2018 course dates
(For exciting new 2019 courses scroll down to the bottom of the page. These include:
Full-day Foraging and Feasting Course ∞ Wild food pilgrimage ∞ Barefoot Foraging ∞ Fungi ID, Collection and Three-course Wild Food Cook Up ∞ Mushroom Paper Making ∞ Seaweed ID, Collection, and Nori Sheet Making, With Sushi and Deep-Fried Seaweed ∞ Natural Colour Dyeing Through The Seasons ∞ Working with Acorns and Oak ∞ Wonderful ‘Waste-ground’! ∞ Foraging With Nature Awareness and Connection Play ∞ Rose, Hawthorn, and Blackthorn: Rosehips, Haws, and Sloes ∞ Wild Plants, Foraging and Storytelling ∞ Air BnB Villages: Alfriston, Fordwich ∞ Working With Amanita Muscaria The Fly Agaric Mushroom for Both Food and Medicine ∞ Natural Dyeing With Plants, Seaweeds and Fungi: An Exploration ∞ Wild Cocktail and Mocktail Making and Forage ∞ The Pattern Method of Plant identification: Carrot, Cabbage, Rose, Nettle, Pea, Amaranth Families ∞ Foraging and Flow: Wild and Natural Foods AND Natural Movement ∞ The Wild Artist: Crafting paper, paints, charcoal, and brushes from 100% wild gathered materials ∞ Ways of Identifying Plants and Unlocking Their Creative Food Potential: Wild Food Guide Books, Botanical Guides and Keys, Phone Apps, Asking Other People, Goethean Observation, Intuition, Shifting Waking Consciousness, Dream Work, Asking the Plants Themselves.
Full-day Foraging and Feasting Course
GIFT VOUCHERS AVAILABLE ANYTIME – it isn’t necessary to choose a course date in advance – simply email or call and I’ll arrange it for you.
A one-day course, run by Fergus for up to 8-10 people.
One of the 10 best food related courses – Telegraph 2010
BBC Countryfile top foraging course 2015!
“Just a quick note to thank you for a truly amazing day on Friday 27th June. Still a little in awe of the amount of knowledge we were treated to – felt a little odd to return to ‘normal’ life on the Saturday. The course goes down as one of the best days I’ve ever spent learning. The amount of preparation and thought that went into each part of the day was clear to see and I found it particularly inspirational to be able to try / experience something of everything we talked about! Your energy, experience, honesty and immersion in wild food makes it all come particularly alive.” – James (July 2014)
MOST COURSES TAKE PLACE NEAR CANTERBURY AND THE SURROUNDING COAST
but see exact location for specific courses
For details of courses run throughout the year or to check on availability for 2018 courses or to contact me to be put on a course waiting list.
You can also email me on [email protected]
START TIME: 9 am -meeting in Canterbury or Herne Bay, Kent.
New Course Dates for 2018 (Last updated 18th October 2018)
All courses are 10-13 hr foraging courses (covering plants, seaweed and fungi) unless otherwise stated.
Click on the tab to get full information about each course, including frequently asked questions (under the course description). Of course, clicking on the button doesn’t commit you to buying anything!
Then, you can purchase through eventbrite or email me at [email protected] to book direct with me and get a gift voucher for any of the listed courses.
|21st (Monday).The Wild Dinner: A four-course seasonal celebration of the best wild foods of May27th (Sunday)||Click here for menu details and booking.
Places: 60 availableClick here for course details.
|Sept||30th (Sunday) FUNGI|
|20th (Saturday) FUNGI
TO BOOK PLEASE CALL/EMAIL OR IF YOU KNOW YOUR PREFERRED DATE PLEASE COMPLETE AND SEND (by mail or email) THE BOOKING FORM AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE.
General course description and outline:
Courses take place on one highly informative and enjoyable and full-on foraging day, typically lasting for between 12 and 13 hours (12/13 before the clocks go back in October – the time goes really fast!) and involve foraging for plants, seaweeds and fungi, as seasonally available (not animals, fish or shellfish). We will explore different habitats, for example, woodland, arable land, river bank, waste ground, salt marsh and seashore (visiting at least 3 such habitats on each course). The aim is to provide a general introduction to seasonally available wild plants, how to harvest them sustainably and safely to utilize them as food, including drinks. Nevertheless, a general introduction does not imply that the information provided is only basic. Obviously there are many toxic plants that can be rendered edible and, although due to time constraints such procedures cannot be carried out on a course, information may be provided on how to carry out such activities for those wishing to take things further e.g. leaching out oxalates, saponins and tannins from various roots and nuts. On each course we will usually look at and practice one of the following preserving techniques: pickling, smoking, salting (krauting and lacto-fermenting), whilst also making something that you can take away with you. In addition, a seasonal alcoholic drink will be made for you to take home. 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 and includes the sampling of between 4 and 10 different seaweeds. 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!
