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best wild foods of summer - blog

A Foraging Ramble Through Summer’s Bounty

As summer arrives, the countryside becomes a treasure trove of seasonal wild foods waiting to be discovered. Imagine setting out on a warm, sunny day, the air filled with the sweet scent of blooming flowers and the hum of bees. With each step, the land around you reveals its hidden gems, inviting you to explore and taste the season’s best offerings.

Whether you’re a novice forager eager to dip your toes into this delightful pastime or a seasoned wild foodie looking to expand your pantry, summer is the perfect time to immerse yourself in nature’s bounty. Join us on a foraging ramble through the countryside as we highlight some of our favourite wild foods found from June to September, complete with tips for identification and delicious recipe ideas.

Safety is paramount when foraging, especially with wild food and medicine, as the old saying goes; “If in doubt, leave it out.” We always recommend bringing at least two guidebooks on your foraging adventures: one with photographs and one with diagrams, to give you a more rounded picture and accurate identification.  The following selections are drawn from Your Wild Food Year, our popular online foraging course, where we explore monthly foraging opportunities, share recipes, and feature guest speakers. If you’re keen to develop your foraging skills, check out the FREE course content here.

Now, let’s delve into six of our favourite wild foods of summer. We hope you’ll enjoy discovering and savouring them as much as we do.

 

ELDERFLOWER

Picture strolling along a sun-dappled hedgerow, the air fragrant with the sweet scent of elderflowers. Elderflower, with its clusters of tiny, creamy-white flowers, is one of the most accessible wild foods to forage. You’ll often find it in along sunny hedgerows, open scrub and woodland edges. The flowers bloom from late May through early July, creating a striking contrast against the green foliage.

wild food foraging - elderflower

Left: Elderflowers in full bloom. Centre: leaves typically have 5 leaflets. Right: A small tree in the hedgerow

To identify elderflower, look for its distinctive clusters (umbels) of small, star-shaped flowers that point upwards, accompanied by leaf made up of (typically) 5 smaller leaflets, each with a serrated edge. Harvest the entire flower head on a dry, sunny day for the best flavour.

Elderflower is incredibly versatile. Use it to make a refreshing tea or cordial, or try your hand at brewing elderflower champagne or cider. For a sweet treat, transform the flowers into sorbet or batter and fry them. Remember to leave some flowers on the tree to enjoy the rich, dark berries in autumn, perfect for syrups and natural remedies.

wild food foraging - elderflower

Left: Elderflower cordial, a classic recipe, Centre: Elderflower cheesecake with wild rose syrup, Right: Elderflower sorbet with wild strawberries

WINBERRIES

Winberries (Vaccinium myrtillus) are what we call them here in Wales. You might know them as bilberries. They are a delightful find, often hidden in the heathland’s low-growing foliage. These small, dark berries are packed with flavour, surpassing their larger, commercially grown relative, the blueberry. They thrive in acidic soil, often sharing space with heather, sitting under birch or oak in upland areas.

wild food foraging - winberry

Left: Tiny berries bursting with flavour. Centre: the leaf of winberry. Right: Berries on the low-lying bush

The leaves of the winberry plant are small, oval, and bright green with a finely serrated edge. The berries appear from July through September, so they have a long season for gathering. Foraging for winberries can be a bit of a treasure hunt, as they tend to hide beneath the foliage, but the reward is well worth the effort.

Our top tip is to invest in a berry picker (see the picture), which speeds up your harvesting no end.

These berries make an excellent trail snack, or you can gather enough to use in summer puddings, pancakes, or boil them down into a coulis or syrup for cheesecake.

wild food foraging - winberry

Left: A mixed berry salad in syrup. Centre: Summer pudding, a highlight of the year. Right: Winberry syrup

 

FAT HEN

Fat hen (Chenopodium album) is a real opportunist, sprouting up in bare soil. So, look for it as you wander through disturbed ground such as compost heaps, neglected garden borders, allotments, farmyards, and ploughed field edges. It’s a plant often dismissed as a weed by gardeners and allotment owners. Yet, it offers a delicious, spinach-like taste that’s less bitter and more versatile in the kitchen.

wild food foraging - fat hen

Left: Leaf shape is changeable, sometimes spade-like as seen. Centre: Growing in disturbed ground. Right: Always go for the most tender leaves and stems when picking.

Fat hen leaves can be variable in shape, but they are typically roughly diamond-shaped and with a large serrated edge. A coating of dusty white meal on the top leaves makes them easy to identify. This “frost” distinguishes it from other plants with similar leaves. Although there aren’t many poisonous lookalikes it is worth mentioning that there are some members of the potato family that have similar leaves, most dangerous being Black Nightshade, so be sure to get to know this plant too before setting out with your basket.

