Wild food foraging courses
Edulis offers scheduled/public and bespoke/private wild food foraging and cooking courses on the following basis:
Health and safety
In booking on a course you agree to follow Lisa’s instruction and guidelines for safe and responsible foraging and tasting of wild foods. This includes checking everything you’ve picked yourself with Lisa before tasting it to make sure you have the correct species, and showing her anything you’re planning to take home from the walk so she can verify your identification is correct on those too. You are responsible for ensuring your own safety in the physical environment, watching where you’re walking etc and not taking unnecessary risks whilst on the course with us. Some coastal courses involve the opportunity to go out onto the rocks to look at seaweeds, which can be slippery and uneven, this is optional and everyone participates in this activity at their own risk. People who don’t wish to go out onto the rocks may wait safely on the beach and we will bring back samples to show them the seaweeds.
Health and safety – COVID update: In booking onto a course you also agree to fully abide by COVID-safe event rules in place at the time, including maintaining at least 2m distance between you and all others not in your household or support bubble. Bring your own hand sanitiser and face covering too please. We won’t need masks in open spaces outside (the entirety of courses are held outside) but please bring something anyway, in case you wish to use the public toilets (if available) or get refreshment from a cafe etc, or if there is an emergency requiring closer contact. We will not be doing communal cooking or anything like that whilst restrictions are still in place. Food will return to the courses when permitted. You’re welcome to taste foraged edibles you pick yourself though as we go round (under instruction and confirmation from Lisa that you have the correct species). Please do not pass things between people outside of your household or bubble. Do not attend if you have any of the symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) or if you have been instructed to isolate. Contact Lisa as soon as possible after booking onto the course if this becomes the case for you. We can only have very limited numbers on each course for the time being, so you will not be refunded for a no-show on the day with no prior communication about your circumstances due to COVID.
Foraging courses will go ahead in all normal British weather conditions, including sun, wind and rain (this is all quite likely in the UK, after all!). If dangerously adverse conditions are forecast, Lisa will make a safety decision and in the very unlikely event of having to cancel due to the weather, she will offer transfers for future courses. Lisa advises in the pre-course information email that delegates check the weather forecast before you leave on the day and that you and your party come dressed appropriately for the weather, and come prepared for rain and temperature fluctuations. You should also consider bringing sunscreen, shades/hat, insect repellent and always bring plenty of drinks on hot days.
Clothing and footwear
Lisa recommends you wear suitable, sturdy footwear for a reasonable walk and grippy enough to cope with potentially slippy or muddy patches (eg walking boots, wellies etc) and, if you’re joining a coastal course, footwear suitable for slippery, seaweed-covered rocks, pools of standing water, sand and moving sea water (snug-fitting wellies or waterproof hiking boots are advised). Long trousers and sleeves are highly advisable as there may be ticks and other insects in long grass, plus the possibility of getting scratched by brambles or stung by nettles if you have bare legs and arms. You will not be allowed to participate in the course (partially or wholly) if you show up in completely unsuitable or unsafe footwear or clothing (with no refunds given for this). Please come prepared for walking outdoors and possibly heading off the trail slightly, or onto slippery coastal rocks and the like. Lisa also recommends you bring a change of warm, dry clothes, socks and shoes to leave in the car, especially for colder months, and for coastal courses, ready for changing into should you get wet, from rain, sea or mud, although this is unlikely, it’s better to be prepared.
Kids are very welcome on Lisa’s wild food courses (and they’re usually absolutely brilliant at foraging!). Lisa makes every effort to involve and engage kids on the courses, and to make sure they understand everything that’s going on, and she’ll sometimes give them special activities to do or particular things to look out for as they go along too. Children must be accompanied by a parent or responsible adult and under their supervision at all times whilst on the course. Lisa leaves it to parents to judge whether their child can walk for the stated duration of the course, and will listen and follow safety instruction. If you have any questions or need more information, contact Lisa before booking and she will help in any way she can so you can make the best decision. In booking children onto a foraging course you are agreeing to take full responsibility for them, to supervise them at all times, to ensure they listen and that they follow Lisa’s instruction, and that you understand how long the day is going to be. Some of the more intensive or specialist courses, eg full days, more challenging terrain, or the cooking class courses may not be suitable for children, and some of the longer courses may not be suitable for younger children. Please contact Lisa for advice on your chosen course.