Plants give life, nourishing the body as food and adding vital oxygen to the air we breathe; plants have also been used to flame the passions, express love and ignite latent desire through the proffered bouquet of flowers or the gingko leaf concealed with shy, agonising and embarrassed hope within the letter of a Japanese lover. 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 – remembering all the while the old adage: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”, that is, understanding that it’s best to eat a range of health promoting wild foods to prevent illness rather than eating /living badly, getting ill and then using plants herbally.
However, we should not forget that the intrinsic power of plants is attested to with respect not just to their life and health 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 – or at least inattention to detail – 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 toxic look-a-like demons, realizing we all have the capability to make such simple distinctions with attentive ease.
Click here for frequently asked questions about courses not covered here.
For images and write up from a couple of past participants please click the links below
Remember: All foragers and foraging courses are not the same. It is wonderful that new foraging and wild food courses are being run now by so many people. But, you can’t beat experience! I’ve been exploring wild food use in depth for 25 years and running highly fun and informative courses for over 15 years.
Let me share that experience with you.
Note: gift vouchers can be sent by regular or first class recorded or guaranteed next day delivery post. The choice is yours. No additional charge will apply to the more expensive option. Do be aware though that you need to be in before 1pm to sign for it.
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).
I look forward to meeting you.
All courses begin at 9 am The end time varies between 9 pm and 10 pm.
The cost of the course is: £185 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 pre-prepared 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: £135
Corporate bookings by special arrangement for up to 20 people
Courses on dates not given can possibly be arranged for group (6-8 or more)
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!”
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
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!
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!
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.
SEASONAL COMMENTS (all unsolicited I must add!)
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,
………………..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 very much for your most incredible and mindopening forage lastsaturday. It was inspiring and has opened my mind to the world aroundin a completely unexpected way. From the culinary wonders andunexpected new explosions of taste to the observation of wildplants innew ways. Many thanks also for the list of stuff which peter forwarded onto me. all the best with all your foraging projects!
Just 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.
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.
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.
PAYMENT AND CANCELLATIONS
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 or bank transfer only*. You may cancel up to 1 month before the course date and receive a 100% 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.
COURSES PURCHASED AS CHRISTMAS PRESENTS
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 END OF FEBRUARY. 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 END FEB 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.
Fergus The Forager Booking Information
Thank you for choosing Fergus The Forager!
This BOOKING INFORMATION document aims to provide all the information you require to book and pay for a Fergus The Forager course place.
COURSE DATES AND AVAILABILITY 2013 http://www.wildmanwildfood.
To make a Fergus The Forager course booking, simply read the terms and conditions then complete the following BOOKING FORM and EMERGENCY DETAILS (PAGES 1-2), and return them to me. For further general queries & private programs contact Fergus Drennan at –
Due to the nature of the work, especially during the busy summer months, office hours can be quite erratic. So don’t be concerned if you do not receive an immediate reply, I will always endeavour to get back to you as soon as I can, but please note that this can occasionally take up to ten days – Thank you for your patience.
If your inquiry is very urgent, please use the following mobile number – 07904801047 (+020 106 3819728 -Egypt until Dec 15th 2014)
Under exceptional circumstances Wild Man Wild Food reserves the right to cancel any course for whatever reason and return Monies paid without further liability. You are advised to have your own appropriate insurance in case you have to cancel a course place. If you pay for a course place that is oversubscribed your money will be refunded in full.
PLEASE PRINT OUT AND RETURN THE RELEVANT PARTS OF PAGES 1-4 BELOW
OR FILL IN AND EMAIL TO ME.
Fergus The Forager – Booking Form
Wild Man Wild Food, 16 Underdown Road, Herne Bay, Kent. CT6 5BP
Tel: 07904801047 (+020 106 3819728 -Egypt until Dec 15th 2014) Email [email protected]
Title: First Name: Surname:
Date of Birth:
I will arrive by Car: I will arrive by train. (Note, the railway station is right next door to where we begin
Are you purchasing this course as a gift? Yes/No
If ‘yes’, would you like to be sent a foraging gift card and information that you can pass on?
Would you like me to send the card directly? If so please supply recipient’s address.