Use fat hen as you would spinach—add it to curries, steam it, or toss it into pasta or stir-fries. It doesn’t take a lot of cooking so throw it in the pan at the end. Be cautious of potential lookalikes like black nightshade, and stick to the frosted leaves for safety.

wild food foraging - fat hen

Left: Look for the white “frosting” on the top leaves. Centre: Fat hen & orache tart. Left: Steamed as a side vegetable – delicious.

 

WILD CHERRY

Wild cherries (Prunus avium) are a true summer delight. The trick is in getting to them before the birds do. The sweet fruits can seem to be here one day and stripped to almost nothing the next. So, pick out your tree earlier in the season and visit it regularly as the ripening time approaches.

wild food foraging - wild cherry

Left: Ripe cherries on the branch in late June. Centre: The distinctive bark of Wild Cherry. Right: Glossy leaves with a finely serrated edge and also unripe cherries.

We’ve had some great cherry harvests from urban trees, but trees planted as ornamentals are often cultivars favoured for their blossom rather than fruit. So as well as seeking them in town parks and village greens look for them standing above hedgerows also. The bark of the wild cherry tree is unmistakable, with shiny horizontal stripes called lenticels. The oval, serrated leaves are accompanied by clusters of cherries that transition from green to yellow and red as they ripen.

Harvest wild cherries in mid-late June and early July, but taste a few before collecting a large batch to ensure they’re not bitter. These cherries are perfect for summer puddings, dessert sauces, or sprinkled on breakfast dishes. If picked slightly underripe, cooking can soften them up nicely.

wild food foraging - wild cherry

Left: Cherries can be eaten right off the tree. Centre: Halved, stoned & ready to be used for cooking. Right: Cherry pie, always a favourite.

PARASOL MUSHROOMS

Imagine walking through a meadow and spotting the large, umbrella-shaped parasol mushrooms (Macrolepiota procera). These distinctive mushrooms are easy to identify by their snakeskin-patterned stem and raised brown scales on the cap. As they mature, the cap unfurls, leaving a white collar around the stem. This white collar can be gently detached to then run up and down the stem, a handy identifying feature.

When young they can resemble an old-fashioned microphone, but as the cap opens they take on the form which gives them their name and recognisable profile. They can get large too, up to the size of a dinner plate.

wild food foraging - parasol mushrooms

Left: A young mushroom, before the cap has opened. Centre: Under the gap are creamy white gills. Right: The shape that gives this mushroom its common name, like an umbrella.

The place it’s most common to see these mushrooms is in undisturbed meadows and grassland but you do occasionally see them in open broadleaf woodland as well. The main lookalike to this distinguished mushroom is the Shaggy Parasol (Macrolepiota rhacodes) which is edible but has been known to give some people a mild upset stomach. So, get to know this species too. Our advice to beginners would be to try a little bit of your parasol and see if it leads to any upset. If nothing happens by the following day then you’ve got yourself a very good wild food, one of the best.

Parasol mushrooms are delicious and versatile, suitable for pies, stir-fries, or pasta sauces. They also dry very well for long-term storage, retaining their fragrance and flavour.

wild food foraging - parasol mushrooms

Left: Parasol and partridge stir fry. Centre: A bumper harvest of parasols. Right: This fungi dries and stores well.

NETTLE SEEDS

Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica) has a bad reputation, it’s probably not your favourite plant. But we’d like to try and change your mind. Nettles are possibly one of the most nutritious plants you can find, and they grow absolutely everywhere.

The most known foraging season is spring when the leaves are at their best – we love them. But nettle is a hidden gem for the summer forager also.  The seeds the nettle produces in July to August, are flavourless but are particularly jam packed with nutrients well worth getting into your diet.

nettle seeds - wild food & foraging

Left: The mature seeds on the female plant. Centre: The dense clusters of seeds are attached to a pendulous stalk. Right: The flowers found on a male plant, not for harvesting.

Nettle seeds are a hidden gem of the foraging world. Female nettles (there are separate male and female plants) produce large, drooping clusters of tiny seeds. Harvest these seeds by cutting the clusters off with scissors and pushing them through a sieve with a spoon to separate the unwanted stalks. This process also removes any remains of those troublesome stings.

Use nettle seeds as a nutrient-rich addition to salads, pasta dishes, yogurt, or breakfast cereals. They are virtually flavourless, making them a versatile superfood that can be sprinkled on almost anything. One of our favourite recipes is Lea’s raw chocolate energy balls which are packed with the seeds to give you a much needed boost to your day.

nettle seeds - wild food & foraging

Left: Seeds ready to be processed. Centre: Italian pasta with ash key capers and nettle seed sprinkles. Right: Chocolate energy balls, packed with nettle seeds.

DISCOVER MORE WILD FOOD

If the idea of foraging for wild food excites you, consider enrolling in our online course, “Your Wild Food Year.” This course offers a wealth of resources to help you become a confident forager, with monthly guides, recipes, videos, and expert advice. You can find out more right here.