Pushchairs and wheelchairs
Some of my foraging walk routes are suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs, but not all. The walks set in parks usually have flat paths to follow, however we may still veer off of the set paths to look at various items. Lisa does her best to accommodate everyone’s needs as best she can, but be aware that foraging a range of wild foods within reach of a flat path is not always possible. If you need to know specifics about access, please contact Lisa and find out more before you book your place. In booking your place you are saying that you, and everyone you’re booking for, understands what sort of terrain is planned for the walk you’re booked onto. For carrying babies, a sling may be a more suitable option – again, contact Lisa for more information about your chosen course before booking your place.
We state the duration of each scheduled walk on the courses page. All delegates must be able to manage a slow walk with rest breaks over reasonable terrain through woodland and grassland etc for the duration stated on the courses page. If you are unsure if you’ll be able to manage the walk, or if you require more details in order to make that decision, you must contact Lisa and find out more before you book your place. In booking your place you are saying that you, and everyone you’re booking for, are able to manage the walk.
I can find something to forage all year round, however I can never guarantee which edible species we’ll find on the day, or how much variety there will be. The very nature of foraging (especially with fungi) is that it’s unpredictable and very dependent on the weather and climatic conditions in the weeks and days prior to the course. Lisa can only target the most likely habitats and seasons to maximise the chances of finding a good range of wild foods to show you on the course (and we’ve never been disappointed so far!).
Wild food tasters
Lisa often offers complimentary tasters of preserves, infusions, and products she’s made for you to sample. These are offered on a ‘homemade’ and ‘as is’ basis and are an optional extra for course members to enjoy as part of the experience, they are not made or sold commercially, they are intended to inspire you about what can be done with foraged ingredients and flavours. Delegates sample these at their own risk and discretion: whilst incredibly rare and unlikely, it is always possible for anyone to have an adverse reaction to touching or consuming a food or ingredient that is new to them, therefore only ever a small amount of any wild species is tasted on the course. Lisa always fully explains this risk to the delegates at the start of the course, giving delegates the choice to opt out from tasting anything we find on the walk or that Lisa has brought along to sample. COVID update: please note that tasters are suspended for now, this complimentary feature of the courses will return when restrictions allow communal cooking and food again.
Medical or special dietary requirements
To help ensure your comfort and safety, please let Lisa know of any pertinent medical or special dietary considerations for any members of your party at the time of booking onto a course. You will be asked to give this information when you apply to book and pay for the course. If you have a medical condition that could be affected by walking or being outside, or that could be life threatening such as severe asthma or being allergic to bee stings, you must let Lisa know at the time of booking as well as reminding her on the day, and bring any important equipment with you, such as your epi-pen or inhaler and let Lisa know where it is at the start of the walk. Lisa also needs to know about allergies or intolerances to any foods for you and anyone you’re booking for. Please also let her know if you require vegetarian, vegan, halal or kosher food, or anything else important regarding food and ingredients, at the time of booking. Lisa makes every effort to provide tasters that everyone in the group can eat and enjoy, as far as is reasonably possible. Also, if there’s something you really, really hate eating, please tell Lisa that too when she asks about eating requirements!
Securing your booking
Course booking, event appearances, consultations, any work you procure Lisa’s services for, is secured on full payment. Payment is via bank transfer or PayPal. Whilst Lisa will make every effort to pencil in dates or places for people who need to check things or arrange childcare etc, until full payment is received, your booking onto an open course, or your chosen date for a bespoke course, event, consultation or TV appearance is not confirmed and may potentially be taken by someone else. Booking is secured on payment.
