Foraging Courses Now Available in Dorset and Somerset

Hi, at mill close we are running a full programme of foraging courses. These foraging courses are held at various intervals dependant on demand and season, with winter courses being roughly once a month, and in the summer and autumn sometimes several times a week. All foraging courses are led by me, Carl.

A full programme of 2 different types of courses are available to choose from. We have the walk and talk and the walk and eat. I am unable to list the dates here as they are all subject to demand, and we can be very flexible around people’s requirements and can put on walk and talk foraging courses in new locations to meet geographic requests.

Courses available are the ‘Walk and Talk’, and the ‘Walk and Eat’.

The walk and talk foraging course is a 3 to 4 hour course that can be held anywhere across the whole of Dorset and Somerset. We meet somewhere with reasonable parking at a pre-determined location and we go for a walk using public footpaths Woodlands and private land that we have gained the permission to use. Throughout the foraging course I will show you edible fungi and other free wild edibles there are safe to pick. The foraging course is aimed at everybody from complete beginners to the intermediate forager. Costs for the walk and talk foraging course are £50 per person with discounts available for larger groups and for children. Should you be interested in attending please send us an email at requesting availability and locations.

The walk and eat foraging courses start and ends at mill close homestead and is culminated with a meal made from what we have managed to forage throughout our walk on the foraging course. This course typically takes 4 to 5 hours and weather permitting we will eat in the gardens where you will get to meet the animals here at the homestead if you wish. These courses start and end at mill close homestead which is near Castle Cary. Again, for availability please send us an email at requesting availability. Be aware these courses book up very quickly so don’t leave it until the last minute. Costs for the walk and eat foraging course are £80 per person with discounts available for larger groups and for children

Whichever course you attend the goal will be to leave you confident to continue your foraging journey into the future. In all cases we will be collecting edible mushrooms and various other wild growing food dependant on the conditions and the season.

Weather it’s elderberries, mushrooms, or watercress that excites you – we will be looking out for everything that’s in season.

I look forward to meeting you!

Foraging for mushrooms, a guide to 13 Mushrooms every forager should know

Here are some videos I made showing how to find and identify some of the common edible species of mushrooms we have here in the uk.

Always remember never pick and eat anything believing it to be edible mushrooms unless you can 100% positively identify it yourself. My guides should help you with that but it is always important to learn from more than one source and do your own edible mushroom research.

All my videos contain facts about which edible mushrooms one could expect to find here in the UK, but many of these species also grown in North america and around the world. It is always important to research which edible mushroom lookalikes may exist where you live.

Below are some of the more common edible fungi and mushrooms that I find, but the list is not exhaustive and I will constantly be updating the list of edible mushrooms for which I will make videos as the seasons pass.

The Trooping Funnel –

The trooping funnel is an under-rated edible mushroom available in huge numbers across woodland in the late summer and through autumn

The Shaggy parasol

Along with its edible brother, the parasol, the edible shaggy parasol is a really great edible mushroom that ticks all the boxes. Only try a little at first as it can cause stomach upsets in some people, but most eat it with impunity

The Shaggy Ink Cap

A super common grassland edible mushroom that is also easy to identify once you learn its two lookalikes.

The amethyst deceiver

A gloriously colourful purple edible mushroom that grows most commonly under beech in Autumn, and retains it’s striking colour through cooking

Beefsteak Fungus

Not the tastiest edible fungi, but it’s ability to be identified by even the most novice forager makes the beefsteak fungus a must learn for all beginners.

The Hedgehog fungus

Another super easy to identify edible mushroom. Common in woodlands in autumn and early winter.

The Velvet Shank mushroom

The edible velvet shank mushroom is another gourmet mushroom with cousins being cultivated for sale to high end restaurants. Available in the winter too!

The Horse Mushroom

A cousin to the common button mushrooms sold in supermarkets, only bigger, tastier and betterer!

The common puffball

This is one of the most common edible mushrooms you are likely to find. They can be found in almost every woodland walk in the autumn

Wood Ears

One of the easiest edible mushrooms to find by looking specifically for it due to its propensity to grow on elder. Available all year round in the uk

Witches Butter or Yellow Brain Fungus

A funky looking edible mushroom growing on downed wood in the winter

The Glorious Grey Oyster Mushroom

This edible mushroom is one of my favourite finds as it ticks so many boxes. Super tasty, easy to identify, found in large quantities, grows in the winter when less choice is out there, and not uncommon.

Finally, a poisonous one every forager should know –
The Sulphur Tuft

I include this as its a highly toxic mushroom that you are bound to find, and has been confused with some edible species such as the honey fungus.

So there you have it, my guide

I hope you have success learning, finding and eating wild edible mushrooms for yourselves.
And remember – everyone starts somewhere, so if you only learn one this year, and then spend lots of time outside looking for it – there is little tastier than your first wild edible mushroom you found yourself!