“The course is so engaging and fun, I’ve learnt so much. Really awesome and would certainly recommend.” – Claire Roumph

Discover the joy of finding, harvesting and cooking with wild food with the very best each month has to offer. You will learn what to look for, where to look, and what to do with it in the kitchen. You will have videos, photo galleries, recipes and more at your fingertips, all taught by experienced foragers.

There’s also a FREE introductory version of the course to get you started. Begin your journey to discovering, harvesting, and cooking with wild food today. Register for the free wild food course here.

Check out our short video to learn all about our online foraging course Your Wild Food Year.

Happy foraging folks.

Lea & James

foraging & wild food walk in wales

Spring Foraging Walk

Walk the wild food trail & discover foraging

Explore wild plants that you can eat in your local patch. Join us for a guided walk through a range of landscapes on the hunt for the best wild foods that spring has to offer. Gain confidence in foraging and learn how to use these wild plants in your own cooking.

Edible wild plants are often viewed with suspicion and thought to be bitter or tasteless, only to be eaten as a last resort. But to the forager, our woodlands and hedgerows are full of tasty and filling wild food opportunities.

You’ll be taking a half day ramble along the hedgerows and forest on the hunt for “food for free” all set against the backdrop of mixed woodlands and open uplands of Longwood Community Woodland, with 325 acres of wild space to explore. Don’t forget to bring your own basket or bag to grab some wild edibles to take home.

  • Take a guided foraging walk through the woods, meadows & hedgerows
  • Gain confidence in identifying a variety of edible plants
  • Discover medicinal uses for seasonal wild plants
  • Get a copy of our Spring Foragers Guide
  • Learn how to forage with a sustainable approach to the habitat
  • Understand the law and your rights when foraging
  • Discover which wild edibles have poisonous lookalikes

Event details

Date: Sat 4 May  2024

Time: 10am – 1pm

Venue: Long Wood Community Woodland

Cost: £25

spring foraging and wild food walk

Your Tutors: Lea & James Kendall

James is the Head Bushcraft Instructor at Woodland Classroom, having worked in environmental education & conservation for over 10 years. James’ approach to teaching  steers his students toward fostering a deeper connection with nature through understanding the landscape around us; “Bushcraft skills are an effective way to do this as we learn how to make use of natural materials and live lightly with the land, whilst also connecting with our own ancient past by seeing the land through the eyes of our ancestors.”

Lea is a qualified Counsellor and Mindfulness in a Woodland Setting practitioner. She is a firm believer in the power of nature to be therapeutic for everyone. Lea is an active forager, passionate about how we can use common plants for both food and medicine. She enjoys making her own tinctures and medicinal remedies for treating common ailments.

james and lea kendall - outdoor education tutors

Skills you will learn

Over the course of the programme you will learn a range of skills, including…

null

Reading the Landscape

null

Hedgerow Medicine

null

Tree & Plant identification

null

Hedgerow Foraging

Book now

This walk costs £25 per person and is open to adult learners aged 16 years and over. You can read our Event Terms & Conditions here.

Spring Foraging Walk

Walk the wild food trail & discover foraging

Explore wild plants that you can eat in your local patch. Join us for a guided walk through a range of landscapes on the hunt for the best wild foods that spring has to offer. Gain confidence in foraging and learn how to use these wild plants in your own cooking.

Edible wild plants are often viewed with suspicion and thought to be bitter or tasteless, only to be eaten as a last resort. But to the forager, our woodlands and hedgerows are full of tasty and filling wild food opportunities.

You’ll be taking a half day ramble along the hedgerows on the hunt for “food for free” all set against the backdrop of mixed woodlands, wetlands and open meadows of Park In The Past, with 120 acres of wild space to explore. Don’t forget to bring your own basket or bag to grab some wild edibles to take home.

  • Take a guided foraging walk through the woods, meadows & hedgerows
  • Gain confidence in identifying a variety of edible plants
  • Discover medicinal uses for seasonal wild plants
  • Enjoy a wild tea taster
  • Learn how to forage with a sustainable approach to the habitat
  • Understand the law and your rights when foraging

Event details

Date: Sun 28 April, 2024

Time: 10am – 1pm

Venue: Park in the Past

Cost: £30

spring foraging and wild food walk

Your Tutor: James Kendall

James is the Head Bushcraft Instructor at Woodland Classroom, having worked in outdoor education & conservation for over 10 years. James’ approach to teaching steers students toward fostering a deeper connection with nature through understanding the landscape around us; “Bushcraft skills are an effective way to do this as we learn how to make use of natural materials and live lightly with the land, whilst also connecting with our own ancient past by seeing the land through the eyes of our ancestors.”