Please inform us if there are any changes to the details above
All correspondence from Fergus The Forager will be sent via email, please ensure you have included a current, clearly written email address (and that Hotmail accounts are not full). If you would prefer to receive all further correspondence by post, please indicate by ticking here.
Declaration: Signed by the person named above: I agree that I have read, and that I accept the
Fergus The Forager terms & conditions. I also recognize and agree that, as with any outdoor activity,
the courses and events offered by Fergus The Forager contain an element of personal risk, and
however unlikely, the risk can become a reality. Payment and/or attendance on the course indicates an acceptance of Fergus The Forager’s terms & conditions.
* Typing your name is sufficient acknowledgement that you agree to our terms & conditions.
An actual signature will be asked for when you arrive for your course.
A cheque / postal order is enclosed
For the following amount:
(Payable to Fergus Drennan)
Tick here if you would like a receipt of payment:
I require a proforma invoice before my ORGANISATION will pay –
Do you have any special dietary requirements or allergies?
For office use only:
Full payment received:
Arrival details sent:
Please ensure that you have read and fully understood our terms and conditions before signing this form.
Please complete in block capitals and send with your deposit to the below address.
Where a ‘tick’ is asked for, please use an ‘X’
Fergus The Forager – Emergency Details Form
Your personal Details:
Next of kin:
In the event of a serious injury whom should we contact on your behalf?
Telephone Numbers: Home:
Medical / Dietary Details
Blood Type & Rhesus Factor (if known): N.H.S. No. (if known):
Have you had a Tetanus booster within the last ten years? Yes/ No
Do you suffer from any medical conditions, allergies, or recent injuries that we should be aware of?
E.g. Asthma, Diabetes, Epilepsy, Haemophilia, Arthritis, Hay Fever, Insect Stings, etc.
Are you currently taking any prescribed medication? Yes/ No
If yes, please list:
Do you have special dietary requirements, eg vegan, vegetarian, diabetic, raw, gluten free etc?
Are there any foods which you simply dislike – a lot!?
Do you eat fish?
ALL INFORMATION WILL BE TREATED IN THE STRICTEST CONFIDENCE.
Declaration signed by the person named above: I recognise and agree that, as with any outdoor activity, the courses and events offered by Fergus The Forager contain an element of personal risk, and that however unlikely, the risk can become a reality.
* Typing your name is sufficient acknowledgement that you agree to our terms & conditions.
An actual signature will be asked for when you arrive for your course.
All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced, stored, introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means
(electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) for commercial gain, without the prior written permission of Fergus The Forager.
2005 – 2015 © Copyright Fergus The Forager
Fergus The Forager Terms & Conditions
Please read these terms & conditions carefully before completing and returning our booking form. Once a completed booking form has been accepted in writing by Fergus The Forager all the persons named on the booking form (“the client(s)”) will have entered a binding contract on the basis of these terms & conditions. If you have any questions about them please do not hesitate to contact us.
Agreement on the basis these terms & conditions arise upon the fulfillment of all of the following: receipt by Fergus The Forager of a properly completed booking form accompanied by the payment or deposit specified in that booking form; clearance of the payment or deposit into Fergus The Forager’s bank account; acceptance by Fergus The Forager in writing.
Fergus The Forager reserves the right, in its absolute discretion and without the need to give reasons, to refuse to accept a booking. In such circumstances no agreement arises and Fergus The Forager will return any payment accompanying the booking form. The agreement is between Fergus The Forager and the client(s) and is the sole agreement between those parties. No variation of these terms & conditions shall be applicable unless agreed in writing by Fergus The Forager before the relevant course. The person signing the booking form shall be deemed to sign that form for his / herself and as agent for all other persons listed on that form and warrants that he/she is appointed agent for that purpose.
The agreement is governed by English law.
The balance of the fee as specified on the booking form must be paid in full by the date specified on the booking form, or if no date is specified, no later than eight weeks before the course. If not so paid, Fergus The Forager reserves the right to treat the agreement as cancelled by the client(s) pursuant to clause 4, below.
Whilst every effort is made to limit prices to those given in the booking form, Fergus The Forager reserves the right to alter prices should its costs in hosting a course increase for reasons beyond its reasonable control (including, without limitation, the cost of labour, transport and materials). In the event that a price is altered the client(s) will be notified as soon as reasonably possible and the balance of the altered price will be payable on the same terms as was the original price. In the event of the price being thus increased by 15% or more the client may opt to cancel the booking and will then be entitled to a refund of all monies paid.
