Welcome to my web site which supports the fungus forays and seashore forays I run in Dorset, Devon, Hampshire and elsewhere. It also supports my three foraging books - these are the Hedgerow, Mushroom, and Seashore sections linked at the top of this page.
Important note on the New Forest fungus picking 'ban'. The Forestry Commission of the New Forest recently introduce a no-picking policy. But, as I understand it now, it is just that, a policy, not a law in any shape or form. Therefore, picking is not, actually, banned - just discouraged. Regardless of this important nicety, my forays take place with the express permission of the Forestry Commission, so they are not at all affected my this policy. I have a licence which I apply for every year.
My New Forest Mushroom Forays are available for 2016. The Forestry Commission has kindly provided me with permissions for mushroom forays this year and I am gradually posting them on this site.
My forays consist of a forager's nip (essential), an introductory talk, a walk to find some fungi, lunch which is supplied and includes lots of booze, another, shorter walk, a show-and-tell table complete with common and Latin names, maybe a fry-up of some common edible fungi if we have been lucky. They begin at 10:30 and end at about 5:30.
Three mushroom forays in Scotland on the 22nd, 23rd and 24th September are now bookable. The first foray is in Central Scotland, the second near Oban and the third near Loch Tay. I run these forays with Moncia Wilde and this is our fourth year taking forays together and they have all been great fun. Do join us.
Seashore foray for the 7th May is now fully booked.
My annual Seashore foray near Dunbar in Scotland is now bookable (gift certificates available). I take these days with Monica Wilde, an expert forager who is also extremely well versed in the medicinal and health properties of wild foods. This will be our fourth joint seashore foray in Scotland and should, like the other three, be a great experience and an opportunity to explore and enjoy the rich bounty that this wild coastline can provide.
Two Dorset Seashore Forays are now bookable! I know that lots of people like to buy a foray as a birthday or Christmas gift (gift certificates available!). So, rather than specify which day you would like to come at the time of booking there is the opportunity of choosing later. The choice will reduce as places on individual forays are taken, but you are assured of a place.These Seashore forays take place along the Dorset coast. The locations we visit cover most of the seashore habitats and because of this we see a large proportion of the species explored in my River Cottage Edible Seashore. Food and drink, especially drink, is supplied! I do hope that you can come along. If so, then follow the link on the right. (Please ignore the "2016-05-06" part of the title - a booking will qualify for any of the days listed in the title).
Important news! The Forestry Commission in the New Forest is not, at present, issuing permits for organised forays. This is pending discussions with several interested parties when a policy for commercial collecting, private collecting and organised educational fungus days like my own, will be agreed. I have offered my services as an expert witness in these discussions. My hope is that wise counsels will prevail and I have every confidence that I will be able to continue my benign fungus excursions in the Forest into the future. We may need to wait a while to find out for sure. This issue has long been bubbling away but came to a head in the summer of 2015 when the Verderer's Court and subsequently the media became involved. I was drawn into it too and you might like to follow this link to learn more of the background.
I have written three books on foraging and one on home-brewing for the River Cottage Handbook series plus my new book on the joy of Latin names, "The Naming of the Shrew". All are available for purchase from this website, signed and dedicated with any inscription you would like. See below.
Foraging Courses with John
Come and book on one of my own forays. Other forays will be posted elsewhere with links to the organisation running the day.