about - you kept leaping off into bushes and over streams and had to think of all the things to amuse us with too!

It was incredible to learn all those plants - everywhere I go now, I can't help scrutinizing the weeds.... just in case I could whip them up for a salad - there is a great crop of Fat [here] if you're ever in the area!

It was so fantastic - the whole day! We crammed soooo much in and you fed us sooo well.  Mum has already found a good source of [Jelly Ear] just down the road from her - in inner city Bristol!!  Rob's Mum has been talking about it non-stop since and has now vowed not to weed the allotment anymore as she is horrified by the fact that she has been pulling out perfectly good salad leaves for years!!

You really made an impression on all of us!  So thank you for being so inspiring and enthusiastic and great!  You're ace!

We have a request - please please please write your book - you have an audience that is eagerly awaiting it.

Also if you ever want to expand and start a cookery/foraging school let me know - I would love to be your assistant!

Anyway - take care and don?t work too hard!"

Claire 2007

"Hi Fergus

Just wanted to say thank you for an excellent, unusual, and valuable day
last weekend. Tom and I enjoyed everything about the course. We learnt an
incredible amount and have hopefully absorbed some of the wide, wonderful
knowledge you shared with us.

It was weird going "back to reality", but we will certainly take a lot away
with us. We immediately wrote down everything that we could remember - the names, the habitats - and even attempted to draw pictures of the plants we tried. I don't think we could possibly remember everything though!

It was lovely also making new friends with Laurence, Becky and the scarily
clever Duncan. What a fab way to be thrown together with strangers!

We have recommended the course to all our mates and I will definately be
trying out the delicious birch sap wine recipe.

Thanks again for being the perfect host and teacher

Wild wishes
Emma and Tom
" 2008
------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------
On behalf of the "girls", I would like to say a very BIG thank you for a brilliant day on Saturday.  We all really enjoyed the foraging experience, and thought the lunch and supper was both interesting and tasty - although I  would suggest you give a miss to the introduction of the odd beach pebble in the apple crumble!
    Personally, I feel you have introduced me to a new way of thinking about food and how accessible it is in the immediate world around us.  I will definitely be putting a foraging book or two on my Christmas list! 
 Best wishes
 Caroline, Liz, Angela, Nicola and Helen

And a big thank you to you too Caroline, for organising the day. One I will never forget for many reasons. In addition to the food, there was great company, weather, and exceptional moonlight, to mention only a few!
H x
Hi Fergus,
   Christine and I would both like to say a huge ?Thank you!?  For our day out last Saturday.  I had the pleasure of overhearing Chris tell her sister over the ?phone that it was the ?best Birthday present ever.?
   We are still ?downloading? the whole experience, but we feel it really important to say that despite walking and being outdoors all day, including walking dogs both before and after, we woke as dawn broke the nest day, feeling brilliant and charged with positiveness.
   Just to finish, we found the day inspiring, we are going to supplement our diet I eat regularly in good restaurants in France, and I found the taste experience quite sensational, and Christine pronounced your Birch sap wine to be the best wine she has ever tasted.

Thanks Fergus for such a wonderful day, and best of luck with your future endeavours.

Best regards,



Thank you for a really brilliant day yesterday.
It was fascinating and you are the most wonderfully informative, enthusiastic and patient(!) teacher......we had a wonderful day and will never look at a hedgerow, wood, seashore.... in the same way again!

Here are a few photos of a truly unforgettable day and thank you again.


Tessa & David

Thank you so much for Saturday's foraging extravaganza!  I was blown away by just how much we learned and experienced in one day. Your vibrance, enthusiasm and knowledge are incredibly inspiring. I hope you get a book deal and manage to continue what you're doing. Elaina and I are talking about acquiring some baskets and starting some foraging in our local area. I will certainly recommend your courses to all my friends and colleagues and I will see if there are any opportunities for linking educational work.
All the best,
Shayna :-)

....................I really enjoyed the course, it is really rare to meet someone so
passionate about plants and at the same time with such a good mix of
practical and theoretical knowledge..................

thanks again,


Thanks very much for your most incredible and mindopening forage last
saturday. It was inspiring and has opened my mind to the world around
in a completely unexpected way. From the culinary wonders and
unexpected new explosions of taste to the observation of wildplants in
new ways.  Many thanks also for the list of stuff which peter
forwarded onto me.

all the best with all your foraging projects!


J ust a quick note to say thank you for a wonderful day of foraging, learning and feasting on Saturday.  Your knowledge of plants is awsome and I learnt a lot in one day.  Your hospitality and food was first class and I know I made a right pig of myself, but happily.  The gorse vodka is turning a lovely yellow colour and I can't wait to sample it.  I'm looking forward to tucking into my pickled jelly ear fungi.  I loved everything I ate, but my absolute favourites were the sea beet, grated Alexanders root and the one you cooked en route and served with lemon and butter (Hogweed, I think).
T hanks for a mindblowing experience and good luck with the 12 month sugar and alcohol abstinence


Many thanks for the list and photo's.
 I would like to say a big thank you for the fantastic day both Mark and I had on Saturday.
 Your enthusiasm for the subject was certainly contagious and your knowledge on the various plants, fungi and trees is amazing. The amount of time and effort that you put into the day both before and during did not go un-noticed.
 Your warm, open and friendly personality also made the day all the more enjoyable, you were a great host. I shall have fond memories of the day for a long while to come.
 I have already recommended you to several friends and colleagues, and would like to book up for two people on your next available mushroom course (preferably at the weekends), be it this year or next please let me know availability.
Many thanks again Fergus