4. Cancellation by client(s)
If the booking is cancelled by the client(s) (for any reason) the following cancellation charge will arise:
Place or places on a course will be secured only upon advanced payment of their FULL cost. Payment is by cheque or money transfer only. You may cancel up to 1 month before the course date and receive a 100% refund. After that time any cancellation will, WITHOUT EXCEPTION, result in a complete loss of all deposits.
If I cancel a course at any point a full refund will be offered.
And the client acknowledges that it is reasonable for such penalties to arise, given the need for Fergus The Forager to make preparations for a course substantially in advance of the course.
5. Variation of a course by Fergus The Forager
A Fergus The Forager course is, by its very nature, exposed to natural variables, including the weather. Whilst every reasonable effort is made to deal with (indeed to learn from) such contingencies there may be occasions when ,Fergus The Forager through no fault of its own, is forced to vary or modify a course itinerary at short notice or decides to do so in order to take advantage of natural circumstances. The client acknowledges that information about courses provided by Fergus The Forager is given in the best of faith but that because of the variability of nature it may be reasonable to alter or modify a course and that in such circumstances it is not reasonable for Fergus The Forager to be liable for any losses consequential on such a change and that ’Fergus The Forager’s liability is limited accordingly.
6. The conduct of a course
The client acknowledges that during a Fergus The Forager course he / she is required to submit to the reasonable instructions and leadership of Fergus The Forager. The client acknowledges that persons attending a Fergus The Forager course are entitled to expect a high standard of conduct and regard for personal well being on the part of all clients. For this reason the client accepts that Fergus The Forager may, in its absolute discretion and without the need to give reasons, arrange for him / her to be removed from a course, if necessary against his / her will.
Circumstances in which this might occur include (without limitation) disorderly or abusive conduct; intoxication; inadequacy of clothing or equipment; incapacity or inability to meet the rigours of the course. In such circumstances the client will not be entitled to a refund of monies and Fergus The Forager will not be liable for any losses so resulting. The client will on demand reimburse Fergus The Forager its reasonable costs of effecting his / her removal.
Fergus The Forager courses take place in the open countryside and are by their very nature are not absolutely free from hazard. Fergus The Forager makes every effort to minimise risk to clients and instructs clients in the safe negotiation of such risk as may remain. Consequently, the client acknowledges that there are circumstances in which an accident could befall a client without Fergus The Forager being at fault and accepts that to that extent he / she is taking part in a Fergus The Forager course at his / her own risk. Fergus The Forager only accepts liability for physical injury to a client that is shown to result from negligence on the part of Fergus The Forager. The client acknowledges that other loss, damage and expense (including, without limitation, loss of money, loss or damage to clothes and possessions, losses arising on the cancellation of a booking and the expenses of delay and harm caused other than by the negligence of ) Fergus The Forager howsoever arising is not the responsibility of Fergus The Forager and that Fergus The Forager’s liability is hereby limited.
Fergus The Forager is insured as an Outdoor Activities provider & is covered to a level of £5,000,000 Public Liability Insurance. The client is also strongly advised to provide their own personal insurance cover, to include ‘Working with hand tools’.
In the unlikely event that a client has cause for complaint about a Fergus The Forager course, complaint should be made to a representative of Fergus The Forager during the event, in order that corrective action can, if necessary, be taken. The client acknowledges that it is unreasonable to take no action during a course but to complain later. However, should a problem not be resolved, complaint should be made in writing within 28 days. To the extent permitted by law Fergus The Forager will not be liable in respect of claims first intimated later than 28 days from the close of the relevant course.
10. Subsequent instruction by client (s)
Although all Fergus The Forager courses are taught by highly experienced & capable leaders, it is not intended that any instruction provided to any client(s) while on a course will in any way qualify that/those client(s) to instruct any third party & no warranty is made to that effect. Fergus The Forager hereby excludes any liability it might have to any third party in respect of any loss or damage suffered or incurred by that third party in its reliance on any skills taught by any client(s) on the basis of having attended any Fergus The Forager course.
11. Insolvency and cancellation by Fergus The Forager
In the unlikely event that Fergus The Forager becomes insolvent all monies will be refunded in full. In the event that Fergus The Forager cancels a course, all monies will be refunded in full, or if preferred transferred as a deposit for another course of the same cost. Fergus The Forager requires a minimum number of six clients to run a course.
12. Transport, Accommodation and Meals
Fergus The Forager can provide a pick up service to and from the nearest railway station to the course location. There is no charge for this service.
Accommodation is not provided. All meals are provided, including a vegetarian option if required.