In 2017 James received the Bushcraft Competency Certificate awarded through the Institute for Outdoor Learning after 2 years of teaching experience and practical study. He is also a member of the IOL Bushcraft Professional Practise Group. The group aims to promote best practice in the growing industry of bushcraft activity providers.

james kendall - bushcraft & foraging tutor

Skills you will learn

Over the course of the programme you will learn a range of skills, including…

null

Reading the Landscape

null

Hedgerow Medicine

null

Tree & Plant identification

null

Hedgerow Foraging

Book now

This walk costs £30 per person and is open to adult learners aged 16 years and over. You can read our Event Terms & Conditions here.

free online foraging workshop

Foraging For Beginners (online workshop)

Kickstart your foraging & walk the wild food trail.

Ready to explore the wonderful world of wild edibles? This live online workshops is the perfect starting point for anyone new to foraging. Spring is a time of year where wild food is everywhere, if you know where to find it. Well, let us help you.
Join us on a journey to discover the best foraged plants, fungi, fruits and more of Britain & Ireland in the season of Spring. You’ll learn what to look for, where to look, and how to cook with wild food. Perfect for anyone interested in sustainable living, healthier eating, or just looking to expand their culinary horizons! Don’t miss out on this chance to start your wild food adventure. Register today!
All around us wild plants are bursting with life for spring and with that comes the beginning of one of the best times of the year for foraging. In this workshop you will learn about common edible plants you can find in March. April and May.
Our online foraging workshops started in the first lockdown, reaching millions of people, and have continued to be a hit ever since, as people want to learn how to make tasty meals from the wild plants around them.
These events are filling up quickly, so grab your place whilst you can ???? Everyone has loved these workshops so far and they’ve been really popular.

YOUR WORKSHOP INCLUDES:

  • Seasonal Wild Food Plant Identification
  • Foraging Do’s & Don’ts
  • Tasty Ways To Use Wild Garlic
  • Spring Recipe Ideas
  • Get access to foraging videos, photo galleries & more
  • Giveaway: Win a place on ‘Your Wild Food Year’ full online course worth £197!
  • Poisonous Lookalikes You Need To Know
  • Q&A Session: put your questions to us

The workshop will last 1hr and will be hosted via Zoom. Once you book into the workshop then you will receive an email from Zoom with details of how to access the workshop a couple of days before the event.

 

HOW TO BOOK

The cost is £7 per household. So, feel free to cram as many family members around the screen as you can 🙂

Please note, tickets are non-refundable.

Event details

Date: Wed 24th April 2024

Time: 7.30pm – 8.30pm

Venue: Zoom Meeting

Cost: £7

spring wild food and foraging course

Your Tutors: James & Lea Kendall

James is the Head Bushcraft Instructor at Woodland Classroom, having worked in outdoor education & conservation for over 10 years. James’ approach to teaching steers students toward fostering a deeper connection with nature through understanding the landscape around us; “Bushcraft skills are an effective way to do this as we learn how to make use of natural materials and live lightly with the land, whilst also connecting with our own ancient past by seeing the land through the eyes of our ancestors.”

James previously manage the largest community woodland in Wales, 300 acres of mixed conifers and broadleaves and in 2017 James received the Bushcraft Competency Certificate awarded through the Institute for Outdoor Learning after 2 years of teaching experience and practical study. He is also a member of the IOL Bushcraft Professional Practise Group. The group aims to promote best practice in the growing industry of bushcraft activity providers.

Lea is a qualified Counsellor and Mindfulness in a Woodland Setting practitioner. She is a firm believer in the power of nature to be therapeutic for everyone. Lea is an active forager, passionate about how we can use common plants for both food and medicine. She enjoys making her own tinctures and medicinal remedies for treating common ailments.

James & Lea

Become a Wild Food Expert

During this workshop you will also learn about our much more extensive online course; Your Wild Food Year.Go from clueless to confident on your journey to enjoying foraged plants, fungi, fruits and more with this detailed guide to identifying and cooking with the best wild edibles of Great Britain & Ireland.

In this course you can discover the joy of finding, harvesting and cooking with wild food with the very best each month has to offer. You will learn what to look for, where to look, and what to do with it in the kitchen.

You will have videos, photo galleries, recipes and more at your fingertips, all taught by experienced foragers. Discover over 70 wild foods!

Crucially, you’ll also learn when to look. As each month we bring you the edible fungi, flowers, fruits and foliage which are in season from January to December.

You could win a FREE place on this course worth £197. Everyone who sings up to this workshop will be entered into a prize draw to be announced on the night.

Skills you will learn

During this workshop you will learn a range of skills, including…

null

Hedgerow Foraging

null

Nature Connection

null

Tree & Plant identification

null

Hedgerow Medicine

Book now

This workshop costs just £7 per household and is open to anyone. Children are welcome to attend with their families, though please note the content will be taught at an adult level. You can read our Event Terms & Conditions here.

tree identification workshop online free

How To Identify Trees in Spring (FREE Online Workshop)

Learn to see the trees from the wood.

Want to boost your Tree ID skills this spring? Do you struggle to know your alders from your elders, your hawthorn from your blackthorn? Join our FREE workshop online and let us help you.

