Embark on a captivating exploration of nature with a Foraging Walk at Cowdray, a guided walk led by our knowledgeable Estate forager, George. Tailored to engage participants with diverse levels of interest, these walks invite you to peer into the intricate world of our wild spaces, fostering a deeper understanding of the myriad species that inhabit them.
Journey through enchanting habitats as George unravels the mysteries of both delectable foods and medicinal wonders, all within the context of the current season. Foraging encourages a reimagining of our surroundings, instilling an appreciation for the grandeur of nature, both big and small.
During this foraging adventure, we will shine a spotlight on mycology – the study of fungi – delving into the world and work of Fungi. We will also look at the identification and uses of a variety of wild vegetables, herbs, and mushrooms abound in our surroundings. Early spring is not always considered a great time for mushrooming, but this is not the case. Mushrooms can be found at all times of year and early on in the year you can find fantastic edible fungi including species like the highly prized St George’s Mushroom (which can only be found at this time).
On this walk George will unravel the secrets of the mycorrhizal network- a symbiotic relationship between fungi and plant roots – showcasing how these intricate connections contribute to the health and vitality of our ecosystems. Participants get to discover the web of life beneath our feet and gain insights into the crucial role fungi play in nutrient exchange and ecosystem balance.
Species encountered on this immersive journey may include, Jack by the Hedge, Bramble Buds, Cleavers, Sorrel, Hogweed, Yarrow, and an array of mushrooms like St George’s Mushroom, Wood Ear fungus and Scarlet Elf Cups.
This is a circular walk that commences and concludes at the Benbow Pond car park, winding through undulating terrain and lasting approximately 2.5 hours.
Please be sure to wear footwear suitable for varying terrain, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable foraging experience. Join us on this adventure, where every step brings you closer to the heart of nature’s bounty.
Click here to find out more about Foraging at Cowdray. George will vary walk locations around the Estate to give you the best walk which encapsulates the season. Please see the reminder email sent out before the event to get the exact start location to your walk.
Meet George, Cowdray’s Forager:
George has been foraging and using wild foods for some years, supplying the freshest foraged wild edibles to some of the country’s top restaurants, chefs and food establishments.
After years of being immersed in the ‘wild’ himself, George now focuses on encouraging others to appreciate the significance of our native countryside, and how we can enjoy and protect it for future generations.
Over his years of foraging George has accrued an in-depth knowledge of our countryside, its diverse habitats and the variety of plants and fungi each contains. He has covered the length and breadth of the country from the Scottish Highlands to the moors and coasts of Cornwall, in search of new native edibles as well as sustainable sources to pick them. Working closely with chefs consulting on what, when and how to use each ingredient to best showcase them has led George to be featured on programmes like BBC’s Saturday Kitchen, following the journey from the forests and fields to fork. George now hopes to inspire you on your own adventure of discovery.