13. If you read all that, give yourself a well earned pack on the back and go and pour yourself a nice cup of tea!
Places to stay in and around Canterbury
Canterbury Camping and Caravanning Club Site
Bekesbourne Lane, Canterbury, CT3 4AB
The following facilities are available at this site; Club Service Pitch, Club Standard Pitch, Hardstanding, Seasonal
Pitch, Storage facilities, Grassy site, Stony site, Some shelter, Toilets, Hot showers, Washbasins, Electric razor
sockets, Parent and baby room, Chemical toilet disposal point, Drinking water, Motorhome Stop-off, Laundry facilities,
Dishwashing facilities, Ice pack freezing facility, Children’s play area, Bottled gas, Payphone, Dogs welcome, Dog
Yew Tree Caravan / Camping & Holiday
Yew Tree Park, Stone Street, Petham, Canterbury, CT4 5PL
01227 700306 www.yewtreepark.com/
Choose from apartments, caravans, camping and the lodge. It also has an outdoor swimming pool, wifi and a childrens
play area.The Chequers Inn Pub is only a short walk from the Park gates – an ideal location for family meals or just a
54 New Dover Rd, CT1 3DT
01227 462 911 [email protected]
The hostel is popular with groups and individuals alike, who enjoy the friendly atmosphere. It’s within easy reach of the
North Downs Way and Pilgrims’ Way, while the city itself has a cathedral, St Augustine’s Abbey, various museums,
guided tours and theatres.
Acacia Lodge and Tanglewood, 39-40 London Road, Canterbury, Kent CT2 8LF
Tel: +44 (01227) 769955
Email: [email protected]
Bed and Breakfast Hotel in Historic Canterbury
These two charming 19th century cottages are conveniently located for the city, Canterbury West Station, and the University of Kent. This family-run B & B offers clean & comfortable accommodation at affordable prices. Off-street parking is available.
40 Nunnery Fields, Canterbury, CT1 3JT
01227 786 121 www.kipps-hostel.com
A friendly backpackers hostel situated a short walk to the famous Canterbury cathedral and the Town Central.
Upper Harbledown, Canterbury, CT2 9HX
0870 720 0911 www.
This is a basic, value for money option located on the A2, a major route to Dover, and about 4 miles from the centre of
Canterbury. The hotel has 89 rooms on two floors and 90 free parking spaces for guests. There is a small basic
restaurant where complimentary continental breakfast is served. The hotel also has a small bar.
Cathedral Gate Hotel
36, Burgate, Canterbury, Kent, CT1 2HA
01227 464381 www.cathgate.co.uk
Pilgrims slept here! This 1438 building pre-dates even the adjoining sculpted Cathedral Gateway. The Cathedral itself is just 30
paces away as is the bustling commerce of the Buttermarket and a wealth of busy shops, cafes and restaurants.
Ebury Hotel and Cottages
65/67 New Dover Rd, CT1 3DX
01227 768433 www.ebury-hotel.co.uk
Ebury Hotel Canterbury is one of the finest hotels in Canterbury. A short walk from Canterbury city centre, Canterbury
Cathedral and the Canterbury shops, this privately owned Canterbury hotel is located in 2 acres of grounds; offering
an indoor heated swimming pool, an award winning restaurant, a large car-park with free parking, and attractive
gardens. All 15 bedrooms are en-suite, have sky satellite TV channels, broadband wireless internet access, and the
whole hotel is non-smoking.
The Falstaff Hotel
8-10 St Dunstans Street, Canterbury, CT2 8AF
A traditional 15th Century coaching inn, The Falstaff Hotel is steeped in history yet offers you comfortable Canterbury
accommodation with every modern comfort. Located just a few steps away from the imposing Westgate Tower, The Falstaff
Hotel provides easy access to Canterbury city centre and its attractions, including the impressive Canterbury Cathedral, a
designated World Heritage Site.
The Pilgrims Rest
48-50 High Street, Littlebourne, Canterbury, CT3 1ST
01227 721341 www.thepilgrimsrest.biz
We have six rooms available with en-suite bathrooms. Tea and coffee making facilities. Flat screen televisions with “freeview”.
Off road secure parking
The Duke of Cumberland
High Street, Whitstable, CT5 1AP
01227 280617 www.
Welcome to “The Duke”, in the heart of Whitstable – home of the famous Whitstable Oyster.
Whitstable is a town of history and legends of smuggling, where the first railway line in Britain, the “Crab and Winkle Line” to
Canterbury was laid and which remains a popular leisure destination.
The Duke is Whitstable’s finest Inn and offers eight en-suite rooms decorated in a contemporary style.
