September is high fungi season in northern England and this event is designed to make the most of it. Over the course of about 1.5 miles of easy walking over 3 hours we will explore the fascinating world of fungi. While our main focus will be on fungi, we will not ignore the tasty plants that share the forest.
Your host for the day will be Mark Williams of Galloway Wild Foods. Mark is a passionate mycophile, wild gastronomer and professional wild food educator, who has been teaching about wild mushroom identification and edibility for over 25 years. Mark is a font of knowledge and enthusiasm on wild fungi, specialising in making this often daunting subject fun and accessible to novices, while providing solid foundations for a lifetime of discovery, enjoyment and worry-free wild eating. Mark writes widely on this subject and works closely with leading mycologists, landowner/conservation organisations such as The National Trust and Scottish Natural Heritage. Check out Mark’s free online wild fungi guide here.
Please note that while this date and location will be selected to maximise the potential range of fungi we encounter, it is not possible to guarantee what we will find.
Location: Noble Knott Car Park, Whinlatter Forest – as per the MAP tab attached to this page – the pin marks our exact meeting point – please use the zoom facility to see more clearly. Please note that this is not the main Whinlatter car park, but situated about 1km East of the main Visitor Centre, towards Braithwaite.
Date: Sunday 24th September 2017
Start time: Arrive in time for a 1pm start
Finish time: Around 5.30pm
Cost: Adults £50 Children aged 12 to 16: £25
Expect: Up to 1.5 miles gentle walking on well made paths over 3 hours followed by and informal al-fresco cook-in of our finds. There will be wild treats and tasters to enjoy throughout.
- The important role fungi plays in nature
- How to go about identifying important families and species of fungi
- How to home in on the most rewarding edible species
- How to recognise dangerously poisonous species
- Medicinal and utilitarian uses
- Sustainable harvesting practices
- Preservation and cooking techniques
- Key resources for taking your personal learning forward
- Other autumn woodland wild foods
When time and weather allow, we lay out and label our finds to serve as a souvenir and aide-memoire of the afternoon’s discoveries.
Eat/drink: I think it is important to bring the wild foods we encounter to life by not just talking about them, but by eating and drinking them. To this end, in addition to the cook-in at the end, I carry a very hefty bagful of lovingly prepared treats, tasters and tipples to share during the walk. These are both delicious and educational, and the walk is more like guided grazing, a gentle imbibing of the landscape, than a route march! Often we will make a cocktail of the plants we encounter and drink it in a beautiful spot. The cook-in afterwards serves as both an al-fresco cookery demonstration and a social time to eat together and digest the afternoon’s discoveries with new friends. While I don’t bill this as a full meal, most people leave well filled! All dietary requirements can be catered for, provided you let me know when you book.
Essential: Stout footwear, weather-appropriate clothing, drinking water
Optional: A small basket or cloth bag, notebook, camera, fungi field guide if you have one. If you make any foraged delights at home and would like to share them with the group, please bring them along!
Please read the IMPORTANT INFORMATION tab on this page before booking and again before setting off for the event.
Please note: I do not recommend this event for children under 12 years old. Sorry, I do not allow dogs, no matter how well behaved, on my public walks.