These are held in the New Forest in Hampshire. I have been running them for eight years now and they have been very successful and much enjoyed by those taking part.
We meet at 10:30am at the location I will inform you of when you have booked. The day starts with an essential forager's nip and some nice biscuits followed by a brief talk. We then spend two and a half to three hours looking for fungi. Then back for lunch. I will supply endless amounts cheese, bread, biscuits, homemade cakes (lots), alcoholic infusions such as Raspberry Vodka and Blackberry Whiskey, cider and free beer! If you feel you need more, please feel free to bring a packed lunch.
In the afternoon there will be another, briefer, foray. When we return I will lay out our finds of the day on a table. I will label everything with its common and Latin name (nearly everything anyway) and we will have a show-and-tell. If we have been lucky, a bit of a fry-up. The day will finish around 5 - 5:30pm.
The cost is £70 for an adult, £15 for a child 6 to 15 and 5 and under are free.
The New Forest is a superb place to find fungi and, although some years and days are better than others, it has never let us down. It is however always possible that it will be unseasonably dry or cold and the fungi may be a little harder to find. Whatever the weather we have in the past always found between 40 and 85 species so there should be plenty to see. Not all of these are edible, of course, but they are all interesting, and seeing a variety of different fungi is still of great help to anyone who is concerned mostly with the table.
There are many rare fungi to be found in the Forest and there are also lots of fungi that you cannot eat. We will collect only a sample or two of each fungus we find and just note any that are rare. Common edible fungi will be collected with restraint (not too much) and within Forestry Commission rules. I have a strict policy of not picking without my permission. This sounds a bit authoritarian, but it avoids picking large quantities of things which just get thrown away at the end of the day and picking rare species. You will, however, get a chance to pick some of the more common edible species.
The foray will not be cancelled for bad weather short of a hurricane or a foot of snow. Rain is the mushroom hunter's friend.
More details on the pdf file which I will send you once you have booked.
I am sure you will enjoy the day and hope to see you in the Autumn.
Ps – if you are booking as a gift for someone I would be delighted to provide a signed “Certificate” so there is actually something to wrap up. Do email me if you would like one. You can also email any dietary requirements etc.
Please note that this is a dog-free day. Dogs always run around and sit on whatever mushroom we are all looking at!
Walking in the woods is potentially dangerous as branches and entire trees occasionally fall down, there are badger, fox and rabbit holes of an ankle breaking nature, branches that poke you in the eye and straggling brambles that trip you up. There is also the extra special frisson of danger in eating wild fungi. I have never given anyone anything poisonous to eat over the last 25 years of taking forays and am extremely careful. However, in booking this foray you agree to accept full responsibility for any personal injuries suffered or originated during the foray and agree to ensure that all those attending accept the same responsibility.
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