Thanks very much for the foraging course last weekend. We REALLY enjoyed it!
Kerry and Sid

Our foraging day was a rich experience - not only providing an introduction to food foraging, but also good company out in the fresh air with my fellow foragers and yourself who proved to be an entirely convivial guide. I was bowled over by your sheer enthusiasm, enviable knowledge and deep respect for wild food and its environment.   Even more impressive was the energy you invested and effort that went to in planning the day and the food treats he produced along the way to keep our energy levels up - ah those cherry chocolate mushrooms and the birch tree sap drink. We left with an alcoholic drink, carefully cradled in our bags, stuffed with dog rose and elderflower blossom which we foraged. Part of the Kent countryside and the fruits of the summer bottled for a treat three weeks hence.
     And what fantastic post course information you sent. Thank you so much and for your excellent tutoring in foraging on Saturday. You were fab. 
     I do admire what you are doing hugely.
All best Kay

The best! Thanks again for making it such an informative, fun time and for making us so welcome in your home ? not to mention the delicious food. Don?t think I?ll be able to go on a country walk now without looking at the ground! .......thanks again for such a fabulous day; it was a real eye-opener.

We so enjoyed out day with you on Saturday- highlights were definitely the seaweed (something I never thought I would hear myself say!)

Saturday?s course was truly an eye opener. Thank you for a superb day.

Saturday's course was every "superlative" adjective I can think of, and one of the best ways I've spent 12/13 hours in a long time and, whilst one may baulk at the cost when booking, you definitely get your money's worth.  The food you prepared was absolutely gorgeous and I'm already planning my next foraging foray - probably in Devon in a couple of weeks.
Your enthusiasm is very infectious, and you're very generous with your time and I feel very inspired. If the others send their photographs to you, could you forward them on to me please.
Many, many thanks and hopefully I'll learn some more and pick up further tips in Bristol.  And I'd like to come on another one in the spring, I think.

Best wishes,
November 21st

    I just wanted to say an enormous thank you for such a fun day on Saturday, you're enthusiasm for all things foraged is totally inspiring and all the food was totally delicious.
   The day really exceeded all our expectations & the amount thought & effort on your part was really appreciated by all of us. We were all saying on the train back that our heads were so full of so much new & interesting information, would be great to get some reminders on the specific names of the mushrooms & seaweed that we found when you get a chance.
   Definitely the best day out that I've had for a really long time & one that none of us will forget - the headlamp foraging & beach fire dinner were real highlights for me. Looking forward to Christmas & our plum vodka to be ready to drink.
   Nick & I are really keen to come down & do another course with you in the summer & I have a couple of mate's who I know would love to do it too, so it would be great if we could find another date where 6 of us could come down again - is 6 fine to fit in your car if we're all arriving by train?
    We have a really busy start to the year as we're getting married in mid May, so sometime between mid June & end of August would be perfect - are there any times within that period that are particularly good? Would be great if you could let me know which weekends are best & we can get something booked up......
    Thanks so much again for such a memorable & fun day & look forward to hopefully seeing you again in the summer.

Love Lucy


In previous years I tried to be really laid back and flexible about payment times, methods and booking confirmations- what a mistake, what a hassle, what a bloody nightmare! This year then it's the big bad grown up way so must apologise in advance if this seems ruthless and mean. It's not meant to be!

Place or places on a course will be secured only upon advanced payment of their FULL cost. Payment is by cheque only*. You may cancel up to 1 month before the course date and receive a 75% refund. After that time cancellation will result in a complete loss of all deposits - without exception.

If I cancel a course at any point a full refund will be offered.

Should you need to cancel, when possible, and if desired, I will try to arrange an alternative date for you (provided you do not cancel in the month before the course)- often though that is only possible during the week.

* a skills exchange would be considered with anyone experienced in natural skin tanning and preparation (no - not a sun tan!) or with experience in dying with wild plants - or anything else you think might interests me....


For courses purchased this way, I fully understand that due to the surprise element of gift giving you may not be able to confirm a date you would like to book for until after Christmas. This is fine. However, A DATE WILL HAVE TO BE FINALISED BY THE 31st OF JANUARY. I'm not good at juggling (marbles) so 40 people wanting to keep their options open for as long as possible will simply result in me losing all my marbles! I know it seems harsh, but if you have not confirmed by 31st January you will lose 25% of your deposit and the rest will be returned to you.

When booking please can you make sure you give me a land line contact number, a mobile number, email address, and land address. Also it is important that you specify any food preferences, allergies or intolerances you or your friends may have. A BOOKING FORM WILL BE SENT TO YOU WHERE YOU CAN PUT DOWN SUCH INFORMATION.

On the day of the course ideally you should bring waterproofs - both top and bottoms, good walking boots and a spare pair of Wellington boots. For October and November courses an extra jumper or warm coat is useful for the outside meal in the evening. Actually, bring an extra jumper anyway. If it's windy on the beach (not usually) it can bring the temperature down at any time of the year.

My cat Omar
Foraged cat. Tasty with chips if fed exclusively on tuna! Of course not! It's my dear cat Omar.


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