For booking onto a foraging course, Lisa requires the following information: the name and email address for all adults, first names of children and their ages, a mobile number for the party/group you’re booking for, and any pertinent medical and dietary information for all in the group. People may also opt in to the Edulis mailing list, and can opt out at any time. You will not be added to a mailing list without actively opting in. Lisa and Edulis Wild Food will never pass your details on to third parties.
Places on each course are strictly limited and Edulis foraging walks often fill up quickly, especially in the autumn, so book your place early to avoid disappointment. Lisa wants all delegates to have a great experience on her courses, so she limits numbers to ensure she can give everyone enough of her attention and so that everyone can see and hear what is being shown at any one time. COVID update: numbers are currently even more limited due to coronavirus restrictions, numbers will increase as the rules relax.
Course fees are set at what is reasonable for the time and costs involved in running these courses, the insurance and training certificate costs, and the years it takes to build up this specialist knowledge as well as to scout out suitable locations. However, if money really is a barrier, do contact Lisa and have a chat, there may be other options, especially where courses are already quite well booked up.
Additional costs on top of course fee
Whilst Lisa makes every effort to find locations with free parking and reasonably easy access, occasionally to take you somewhere awesome there might be extra costs involved with the courses, for example a parking charge, entrance fee, or a ferry across a lake. Any additional costs will be made clear in the event listing info and at the time of booking, before you pay for the course.
Booking and fees payment
Course booking is secured on payment in full, on a first come, first served (i.e. first pay, first booked) basis. If you book places but then don’t pay for them, after reminders, the places will be offered to others waiting.
If you cancel any time up to a calendar month to go until the course date, we’ll issue a full refund. If you cancel 2-4 weeks prior to the course date, it’s a 50% refund. If you cancel less than 2 weeks prior, the course fee is non-refundable. In extenuating circumstances, Lisa may choose to offer a percentage of refund or a transfer for another course if you have to cancel within 2 weeks of the course date, but this is entirely at her discretion and she is under no obligation to do so. If in exceptionally rare circumstances, Lisa has to cancel a scheduled course for unforeseen events (such as extremely adverse or unsafe weather conditions or emergency/illness/injury etc) then all delegates will be offered the choice of a full refund or the option to transfer to another course within a year of the cancellation. COVID update: if you have to isolate or you develop symptoms of COVID-19, do not attend the course, Lisa will issue you a voucher for another course, as long as you let her know before the course starts. However, with place numbers so limited by the COVID rules at present, if you simply just don’t turn up without contacting Lisa about being unable to attend before the course starts, there is no refund or transfer voucher for this.
Associated travel and accommodation costs
Edulis is not responsible for arrangements you make to travel to and from foraging courses, and is not responsible for any accommodation arrangements you might choose to make nearby for the night(s) before or after the course. It’s the delegates’ responsibility to check cancellation policies with the relevant travel companies/carriers, vehicle hire companies or accommodation establishments before booking any of these services, taking into account the remote possibility that Edulis may have to cancel a foraging course at the last minute due to unforeseen circumstances (see the point above). Should a course cancellation happen, Edulis will refund the course fee, but is not responsible for, and will not refund delegates for, any associated costs surrounding delegates’ planned attendance of the foraging day – delegates take these additional costs on at their own risk. If this concerns you, you may wish to consider taking out travel insurance to cover the trip in the event of cancellation.
Bespoke and private courses
In addition to the general courses terms and conditions points listed above, bespoke and private courses carry the following terms too:
Booking a bespoke or private foraging course is subject to Lisa’s availability. If you want a particular date, booking early is strongly advised, especially in autumn and spring as these are the most popular times for foraging and Lisa’s diary fills up fast and often quite a way in advance. Choosing a Friday or a week day for a private course will give you much more choice on dates. If you have purchased, or been given, a gift voucher for a private or bespoke foraging course, be sure to book your date well in advance of when you want to have your course to avoid disappointment. See further terms and conditions for foraging course gift vouchers below.