Reads Restaurant with Rooms
Macknade Manor, Canterbury Rd, Faversham, ME13 8XE
01795 535344 www.reads.com
Read’s offers six restful and relaxed guest bedrooms, each one individually designed and furnished in period style, with
traditional English fabrics and all of them with modern, en suite bathrooms.
The restaurant’s widespread reputation is founded on the distinctive cooking of Michelin-starred David Pitchford, whose
seasonal dishes blend herbs and vegetables from the manor’s own walled kitchen garden with local game and fish fresh from
the quayside at nearby Whitstable and Hythe.
140 Wincheap, Canterbury, Kent, CT1 3RY
The hotel is conveniently located in an oasis of calm in this otherwise bustling and vibrant city, though just a short stroll from
the town centre and its many attractions. It is one of only two hotels in Canterbury with an indoor heated swimming pool,
available all year round and leading directly to the `sun trap` garden. There are 14 en-suite rooms – some with 4 poster beds –
and including 2 family sized rooms.
We do no accept responsibility for the content of the websites and have no affiliation with them. Please contact them directly for more information and booking.
The Four Seasons
77 Sturry Rd
Canterbury, CT1 1BU
Located a comfortable fifteen minutes walk from the heart of the town it offers comfortable well equipped rooms and a great breakfast
6 St.Peters Lane
Kent. CT1 2BP Tel 01227 761836
The White House guest house is an early Regency Listed building retaining many original features, and reputedly the retirement home of Queen Victoria’s Head Coachman. This attractive guest house offers comfortable bed and breakfast accommodation and a warm welcome, second to none. A home from home for all our guests
2019 COURSES. Full calender and course descriptions will be completed by mid-November
Full-day Foraging and Feasting Course
After 15 years running this course it is as popular as ever. We forage in and around woodland, field, hedgerow, riverside, salt marsh, and by the sea, for the best wild ingredients the season has to offer. Lunch and dinner are both 3-course wild food events, the first inside, and the second on the beach over 3 open fires. Throughout the day a wealth of unique wild food preparations including biscuits, candied items, pickles, drinks, and cocktail ingredients will be shared.
Time: 9 am – 7/10pm (depending on time of year).
Price: £185 per person (max 11 people)
Location: Canterbury and surrounding coast.
Wild food pilgrimage
The gathering of wild food plants and fungi is an opportunity to journey on foot not only from place to place, but also through time. Exploring a point-to-point 7-10 mile stretch of various traditional pilgrimage routes, we will move through the landscape attuning to the wild food possibilities all around, whilst also discovering how our ancestors would or could have used the foods we discover at different historical periods, for instance, Palaeolithic, Neolithic, Roman era, Middle Ages etc, as well as how they are being used in the contemporary kitchen and, indeed, how they may be more commonly used in the future. Both a culinary adventure and a deep time walk, nourished by a delicious wild seasonal soup and acorn sour dough lunch around the fire, and plenty of unique and fascinating wild food preparations offered throughout the day.
Time: 10am-6pm (max 12 people)
Price: £100 per person
Location: various (click on individual dates for location and detailed itinerary)
After 4 years of recurrent back problems, I have found two treatments to be more effective at treating the issue than any others: daily hanging from a bar or branch and daily barefoot walks of a few miles or more. The former, although occasionally useful as a pause to spot mushrooms and wild plants, isn’t that useful foraging-wise. Barefoot walking, on the other hand, immediately grounds us and connects us both to the countless millennial-after-millennial-long history of our ancient ancestors, and to a deeper sense of our surroundings and inner aboundings, and in particular the rhythmic breath. This 7-10-mile point-to-point (occasionally circular) foraging walk is for both seasoned barefoot walkers, those who would like to shed their hooves for the first time, and everyone in between. We will create some simple wild food dishes with what we gave gathered at the end of the walk. In addition plenty of unique and fascinating wild food preparations will be on offer throughout the day.
Please bring something to share for lunch.
For those intending to join this course and wish to spend the whole day barefoot, especially if this is a new idea for you, please transition into the day by beginning to walk barefoot over increasing distances a couple of month at least before the course date.
A good pre-course read would be Katy Bowman’s Whole Body Barefoot: Transitioning Well To Minimal Footwear
Time: 10 am – 6 pm
Price: £75 per person, £30 refund (at the end) if barefoot ALL day.
