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The Wild Side Of Life with Fred the Forager

Posted in , , , , , , , on 8-26-15

The Wild Side Of Life with Fred the Forager – Best Food Foraging Education Provider (England South) – 2017 Food & Drink Awards

The Wild Side of Life offers one to four day foraging experiences including the Secret Sunday Mushroom Club, gourmet mushroom days, herbal remedies weekends, wild food walks, team building and ‘one to one’ experiences, and is recommended by BBC Countryfile Magazine in the Top 10 UK Foraging Courses. Based in Avebury, Wiltshire, Fred Gillam is the author of Poisonous Plants in Great Britain and brings more than 30 years of foraging experience to your table.

IMG_7604Secret Sunday Mushroom Club

The Secret Sunday Mushroom Club provides an organised foraging experience over 4 Sundays during the peak of the autumn season. You will learn the necessary skills to hunt mushrooms safely and effectively and receive 12 months email support with mushroom identification.  Locations are given out to members a couple of days before each meeting after reconnaissance has been carried out. Fred Gillam has extensive local knowledge and provides himself with delicious meals prepared from well over 100 species of fungi.

Cost £145.00 for 18.5 hours tuition including a mushroom tasting feast on the last day, the option to bring a guest and full mushroom ID course notes!”

Gourmet Mushroom Discovery Days

IMG_3416A gourmand experience day in the forest rather than a formal foraging course. After a short health and safety talk and being introduced to mushroom identification and structure, you will be led for the day to some prime foraging spots to search for the many ‘grade A’ gourmet species that grow in the county – which can include ceps, wood blewits, chanterelles, hen of the woods and many more. You will also be taken to see and identify the more important poisonous species. In the afternoon there will be a group picnic and mushroom tasting session where many of the mushrooms will be cooked and sampled in the woods over a bottle or two of wine.

Cost £90.00 per person

The Secret Sunday Spring Forager’s Club

P1130210_2This consists of 4 Sunday afternoons (not all consecutive) in Wiltshire learning the art of foraging for spring wild foods at a number of prime locations. You will visit superb river habitats, ancient woodlands and chalk downland, covering choice edible species such as pignut, ramsons, hogweed and St. George’s mushrooms plus many more. Email identification support is included in the price for 12 months after the course ends to help you to identify your finds and to share course materials and recipe ideas.

Cost £125.00 for 18.00 hours tuition includes a feast on the last day and the option to bring a guest along for the day free!”

St. George’s Mushroom Champagne Picnic

stgeorgesclustersmallThis is a pleasurable spring day of mushroom exploration on the Wiltshire Downs, where  you will learn to identify the fabulously tasty St. George’s Mushroom, learn how to seek its best  foraging grounds and how to combine it with other spring wild foods to create some super flavour combinations. During the afternoon there will be a champagne picnic of St. George’s mushrooms, herb vinegars and fresh wild salads. With a bit of luck there will be some ‘mousseron’ left over for you to take home for breakfast in the morning!

Cost for the day is £85:00

Herbal Remedies Weekend Workshops

Pestle&MortarThemed herbal remedies weekends are available to teach the principles of herbal first aid, herbal support for ‘winter ailments’ such as colds, flu and SAD, and using herbs to maintain mental and physical wellbeing. These weekends are based in Avebury Wiltshire where you will learn to forage, select and prepare your ingredients from the wild. Lunches are included and it is also a great opportunity to visit the ancient standing stones, where you can have a guided tour in the evening followed by an evening meal in the Red Lion.

Cost is £180.00 per day

Small Game Preparation

Field Butchery courses are held up to twice per year and will introduce you to knife skills, food hygiene, the laws surrounding the use of game, the use of ‘roadkill’ v’s hunted game, and the preparation by hand of small game – typically rabbits, pheasants and wood pigeon. You will also learn to joint and cook small game in various ways along with other wild food ingredients over a camp fire.

Cost is £85.00 per day, concessions are sometimes available on request.

mushroombannerspring15Gift vouchers available all year round.

For More information and to sign up for a course contact Fred:




Twitter: @FredTheForager

Telephone: 07979 109720


Please note that Food Foraging Courses is not liable for any of the content of the websites listed. We act as a directory only and do not promote or advocate any individual course provider. We thoroughly recommend that you ensure your course provider is qualified and capable as eating wild food and fungi can be a dangerous occupation


Additional Info

Name of Operator:

Fred Gillam

Mushroom Foraging?:


Wild Food Foraging?:




Wild Food Cooking?:


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