Deep Dive Fungi Weekend, Galloway, SW Scotland


Saturday, 14 October 2023

An immersive weekend of mycology, mushroom hunting and wild gastronomy in South West Scotland, with two of Scotland’s leading fungi educators.



Image ©Mindy Coe

Join foraging guide Mark Williams of Galloway Wild Foods and professional mycologist Nev Kilkenny for an immersive weekend of mycology, mushroom hunting and wild gastronomy in South West Scotland.

The weekend consists of talks, forays, presentations, workshops and fungi-themed wild foods. We will be based in a woodland classroom and make two forays into mycologically diverse habitats, encountering a vast range of fungal characters. The ticket price includes a copy of the field guide we will be using throughout the weekend.

This is a chance to explore all aspects of the fungal kingdom in the company of two of the UK’s leading fungi educators. The event is suitable for fungi novices, though those with a basic understanding of fungi looking to improve their ID skills and connect more deeply with mycology will get most out of it.

Nev Kilkenny (L) and Mark Williams (R)

Nev Kilkenny is a widely respected professional mycologist, who trained under the tutelage of Professor Roy Watling at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh. Nev is involved in many events and projects to raise awareness of the importance of fungi, in association with organisations such as The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Plantlife Scotland & Scottish Natural Heritage. Nev is a member of the Association of Foragers, and sees foraging as an excellent entryway into a deeper appreciation of all fungi.

Mark Williams of Galloway Wild Foods is a passionate mycophile, wild gastronomer and professional wild food educator, who has been teaching about wild mushroom identification and edibility for 30 years. Mark is a font of knowledge and enthusiasm on wild fungi, specialising in making this often daunting subject fun and accessible to novices, while providing solid foundations for a lifetime of discovery, enjoyment and worry-free wild eating. Mark writes widely on this subject and works closely with leading mycologists, landowner/conservation organisations such as The National Trust and Scottish Natural Heritage. Mark’s wild mushroom cookins are legendary! Mark is also a long-standing member of the Association of Foragers.

Nev and Mark share a love of the outdoors and the natural world,  and know how to make the often daunting subject of fungi fun and accessible.  You will leave with new skills, knowledge and insights into the remarkable world of fungi.

Image ©Mindy Coe

Please note that Due to the complex nature of fungi and mushroom identification, this event is not recommended for children under 16 years. Sorry, this event is not suitable for dogs.


Gatehouse of Fleet area. We will be based in a woodland classroom near Gatehouse of Fleet. Day 2 begins in a forest within 30 minutes drive of Gatehouse of Fleet (lift shares can be organised on day 1). Ticket holders will be notified of the exact meeting point in the week prior to the event. There is information on visiting the area, and places to stay here.


The weekend is designed to give a full and rounded insight into the fungal kingdom and to help those with a basic grounding in fungi identification and usage take their skills to the next level. While we will certainly take an interest in edible fungi, and eat plenty, the weekend is about exploring and understanding ALL fungi. The weekend includes slide presentations, hands-on workshops, edible fungi cookery and preservation, wild food lunches, discussion of the most useful textbooks, and two major forays exploring a wide range of fungi habitats

The weekend incudes a trip to an ancient hill pasture that has a remarkable diversity of grassland species


The event takes place from 9.30am to  6pm on Saturday 14th October, and from 9am to 5pm on Sunday 15th October. Accommodation is not included – there are tips on places to stay in and around Gatehouse of Fleet here.

Over two 8 hour days, approximately half our time will be spent in the woods, exploring fungi. The forays move at a gentle pace, but you will be on your feet for up to 4 hours. Saturday’s foray is flat, mostly on well made paths, while Sunday’s foray covers relatively steep ground as we climb through oak and beech woodland to an ancient hill pasture, where we will explore grassland species. The event is timed to allow us to encounter the widest possible diversity of fungi (expect over 100 species), but this can be a wet time of year. You should be of moderate fitness and comfortable outdoors in all weathers for up to 4 hours.

Indoor classroom sessions will comprise a mixture of talks, workshops, demonstrations, Q&A sessions, and you will have ample opportunity to get hands-on with a microscope.

Cep and parmesan salad with wild herbs

The weekend includes a fungi themed wild food lunch on each day, wild mushroom cookery and tastings, mushroom snacks and drinks, and tea and coffee through the day.  All dietary requirements can be catered for and there is a place to note these on booking.  You should also bring your own snacks/packed lunch each day, as our itinerary may mean we eat at unusual times and we can’t carry all the picnics on both forays!

The ticket price includes a copy of Paul Nicol’s book “An Initial Guide to the Identification of Mushrooms and Toadstools”, which will be our core text, and yours to take home after. You can read my short review of it here.