James Kendall, Bushcraft Instructor and author of The Complete Tree ID Course, will be hosting a live webinar workshop where you can learn tips & tricks to identifying a range of native and common tree species here in the UK.

Spring sees the countryside bursting with colour and life. The dormant buds of our trees transform with leaves, flowers and catkins emerging. There’s a lot to take in. Tree flowers come in all shapes and sizes, and some are so small you could walk right by them. But if we look closer we can understand the clues trees give us to unlock their identity and so much more. Like autumn this is a period of dramatic change. It’s a really interesting time to be out in the woods.

We’re offering this workshop online to anyone and everyone who is interested in finding out more about the trees around them.

YOUR WORKSHOP INCLUDES:

* Confidence in native & common tree identification

* Using flowers, young leaves, blossom, catkins and other spring signs

* Which trees have edible leaves & flowers in spring

* Get Tree ID cheat sheets to download

* Discover 3 key hacks to help identify any tree

* Get book recommendations

* Ask James your burning questions in our Q&A Session

* Get a BIG discount on our comprehensive online training; Complete Tree ID Course

The workshop will last 1hr and will be hosted via Zoom.

 

HOW TO BOOK

It’s FREE to join this workshop. So, all you need to do in advance is register for your free place in advance. Once registered you will be sent the link to the Zoom meeting via email.

REGISTER FOR YOUR PLACE HERE

Event details

Date: Tues 23rd April 2024

Time: 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Venue: Zoom Meeting

Cost: FREE!

how to identify trees in spring

Your Tutor: James Kendall

James is the Head Bushcraft Instructor at Woodland Classroom, having worked in outdoor education & conservation for over 10 years. James’ approach to teaching steers students toward fostering a deeper connection with nature through understanding the landscape around us; “Bushcraft skills are an effective way to do this as we learn how to make use of natural materials and live lightly with the land, whilst also connecting with our own ancient past by seeing the land through the eyes of our ancestors.”

James previously manage the largest community woodland in Wales, 300 acres of mixed conifers and broadleaves and in 2017 James received the Bushcraft Competency Certificate awarded through the Institute for Outdoor Learning after 2 years of teaching experience and practical study. He is also a member of the IOL Bushcraft Professional Practise Group. The group aims to promote best practice in the growing industry of bushcraft activity providers.

james kendall - bushcraft & foraging tutor
win the complete tree id course

Become a Tree Expert

During this workshop you will also learn about our much more extensive online course; The Complete Tree ID Course. Go from clueless to confident on your journey to becoming a tree expert, featuring up to 45 species of native & common trees, all taught by James Kendall.

You will learn key principles of tree identification, which are easy to remember and can be applied to any tree you encounter. You will have videos, photo galleries and tree ID cheat sheets at your fingertips.

This course will take you through every native tree species in the UK in all 4 seasons; winter, spring, summer and autumn. You will learn not only how to identify trees by their leaves but also by their bark, buds, seeds & more.

We will be offering all attendees of this free workshop a special discount offer to sign up to the full course. So, if you want to know more, don’t forget to register for your place.

Skills you will learn

During this workshop you will learn a range of skills, including…

null

Reading the Landscape

null

Nature Connection

null

Tree & Plant identification

Understanding Habitats

Understanding Habitats

Book now

This workshop is totally FREE and is open to anyone. Simply follow the link to register for the workshop on Zoom and you will be sent the link so you can join the meeting.

how to identify conifers - online workshop in tree identification

How To Identify Conifers (Online Workshop)

Learn to see the trees from the wood.

Confused by conifers? Perplexed by pines? Struggling with spruce? In this interactive workshop you will go from clueless to confident in being able to identify between our native and common non-native conifers.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by a sea of green forestry trees, one tree can look the same as another. But if you learn to look closer you will discover easy to spot signs with which you can tell species apart. Join James Kendall, creator of The Complete Tree ID Course, as he takes you through his tips, tricks, rhymes and hints for telling commonly seen conifers from each other.

Our online workshops started in the first lockdown and have continued to be a hit ever since, as people want to learn more about the natural world around them. Each month we host online workshops with a whole host of nature-based subjects including foraging, tree lore, woodcraft skills and wild medicine.

A ticket costs just £7 per household. These events are selling quickly, so grab your place whilst you can 🙂 Everyone has loved these workshops so far and they’ve been really popular.

YOUR WORKSHOP INCLUDES:

* Understand easy differences between pine, spruce, fir & more

* Get to know Britain’s three native conifers

* Gain confidence in identifying non-native conifers of forestry

* Discover conifers that break the rules

* Dive into foraging & wild food uses for conifers

* Unlock traditional and modern uses of conifers

* WIN a place on The Complete Tree ID Course worth £97.00

* Join in our Q&A Session

The workshop will last 1hr and will be hosted via Zoom. Once you book into the workshop then you will receive an email from Zoom with details of how to access the workshop a couple of days before the event.

