Jack Raven’s Foraging Course | What’s it about?
Foraging has seen a surge in popularity over the last few years and doesn’t show any signs of slowing up. Which suits us as we absolutely love it! There’s nothing like strolling through the great British countryside and knowing the names of trees and plants that you walk past and which ones you can eat. On this foraging course you will learn all about the abundant, tasty plants that are there for the picking!.
Our 1 day foraging courses are based on the Kent Downs in an area of outstanding natural beauty. The courses are for anyone who’d like to gain an insight into the edible delights of the British hedgerows, fields and woodlands. So if you’re curious about the plants, berries and fruits that grow around you and wonder which you can eat and which you need to avoid, come and join us!
What will I do on a Jack Raven Bushcraft 1 Day Foraging Course?
On our foraging course the focus is on edible plants, nuts, berries and fruits commonly found in the hedgerow, fields and woodland. Be aware that what we find and forage will depend on the time of year that you come along, so for instance if you come along in the spring we’ll be looking at all of the new plants that are coming through; come in the late summer and we’ll be turning our focus to include berries as well.
From the meeting point we’ll first have a quick chat around the legalities of foraging, the kinds of places where you should and shouldn’t forage and what containers you should use to collect you free food.
After that we’ll take an amble along the tranquil lanes of the stunning North Downs Way and look at common plants, hedgerow fruits, berries and nuts that can be eaten; we’ll collect some as we go. We’ll also point out any plants and berries that are poisonous, and how to tell them apart from edible lookalikes so you know what to avoid.
From the hedgerow we’ll move into ancient woodland and look at different plants, again collecting as we go.
When we arrive at our ancient woodland camp the kettle will be ready and you can have a hot drink. Once you’ve eaten your packed lunch we’ll have a refresher on the plants we’ve collected to make sure that you’ve got the main identification points down.
From there we will settle in for the afternoon and start cooking the wonderful plants that we’ve collected. Everyone gets their own dish to cook and contribute to the banquet. We’ll be cooking over open fires in the woods where the temperature is controlled by adding some more firewood!
In the past we’ve cooked a wide range of culinary treats including nettle soup, ramson & hogweed crostinis, nettle bruschetta, dandelion bhajis, dead nettle pakoras, hogweed and jelly ear spring rolls, ground elder fritatta, nettle sag aloo and many, many more!
With a bit of luck everyone will have their dish ready at the same time and we can sit at our woodland dining table and enjoy the results of our foraging day.
You can see our complete course schedule here.
Location: Westwell, Kent
Duration: 1 day
Course size: Maximum of 8
Catering: We’ll eat what we forage, but bring a packed lunch as well as it will be late afternoon before the foraged food is ready.
Note: There is a short walk from the meeting point to the camp.
You might also find these Frequently Asked Questions useful.
What our customers say
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I’ve just returned home after a really enjoyable day on the 1 day foraging course. A big thank you to Gary and the team (not forgetting Willow!) for sharing their amazing knowledge of the woodland and countryside, and in particular what’s good to eat, and what’s to be avoided!! I learned so much about various plants, and hope to put my new found knowledge to good use, next time I’m walking in the countryside.,
I especially enjoyed being at the camp, and making the foraged food into dishes which were really tasty. Everyone was friendly and the whole day had a lovely relaxed atmosphere. I’d definitely recommend this course as a great day out.
I just had a great day with Jack Raven Bushcraft on a 1 day foraging course, it was very informative while not being overwhelming with information. All staff members very friendly and knowlegable. I will definitely be coming back.
A well organised and thoroughly enjoyable course that I would have no hesitations in recommending to anyone interested in the great outdoors and what the beautiful Kent countryside has to offer....... Never knew how much wild foods were out there to eat! Gary and Nicola oh and of course their delightful foraging expert, Willow the dog, made us feel extremely welcome and were great company. Their extensive knowledge made form an informative day out where both myself and my partner who also attended the course, feel much more confident to forage for wild food on our next hike. Prepping the food that we had collected and cooking it over the fire at the well laid out camp was a brilliant experience as it brought everyone on the course together to create a wonderful atmosphere as we sat and talked and ate our delicious food that we had made. Thanks again for a truly fantastic day; highly recommend Jack Ravens Foraging Course
This was a really great day out! The weather was perfect but I'm sure that even if it'd not been so nice Gary, Nicola and Willow would have taken it in their stride. They passed on their (extensive) knowledge about the plants and fungii on the walk out to the camp and in a very short space of time we'd collected a large amount of food . Having hiked down this very track not more than a month before it was truly enlightening to see what we had simply passed by! So much edible stuff, but also, just a few plants that would not be so good! Cooking the foraged food in camp was a great experience too and it all tasted wonderful. We won't forget our foraging experience...thanks a lot Gary Nicola and Willow....we'll be back!
Having wanted to learn about collecting edible wild food, I have come away from the day feeling confident to go out on my own and give it a try. Learnt so much from the day and had a fantastic time doing it! Thank you for a great day and some wonderful food from our gathered items, especially the nettle pakoras (not that I am bias as I helped make them) the base camp was a beautiful place to be and we would definitely love to come again!