September is high fungi season in the Trossachs, and this event is designed to make the most of it. Over the course of about 1.5 miles of easy walking over 3 hours we will explore the fascinating world of fungi. I’m delighted to be running this event in association with The Woodland Trust, who are increasingly recognising the important role that foraging can play in restoring the connection between humans and nature. While our focus for the day will be on wild mushrooms, we will not ignore the delightful array of edible woodland, and hedgerow plants that we find along the way.
Your host will be Mark Williams of Galloway Wild Foods. Mark is a passionate mycophile, wild gastronomer and professional wild food educator, who has been teaching about wild mushroom identification and edibility for over 25 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.
Please note that while this date and location will be selected to maximise the potential range of fungi we encounter, it is not possible to guarantee what we will find.
Location: Glen Finglas Visitor Gateway, Brig o’ Turk, Callander, FH17 8HR. There is free car parking spaces in Lendrick Hill car park along A821 & we’ll meet inside the Visitor Gateway. You can view our meeting place on the map tab on this page.
Date: Friday 27th September.
Start time: Arrive in time for a 1pm start
Finish time: Around 6.00pm
Cost: Adults £50 Children aged 12 to 16: £25
Expect: Up to 1.5 miles gentle walking on well made paths over 3 hours followed by and informal al-fresco cook-in of our finds (not a full meal). There will be wild treats and tasters to enjoy throughout.
- The important role fungi plays in nature
- How to go about identifying important families and species of fungi
- How to home in on the most rewarding edible species
- How to recognise dangerously poisonous species
- Medicinal and utilitarian uses
- Sustainable harvesting practices
- Preservation and cooking techniques
- Key resources for taking your personal learning forward
- Other autumn woodland wild foods
When time and weather allow, we lay out and label our finds to serve as a souvenir and aide-memoire of the afternoon’s discoveries.
Eat/drink: I think it is important to bring the wild foods we encounter to life by not just talking about them, but by eating and drinking them. To this end, in addition to the cook-in at the end, I carry a very hefty bagful of lovingly prepared treats, tasters and tipples to share during the walk. These are both delicious and educational, and the walk is more like guided grazing, a gentle imbibing of the landscape, than a route march! The cook-in afterwards serves as both an al-fresco cookery demonstration and a social time to eat together and digest the afternoon’s discoveries with new friends. While I don’t bill this as a full meal, most people leave well filled! All dietary requirements can be catered for, provided you let me know when you book.
Essential: Stout footwear, weather-appropriate clothing, drinking water
Optional: A small basket or cloth bag, notebook, camera, fungi field guide if you have one. If you make any foraged delights at home and would like to share them with the group, please bring them along!
If you would like to use a Galloway Wild Foods gift voucher to pay for this event, please follow the link to the Woodland Trust website, and follow instructions there.