10 foraging and survival trips

Date Posted: 18/09/2014

Foraging course with Fat Hen.

Pictured: Foraging along the beach with Fat Hen.

It’s all the rage – catching, cooking and preparing your own dinner, but what would you do in a desert island situation? We look at ten trips that show you how.

1. Fat Hen

Fat Hen, The Wild Food Cookery School in Cornwall is run by ecologist, forager and cook Caroline Davey and offers courses for people who want to get back to the original source of their food.

Whether it be foraging for seaweeds and herbs, butchering venison or cooking crab, Fat Hen provides courses in all aspects of foraging and cooking wild food. Its mantra is - 'if you can forage it, fish it or hunt it, we will show you how to cook it'.

All of the courses are suitable for groups, who can choose from hands on courses to wild food dining events and foraging walks for up to 24 people.

2. Wildwood

Wildwood Bushcraft is a wilderness survival school delivering courses in the Highlands of Scotland and Sussex in England.

It also runs international bushcraft expeditions in Scotland, Arctic Sweden, Canada and Namibia.

Activities covered include: basic bushcraft courses, survival weekends, primitive survival skills training, canoe expeditions, wild food courses, tracking courses, team building and navigation courses.

3. The Canoeman

The Canoeman’s guided canoe bushcraft trails allow groups access to unreachable stretches of the Norfolk broads. 

Learn how to canoe as well as pick up some bushcraft/campcraft techniques all at the same time.

A two-day day one-night trail normally starts from Wroxham taking you up stream for a day of paddling.

At a private wild campsite you will learn some basic bushcraft skills and set up camp to sleep under the stars. The following day involves a little more bushcraft before paddling back down to Wroxham.

Survival School.

Pictured: Identifying different species at Survival School.

4. Fergus the Forager

Smaller groups of up to eight people can join Fergus the Forager in Kent for one of his courses.

Foraging days with Fergus are very full on and usually last between 12 and 13 hours. You will get involved with foraging for plants, seaweeds and fungi, as are seasonally available (not animals, fish or shellfish).

Groups will explore different habitats on each course and the aim is to provide a general introduction to seasonally available wild plants, how to harvest them sustainably and safely to utilise them as food, including drinks.

5. Coastal Survival

Coastal Survival provides foraging courses and wild food events across the UK.

Based in the south west, the course are run by Fraser Christian who is a fully qualified chef and professional forager.

Fraser’s past has found him leading courses for the famous River Cottage, and now regularly forages for some of the UK’s top Michelin restaurants.

Forages can involve wild food to wild medicine, edible seaweed to shellfish, mushrooms and fungi.

6. Survival School

Survival School courses are run all over the country and have an open access policy which means that they will try to accommodate people, no matter how able you are. 

It also lays claim to the only accredited course for foraging in the UK.

The course also covers falconry and ferreting so that participants can collect their evening meal and hopefully top it up with a rabbit or two from either the falcons/hawks or the ferrets. 

The courses cover edible, medicinal and poisonous plants, some fungi, tree ID and tree uses.

7. Wilderness Survival Skill

Groups will find everything stripped right back to basics on a Wilderness Survival Skill course in Wiltshire.

The instructors mix up-to-date training and knowledge with realistic and achievable skills from our past.

Tree identification.

Pictured: Groups can learn how to identify different trees on a bushcraft course.

You will spend time learning about movement and navigation through the wilderness, which kit is best, how to light a fire without any modern equipment, build a warm, waterproof shelter from natural materials, make comfortable bedding, find food and water, even craft containers, utensils, tools and clothing using ancient skills.

8. Original Outdoors

Original Outdoors offers one-day foraging courses in north Wales from spring to autumn. The courses cover what is available in that season, how to safely identify wild foods in the UK and how to prepare what you find.

Bushcraft courses from Original Outdoors range from one-day affairs to five-day overnight trips.    

9. Wild Forage

Foraging courses are available across the UK from Wild Forage, which has been featured in the Sunday Telegraph as well as on C4.

Groups can choose from a coastal foraging, mushroom foraging and woodland and hedgerow foraging courses.

10.  Woodland Ways

Woodland Ways offers a larger than average range of bushcraft and survival training courses, and has been featured in the Bear Gryll's Born Survivor television series.

The company also operates the World of Bushcraft centre, a resource dedicated to teaching bushcraft skills and sharing knowledge.

Groups can attend regular workshops at the centre, bookable online; and one weekend a month there is a large scale Workshop Weekend where instructors are on hand to provide advice and information on a huge range of skills, from making cordage to making a bow. 

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