Wild mushroom cookery in the forest. Image ©GallowayWildFoods

Topics covered include:

  • The important roles fungi plays in nature
  • How to go about identifying important families and species of fungi
  • Looking after fungi specimens
  • How to make and use spore prints to help identify fungi
  • The role foragers can play in recording fungal diversity
  • Multiple fungi habitats, including ancient oak, beech, conifers, birch and ancient pasture
  • How to observe and record key features of fungi
  • An introduction to microscopy
  • How to home in on the most rewarding edible species
  • Responsible harvesting: ethics and sustainable harvesting practices
  • Important poisonous species
  • Medicinal and utilitarian uses of fungi
  • Psychedelic fungi
  • Preservation and cooking techniques
  • Key resources for taking your personal learning forward
  • Using fungi in wild cocktails
  • Fungi lore, tales and stories

Mixed basket of samples of both edible and inedible mushrooms.

Further Information: All ticket holders will be emailed full details of our meeting point etc in the week prior to the event.  To ensure you receive the email, follow the instructions that come with your booking confirmation. If you have specific questions that aren’t answered here, please email .

Equipment required: Stout outdoor footwear, indoor footwear for the classroom, weather-appropriate clothing, drinking water, packed lunch each day. It may also add to your enjoyment and learning to bring some or all of:  a small basket or cloth bag, notebook, camera, your favourite fungi field guide.

Please note that the emphasis in this event is on meeting and learning about a wide range of fungi, not filling baskets with choice edibles. 

Please read the IMPORTANT INFORMATION tab on this page before booking and again before setting off for the event.

Nev’s famous “mushroom sorting hat”!

Please read the following information before booking a Galloway Wild Foods event.


The general event location is provided in the event description, and in your booking confirmation. For general information on visiting Galloway for events, see here. This location is general (eg. “Within 30 minutes drive of XXX”, so that you can consider and plan the area you need to get to prior to booking.

Detailed event information, including exact meeting place, will be sent to the email address you provide on booking in the week prior to the event. This allows me to account for the often fickle nature of wild plants and fungi and select the optimum location for our walk – which can be especially important for fungi forays.

It is important that you add and  to your email contacts/whitelist or the information email may get caught in your spam filters. This is extremely important if you have a .hotmail email account as they are notorious for having very sensitive spam filters.

The detailed event information email will be sent in the week before the event – sometimes as little as 3 days prior to the event. There is no need to badger me for it – I will send it! If you haven’t received it by within 3 days of the event, check your spam folders. If it isn’t there drop me an email –


Any cancellation must be sent by email to, quoting the event title, date and order number (viewable on your booking confirmation.

Galloway Wild Foods is under no obligation to refund, rebook or reinstate vouchers for no-shows or cancellations within 14 days of the event. If I can refill the place at short notice, I will pay a full refund less 10% to cover admin & PayPal fees, or send a voucher to the full value of the tickets. Please state your preference in your cancellation email.

If you cancel or amend a booking giving 14 days or more notice, you will receive a full refund less 5% to cover Paypal fees, or a Gift Voucher to the full value of your booking.Please state your preference in your cancellation email. Information on using gift vouchers is here.

In the unlikely event that an event is cancelled by GWF you will receive full refund, exchange or voucher.

Galloway Wild Foods is not liable for any travel, accommodation or other costs you might incur if an event has to be cancelled.

The only weather that causes events to be cancelled is dangerous wind. In these instances you will be notified as early as possible.


Please provide  the following information for all members of your party in the “Additional Information” box on the payment page :

  • Relevant medical conditions
  • Mobility issues
  • Eating restrictions – differentiating between preferences (e.g. vegetarian), intolerances (e.g. gluten intolerance) and serious allergies (e.g. peanut allergy), and clearly stating if an allergy is potentially life-threatening. All requirements can usually be catered for, but these differentiations are required for risk assessments.

It is your responsibility to provide accurate information about all members of your party. If you write “None” in the additional information box, I will assume all attendees are omnivorous and have no relevant medical conditions or mobility issues.

All information is kept private, securely, and in line with GDPR – more information on this here.


Please ensure that  all members of your party come suitably dressed for the weather, season and event.

On all walks, for your comfort and safety, walking boots/wellies, waterproofs and spare clothes are necessary. I always recommend wellies for coastal foraging events – you are likely to get wet feet if you don’t have them!

Please bring your own drinking water.

Your learning and enjoyment may also benefit from bringing a camera, notebook, field guide, small basket/cloth bag. Feel free to bring along any of your own wild food preparations to share and talk about.


Some events are not suitable for dogs. We tend to move slowly as we learn, and often dogs get bored/agitated/cold by the slow pace. If you would like to bring a dog, please note this on the booking form un the “Additional Information” box.


Further information on Galloway Wild Foods Terms and Conditions can be found here.

If you have specific questions that are not answered here, please contact mark on, or if you are running late on the day.

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