Lisa can take you to a location she knows is good for foraging and variety. However you might want to have your course in your area so you can discover what there is to forage local to you. If you choose the area, we run the course there on a ‘pot luck’ basis, as Lisa may not be able to recce the site prior to the day, so it will be more like foraging really is – turning up somewhere and seeing what mother nature will provide for the day! If a recce is required for a location or to find one, the costs for this will be included in the quote for the bespoke course at the time of enquiry.
Edulis offers foraging course gift vouchers on the following basis:
Edulis foraging course gift vouchers are valid for one year from the date of purchase. The expiry date is clearly stated on the voucher. Having a voucher doesn’t guarantee you a pace on a course: it’s the recipient’s responsibility to book themselves onto a course in good time and redeem their voucher. Please note that although vouchers are valid for 12 months, Lisa only typically runs courses from March/April through to October/November (exact season start and end times depend on the weather) so you need to bear this in mind (this is also stated on the voucher itself). Autumn is a very popular time for foraging and demand for course places is high – this is something to consider in particular for vouchers given for Christmas as although the voucher may be valid until December, Lisa will stop running courses in October/November (and the last ones of the season are usually very full). Places on each course are strictly limited so make sure you book on early to avoid disappointment. If you don’t book early enough there may not be any more courses scheduled within the remaining validity of your voucher. Gift vouchers are non-refundable, if you don’t use your voucher or book a course in time it cannot be extended or exchanged for goods or anything else.
Redeeming your voucher
When booking onto the course of your choice, let Lisa know that you wish to redeem a gift voucher. The voucher value will be deducted from the price of the course. If your chosen course costs more than the value of your voucher, you can pay the difference, by bank transfer or PayPal.
No ‘change’ given
If you choose a course that costs less than the value of your voucher, there is no ‘change’ given. Gift vouchers are non-refundable and cannot be exchanged for goods or anything else.
For purchasing a gift voucher, Lisa requires the following information: the purchaser’s name and email address, the recipient’s name and email address. A contact mobile number is also requested in case Lisa needs to get in touch with you on the day for unforeseen reasons, this information is optional. For courses with tasters and food involved, Lisa needs dietary information from all attendees, such as allergies and intolerances to any foods, and if anyone in the booking party would like vegetarian or vegan tasters. Lisa and Edulis Wild Food will never pass your details or any personal information on to third parties and your data is kept for the sole purpose of administering/collection of course information to delegates for a specific course.
Wild ingredient supply
In small amounts, Edulis can supply foraged wild ingredients to local buyers on the following basis:
Wild not cultivated
Foraged foods are from wild environments, they are not sterile or controlled. In purchasing foraged and wild ingredients, buyers understand that the product will be sold ‘as is’, i.e. often needing to be washed and prepared in some way before use. Lisa does not forage near roads, and she selects only clean, prime specimens. She will prepare and trim things where possible, but most ingredients do better and last longer if not washed or overly cleaned prior to delivery, as this usually reduces shelf life significantly. Contact Lisa in advance if you have any specific questions around what to expect for any given ingredient.
Lisa will only supply common and abundant plants (and occasionally fungi). She will not supply rare ingredients or species, and she will not pick from areas where something is scarce, even if it’s common elsewhere. If it’s not viable to collect a certain ingredient, she simply won’t do it. Lisa forages within ethical codes of practice for safe, sustainable, legal and responsible harvesting of wild ingredients. Lisa will advise on availability and viability of requested ingredients at the time of enquiry.
Association of Foragers
Lisa is a member of the Association of Foragers (AoF), an international professional foragers’ association, promoting sustainability and ecological stewardship through teaching and harvesting wild plants and fungi for use as food, drink and medicine, and she follows the AoF code of ethics for foraging principles and practice: www.foragers-association.org.uk