Fungi ID, Collection and Three-course Wild Food Cook Up
We will be foraging for fungi in different fungal habitats, for example, woodlands of various kinds as well as grassland (exact locations will depend on the quality/quantity of available fungi I spot when doing a recce the day before). The aim is to provide a general introduction to seasonally available fungi, how to harvest them sustainably and how to utilize them as food and medicine, as well as how to recognise and avoid poisonous species. I will also introduce, with hands on examples in some cases, how to use fungi for other purposes such as painting, dyeing, ink making, paper making. Whether you have children or not, such an added exploration is a really positive way to introduce fungi to them, bypassing the mycophobic culture of fear that abides in British culture. A 3-course wild-food-based and end-of-forage meal will be provided to finish the day. This will be served in the woods (weather permitting) with a range of deliciously cooked seasonal wild mushrooms that you will have collected (so please bring snacks or a sandwich for lunch). We will also work with some excellent fungi identification keys, as well as a range of guide books. Much of fungi identification using the naked eye rather than microscopes (that is, identification in the field – metaphorically and literally) is about a balance of probabilities that point to a particular species. The keys that we will use are excellent ones that, if used, will greatly aid your on-going confidence in beginning to accurately and systematically correctly identify a particular fungus down to genus level whilst out on your own.
Time: 10 am – 5/6pm-ish
Price: £135 per person
Location: Canterbury, Ashdown Forest, and elsewhere (click on individual dates for location and detailed itinerary).
Mushroom Paper Making
Few people know that wonderful craft paper of different natural colours can be made from many fungi species, especially tough and inedible bracket fungi. Many of these fungi are also highly medicinal, especially as regards immune support. After initially identifying and collecting suitable fungi in the field (so to speak) – most will be in the woods, we will gather either indoors or a covered area outside (depending on location), and practically, hands on, explore the techniques required to produce different grades of mushroom paper: It can be made as thin as tissue paper, smooth and ideal for use in a photocopier, or thick enough to make boxes. As a by-product of the paper making process, we shall also make a delicious medicinal mushroom soup. Paper takes a couple of days to dry in a press for best results. Your individually crafted pieces will be posted to you once fully dried.
Please bring some food to share for lunch.
Time: 10 am – 4/5ish pm
Price: £75 per person (max. 10 people).
Seaweed ID, Collection, and Nori Sheet Making, With Sushi and Deep-Fried Seaweed
From a foraging perspective the coast is one of the best places to be, and not just for the coastal plants and shellfish, but especially for an abundant variety of seaweeds. On this course we will visit the shore at low tide to identify from between 10-40 seaweeds, gathering several of these species for deep-frying later on and, principally, for the hand-made creation, from scratch, of nori sheets to make maki sushi rolls.
It was on the basis of being one of the few people in this country to be making hand-crafted nori sheets that, 2 years ago, I travelled around Japan for a week to produce an hour-long documentary for TV Tokyo. The experience taught me what I had suspected: The main laver species and methods used there for producing hand-made nori are not suitable or available for use here. More interesting though, perhaps, is the limited number of seaweeds used for nori sheet production in Japan. On this ground breaking course we will predominantly work with laver species (as do the Japanese and Koreans) to create our individual nori sheets, but we will also explore the use of various kelp and wrack species, as well as dulse, Japweed, and a number of other delicious seaweeds.
Time: 6-7 hrs Start time will depend on low tide times at individual locations, but will be either 10 am – 4/5ish pm, 12 midday – 6/7ish, 3 pm – 9/10 pm
Price: £75 per person (max. 10 people).
Ways of Identifying Plants and Unlocking Their Creative Food Potential: Wild Food Guide Books, Botanical Guides and Keys, Phone Apps, Asking Other People, Goethean Observation, Intuition, Shifting Waking Consciousness, Dream Work, Asking the Plants Themselves.
My approach to identifying different plants, seaweeds, and fungi, and to learn how to utilise them creatively, has always been to draw on all the most useful tools available. Having successfully run foraging courses for 15 years, I have tended to default – as my role of course facilitator and personal guide might seem to dictate – to the ‘point and tell’ approach, as well as the use of mushroom and plant keys. However, in my daily practice I have drawn on a far greater wealth of sources.
During this course we will collectively and individually explore what might be considered a more rational, logical, and head-centred Western cultural approach to botanical knowledge acquisition, using wild food guide books, botanical guides and keys, phone apps, and perhaps even a microscope, as well as more heart-centred indigenous cultural ways of knowledge acquisition, for example, drawing on one’s own intuition, using meditative practices to shift waking consciousness, the gentle use of wild plants to mildly alter consciousness, and through discovering ways to communicate directly with plants themselves. This diversity-of-tactics approach when employed to acquire knowledge about plants and fungi is a rich and mutually reinforcing one. No one source of information can ever provide a full picture, and there is much overlap here, but used together these multiple sources provide a fuller picture of possibilities.