 

HOW TO BOOK

The cost is £7 per household. So, feel free to cram as many family members around the screen as you can 🙂

Please note, tickets are non-refundable.

Event details

Date: Thurs 15 Feb 2024

Time: 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Venue: Zoom Meeting

Cost: £7

how to identify conifers

Your Tutor: James Kendall

James is the Head Bushcraft Instructor at Woodland Classroom, having worked in outdoor education & conservation for over 10 years. James’ approach to teaching steers students toward fostering a deeper connection with nature through understanding the landscape around us; “Bushcraft skills are an effective way to do this as we learn how to make use of natural materials and live lightly with the land, whilst also connecting with our own ancient past by seeing the land through the eyes of our ancestors.”

James previously manage the largest community woodland in Wales, 300 acres of mixed conifers and broadleaves and in 2017 James received the Bushcraft Competency Certificate awarded through the Institute for Outdoor Learning after 2 years of teaching experience and practical study. He is also a member of the IOL Bushcraft Professional Practise Group. The group aims to promote best practice in the growing industry of bushcraft activity providers.

james kendall - bushcraft & foraging tutor

Skills you will learn

During this workshop you will learn a range of skills, including…

null

Reading the Landscape

null

Nature Connection

null

Tree & Plant identification

Understanding Habitats

Understanding Habitats

Book now

This workshop costs just £7 per household and is open to anyone. Children are welcome to attend with their families, though please note the content will be taught at an adult level. You can read our Event Terms & Conditions here.

how to identify trees in winter - free workshop

Kickstart Your Winter Tree ID Skills (FREE Online Workshop)

Learn to see the trees from the wood.

Want to boost your Tree ID skills in winter? Do you struggle to know your alders from your elders, your hawthorn from your blackthorn? Join our FREE workshop online and let us help you.

James Kendall, Bushcraft Instructor and author of The Complete Tree ID Course, will be hosting a live webinar workshop where you can learn tips & tricks to identifying a range of tree species here in the UK in the season of winter, when the trees don’t have their leaves on to help us recognise them.

We’re offering this workshop online to anyone and everyone who is interested in finding out more about the trees around them.

YOUR WORKSHOP INCLUDES:

* Recognising native & common tree species

* Using buds, bark, leaf litter & other winter signs

* Get Tree ID cheat sheets to download

* Discover 3 key hacks to help identify any tree

* Book recommendations

* Winter Tree Quiz

* Join in our Q&A Session

The workshop will last 1hr and will be hosted via Zoom.

 

HOW TO BOOK

It’s FREE to join this workshop. So, all you need to do in advance is register for your free place in advance. Once registered you will be sent the link to the Zoom meeting via email.

REGISTER FOR YOUR PLACE HERE

Event details

Date: Tues 30th Jan 2024

Time: 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Venue: Zoom Meeting

Cost: FREE!

kickstart your winter tree id skills

Your Tutor: James Kendall

James is the Head Bushcraft Instructor at Woodland Classroom, having worked in outdoor education & conservation for over 10 years. James’ approach to teaching steers students toward fostering a deeper connection with nature through understanding the landscape around us; “Bushcraft skills are an effective way to do this as we learn how to make use of natural materials and live lightly with the land, whilst also connecting with our own ancient past by seeing the land through the eyes of our ancestors.”

James previously manage the largest community woodland in Wales, 300 acres of mixed conifers and broadleaves and in 2017 James received the Bushcraft Competency Certificate awarded through the Institute for Outdoor Learning after 2 years of teaching experience and practical study. He is also a member of the IOL Bushcraft Professional Practise Group. The group aims to promote best practice in the growing industry of bushcraft activity providers.

james kendall - bushcraft & foraging tutor
win the complete tree id course

Become a Tree Expert

During this workshop you will also learn about our much more extensive online course; The Complete Tree ID Course. Go from clueless to confident on your journey to becoming a tree expert, featuring up to 35 species of native & common trees, all taught by James Kendall.

You will learn key principles of tree identification, which are easy to remember and can be applied to any tree you encounter. You will have videos, photo galleries and tree ID cheat sheets at your fingertips.

This course will take you through every native tree species in the UK in all 4 seasons; winter, spring, summer and autumn. You will learn not only how to identify trees by their leaves but also by their bark, buds, seeds & more.

We will be offering all attendees of this free workshop a special discount offer to sign up to the full course. So, if you want to know more, don’t forget to register for your place.

Skills you will learn

During this workshop you will learn a range of skills, including…

null

Reading the Landscape

null

Nature Connection

null

Tree & Plant identification

Understanding Habitats

Understanding Habitats

Book now

This workshop is totally FREE and is open to anyone. Simply follow the link to register for the workshop on Zoom and you will be sent the link so you can join the meeting.

wassail ceremony in north wales

Wassail & Lantern Making

Celebrate This Ancient Apple Festival with your Family

Crackling fire, glowing lanterns, steaming hot mulled apple juice and merriment a-plenty for all the family! Celebrate a traditional Wassailing with us as we bless the fruit trees for a bountiful harvest. Let’s face it, January is a rubbish month when nothing much happens, but in villages up and down the country, around Old Twelfth Night, traditional Wassails are returning, so let’s bring some light and celebration to this time of year. Families with children of all ages are welcome to join us under our big parachute shelter at Park in the Past for an event which promises to be very special and magical with music, food and good company. “Wassail!”
Make a lantern with your family and join our procession to the orchard where you will learn about the tradition of wassailing and take part in the ceremony. We will be passing around the traditional wassail bowl filled to the brim with our secret winter-warming recipe, sharing slices of home-made apple cake and cooking up sticky toffee apple slices over the campfire. Come a-wassailing, as we sing-along to traditional songs of the season with live music provided by James’ mandolin.

Lea and James will be your guides to this traditional celebration as we gather under our huge parachute canopy and share the warmth of the winter fire.

  • Craft a willow lantern with your family
  • Enjoy hot mulled apple cider (non-alcoholic)
  • Traditional Wassailing ceremony – blessing of the trees
  • Cook up toffee apple slices on our blazing campfire
  • Join the lantern procession to the orchard
  • Share a sip from the wassail bowl & munch on apple cake
  • Sing-along with wassail songs; James will have his mandolin
  • Discover the ancient traditional of Wassailing & learn the history behind it

WHAT IS WASSAILING?

Wassailing refers to drinking (and singing) the health of trees in the hopes that they might better thrive. The purpose of wassailing is to awake the cider apple trees and to scare away evil spirits to ensure a good harvest of fruit in the autumn. The ceremonies of each Wassail vary from village to village but they generally all have the same core elements. A wassail King and Queen lead the song and procession to be played from one orchard to the next. This ancient British tradition is still very much thriving today.
Want to know what Wassailing is all about? Come along and find out what roles soggy toast, pots & pans and a child up a tree have to play in this ancient tradition. By wassailing the apple and pear trees we will be blessing them for a bountiful harvest next autumn. The old call will go out for “Hatfuls, capfuls, three bushel bagfuls and little heaps under the stairs!”

Event details

Date: Sat 13th Jan 2024

Time: 3:00 pm – 5:30 pm

Venue: Park in the Past

Cost: Family (up to 4) £35

wassail in north wales

Your Guides: James & Lea Kendall

James is the Head Bushcraft Instructor at Woodland Classroom, having worked in environmental education & conservation for over 10 years. James’ approach to teaching  steers his students toward fostering a deeper connection with nature through understanding the landscape around us; “Bushcraft skills are an effective way to do this as we learn how to make use of natural materials and live lightly with the land, whilst also connecting with our own ancient past by seeing the land through the eyes of our ancestors.”

Lea is a qualified Counsellor and Mindfulness in a Woodland Setting practitioner. She is a firm believer in the power of nature to be therapeutic for everyone. Lea is an active forager, passionate about how we can use common plants for both food and medicine. She enjoys making her own tinctures and medicinal remedies for treating common ailments.

james and lea kendall - outdoor education tutors
wassail in north wales

Skills you will learn

Over the course of the evening you will experience a range of activities, including…

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Nature Connection

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Campfire Treats

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Family Bushcraft

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Ancestral Skills

Book now

Tickets are £35 for a family of up to 4 people. Additional family members are £5 each Additional children aged under 3 come free. You can read our Event Terms & Conditions here.

wassailing event apples in north wales
woodland winter solstice in north wales

Woodland Winter Solstice

Celebrate a Magical Midwinter with your Family

Celebrate the Winter Solstice with us in the woods. Adults or families with children of all ages are welcome to join us at our sheltered fire circle hidden in the beautiful woodland of Park in the Past for an early evening session of solstice celebration around the campfire. We will start with a lantern-lit walk along the trail, across the river and into the woods where our crackling campfire will give us a warm and welcome light at the darkest time of the year. Our previous events have been amazing, and this year promises to be a very special and magical event with music, food and good company.

Be sure to wrap up well with appropriate clothing as old Jack Frost will be out and about.
“We can look back on our journey since Summer Solstice, to acknowledge what we have completed in this cycle, what we have experienced and what wisdom we have gained. It is also a moment to look forward, to name the new seeds and intentions we wish to take into the next cycle.” Glennie Kindred

Lea and James will be your guides as we gather under our huge parachute canopy and share the warmth of the midwinter fire.

We are hosting this session on 2 consecutive nights so if this date fills up, check out our event on the 21st Dec.