Please bring food to share for lunch, and an open heart and mind.
Time: 10 am – 6 pm
Price: £100 per person (max. 10 people).
Natural Dyeing Through The Seasons
KentCLOTH- Autumn- Discovery of natural colour
In this series of workshops in different locations throughout Kent over the coming year, Fergus will facilitate the group in the discovery of natural colours that can be sourced from the local area. These colours are often apparent, but also often hidden within plants, fungi, and seaweeds, within roots, barks, berries, and leaves of countless botanicals. Working with differently mordanted fabrics, and through the creation and use of paper made from different mushroom species, participants will discover the many unique variables involved in the extraction and setting down of colour.
There really is a kaleidoscopic range of colour discovering opportunities to be had from an exploration of the natural world all around us, and it is, in part, the unique variables of time, place, and extraction technique, that will determine the final range of colours produced. Indeed, although 100s of botanicals can be used, it is worth noting that the famous illuminated manuscript that is the Lindesfarne Gospel, although produced many centuries ago, around 715 AD, derives its 90 different colours from just 6 sources. Come and join Fergus to begin or extend your appreciation of the richly coloured world around you, and learn how to tap into that source of endless creative possibilities.
Workshops are part funded by Arts Council England as part of the Kent Cloth project. Work produced from the day will be exhibited as part of a collaborative Kent Cloth exhibition at the Rochester Art Gallery from October 2019 – January 2020. Filming may take place during the day. You will be invited to the private view and work will be returned to you at the end of the project.
Dates: 21st Oct 1018, ………
Working with Acorns and Oak
Acorns are both one of the most under-utilised of abundant wild foods, and yet one with perhaps the longest recorded history of use. Both in Native American tradition and in temperate climates across Europe and beyond, a wealth of harvesting and processing techniques have been employed. Drawing on this knowledge and my own experience working with acorns over the past 25 years, we will work with both pre-harvested and pre-dried acorns, as well as foraging our own fresh supplies. So, after a couple of hours out gathering we will explore shelling techniques, before going on to explore both hot and cold-water tannin leaching techniques. There are as many ways to shell and leach acorns as there are ways to swing the proverbial cat, and the method employed will depend on the time and equipment you have, as well as your intended use of the acorns. By demonstrating and working with multiple techniques participants will be able to apply what is of most relevance to their specific situation. Using oak leaves for tea, candying, and in wine making will also be discussed, with tasters.
Together we will make acorn coffee (to take home), acorn pasta, pickled acorns (to take home), and honey candied acorns (to take home)
We will finish the day with a three-course celebration of the acorn to include acorn soup, acorn pasta, acorn bread, acorn panna cotta, acorn and oak leaf wine, and, of course, acorn coffee.
Waste-ground is a strange term to me. It generally denotes land that is useless, wasted, or perhaps simply gone to waste after former ‘productive’ use. From a foraging point of view, although much so-called waste-ground inhabits what have been called edge lands on the outskirts of towns, these places can be an incredibly rich source of wild foods, and places of abundant plant species more generally. On this course we will explore a fairly typical example of such land, and both discover and work with the riches to be found there. Typically, we will identify between 20-40 plants (with potentially a few fungi species), collecting and working with at least 10. Together we will create a unique hedgerow ketchup utilizing multiple wild fruits, and infuse spirits to create a lovely drink, both of which you can then take home. Dinner will be a pre-prepared seasonal wild soup, and Chinese dumplings that we will make together from wild ingredients we gather on the day.
Please bring some food to share for lunch.
Time: 10.00 am – 6 pm
Price: £135 (max. 12 people)
Location: Herne Bay
Foraging With Nature Awareness and Connection Play
Rose, Hawthorn, and Blackthorn: Rosehips, Haws, and Sloes
Wild Plants, Foraging and Storytelling
Air BnB Villages: Alfriston, Fordwich
Working With Amanita Muscaria The Fly Agaric Mushroom for Both Food and Medicine
Natural Dyeing With Plants, Seaweeds and Fungi: An Exploration
Wild Cocktail and Mocktail Making and Forage
The Pattern Method of Plant identification: Carrot, Cabbage, Rose, Nettle, Pea, Amaranth Families
Foraging and Flow: Wild and Natural Foods AND Natural Movement
The Wild Artist: Crafting paper, paints, charcoal, and brushes from 100% wild gathered materials.
Foraging for plants, fungi, and or seaweeds one on one or up to 14 people @£50 per hour