  • Lantern walk down the trails to the fire circle
  • Hot spiced apple cider (non-alcoholic)
  • Festive fireside storytelling
  • Wishing Tree
  • Gentle games for the kids; night-line, glow worm trail & more
  • Roasted chestnuts
  • Sing-along with seasonal songs; James will bring his mandolin
  • Light a candle of your own and make a wish for the coming year

Event details

Date: Dec 22, 2023

Time: 4:30 am – 6:30 pm

Venue: Park in the Past

Cost: Adult £14, Child £11, Under 2’s Free

Want a sneak preview of this event? Watch this short video of a previous Woodland Winter Solstice gathering we hosted.

Your Guides: James & Lea Kendall

James is the Head Bushcraft Instructor at Woodland Classroom, having worked in environmental education & conservation for over 10 years. James’ approach to teaching  steers his students toward fostering a deeper connection with nature through understanding the landscape around us; “Bushcraft skills are an effective way to do this as we learn how to make use of natural materials and live lightly with the land, whilst also connecting with our own ancient past by seeing the land through the eyes of our ancestors.”

Lea is a qualified Counsellor and Mindfulness in a Woodland Setting practitioner. She is a firm believer in the power of nature to be therapeutic for everyone. Lea is an active forager, passionate about how we can use common plants for both food and medicine. She enjoys making her own tinctures and medicinal remedies for treating common ailments.

james and lea kendall - outdoor education tutors
winter solstice in the woods event

Skills you will learn

Over the course of the evening you will experience a range of activities, including…

null

Nature Connection

null

Campfire Treats

null

Family Bushcraft

null

Ancestral Skills

null

Campfire

null

Stargazing

null

Tree & Plant identification

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Wellbeing in Nature

Book now

Adults tickets £14 each, Child tickets £11 each. Under two’s come for FREE. Children of all ages are welcome. You can read our Event Terms & Conditions here.

woodland solstice celebration

Midwinter’s Day Celebration

Celebrate Winter Solstice Immersed In Nature

Give yourself the gift of quality time in nature as you join us around the midwinter campfire, for a celebration of the Winter Solstice. You will be guided through a range of activities aimed at deepening your nature connection whilst we mark this special moment in the calendar year together.

Experiencing nature with all our senses is a powerful doorway to practising mindfulness which is proven to improve your health & well-being. Practising bushcraft brings us closer to our ancestors and a very old way of understanding the natural world around us. It also fosters a stronger connection to nature. Fire has a hypnotic quality which can really aid getting into a mindful head space. Lighting fires at the darkest time of the year is also an ancient custom and symbolises creating our positive intentions for the new year.

“Winter Solstice, like Summer Solstice, is a moment of pause between two cycles, a moment of transition that can be held and savoured, a doorway, an opening, a place on the edge, when we can stop our busy lives and take a moment to experience this edge between these two great cycles of the year.” Glennie Kindred

Lea and James will guide you through a range of seasonal activities aimed at giving you real techniques which you can use to foster a deeper nature connection in your own time.

You will join us around the campfire amoungst the beautiful woodland of Park in the Past in North East Wales for a relaxing session of learning and celebrating in amongst the trees.

  • Enjoy a winter warmer; hot spiced apple cider (non-alcoholic) from our campfire
  • Awaken your ‘five animal senses’
  • Use traditional tools; knife, axe and froe
  • Identify native tree species in winter
  • Craft your own wild weaving to take home
  • Unwind with a tree meditation
  • Roast chestnuts on an open fire
  • Use traditional firelighting tools; flint & steel
  • Build your own Midwinter campfire; bring light to the dark
  • Set your intentions for the new year ahead
  • Make herbal teas from wild plants
  • Discover what your Celtic Birth Tree is and what it says about you

Event details

Date: Dec 22, 2023

Time: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Venue: Park in the Past

Cost: £35

midwinter solstice event in the woods

Your Tutors: James & Lea Kendall

James is the Head Bushcraft Instructor at Woodland Classroom, having worked in environmental education & conservation for over 10 years. James’ approach to teaching  steers his students toward fostering a deeper connection with nature through understanding the landscape around us; “Bushcraft skills are an effective way to do this as we learn how to make use of natural materials and live lightly with the land, whilst also connecting with our own ancient past by seeing the land through the eyes of our ancestors.”

Lea is a qualified Counsellor and Mindfulness in a Woodland Setting practitioner. She is a firm believer in the power of nature to be therapeutic for everyone. Lea is an active forager, passionate about how we can use common plants for both food and medicine. She enjoys making her own tinctures and medicinal remedies for treating common ailments.

james and lea kendall - outdoor education tutors
midwinter solstice gathering in the woods

Skills you will learn

Over the course of the programme you will learn a range of skills, including…

null

Nature Connection

null

Hedgerow Medicine

null

Mindfulness

null

Greenwood crafts

null

Firelighting Skills

null

Ancestral Skills

null

Tree & Plant identification

null

Meditation techniques

Book now

This session costs £35 per person and is open to adult learners aged 16 years and over. You can read our Event Terms & Conditions here.

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