Feminine Foraging

I have been foraging for a long time and these are not exhaustive but some fun tips for  feminine foraging.

Obey the law, and follow the Countryside Code and the  some sites ( Epping Forest)  are now protected as sites of Special Scientific Interests.  Removing anything from them even for your own use requires a licence. When foraging on any private or public land be sure of the permissions and be responsible for your actions

Ask for directions one of the benefits of being female is there is now shame in this.

Only take as much as you will actually use, Food Waste applies to wild food too.

Buy a good wildlife flora/fauna guide and keep it in the toilet for thumbing through. Stuff will stick in your head and its really satisfying to be out and recognise items for foraging .  I use Roger Phillips Mushrooms. Whatever guide you use should have clear descriptions and pictures.

Take a digital camera and spare batteries & wear a ring.  Not for warding off the unwanted attentions of men,  if you take a picture with a ring in it on your hand you can get a good idea of scale of plants for later identification . You can use sites like Flickr or wild food forums to post pictures of your find or ask for help identifying

Forage in bright coloured clothes. You have nothing to hide and  it  could prevent you getting accidently shot . In summer wear sunscreen you will burn on a long walk even in shady woods.

Wear glasses/ sunglasses as eye protection from thorns , brambles ,sloes , spikes and branches swung in your face.

Carry plenty of small bags or boxes you may not want to mix fungi  with berries .  Disposable coffee cup or two great for holding fragile mushrooms or berries , great re-use.

When picking mushrooms for eating and when you are sure of identification make sure you cut or break the stem. Pulling up the entire fungi which risks destroys the mycelium ( sort of  the root system of the fungi) and  prevent them from coming back next year. Use a brush to remove leaf mould, grass and to spread the spores

Always  say hello to people and chat to them, you can learn a lot from other people and it’s nice to share knowledge.

Take a book and some lunch if you find a good spot sit and have a read in the sunshine. Life is too short to rush through.

Cook with your finds The internet provide wealth of hints and tips just a google away but there are also some great Wild Recipe books

Finally don’t limit your foraging to the countryside. Even living in the centre of towns I have happily picked plenty in the city centre blackberries , elderberries, rosehips the odd bracket fungus

You can check out my Wild Food posts on this blog at

Alternatively I have a Flickr set of wild food that might provide some inspiration

Wild Garlic Butter


  1. Fab post on foraging. Hubby and I have recently started to forage. I love it when we find something we weren’t expecting to find.

  2. love reading this………………if only we could all do this. i suppose that is the price i pay for living in the city.

  3. Hi. Very pleasant information on Maqui Berry. I saw your good blog while exploring yahoo. For the previous few days I’ve been seeking to find more. Specially anything to do with the dieting talk. I’ve witnessed it all and my best friend continues pushing her recent weight loss craze on me. So I’m glad I encountered you. Best regards!

  4. Great advice, in the City, you would be amazed where top chefs get there foraged food. Jamie cooked for Barack Obama and co with stuff from a Building site in London. Our local Park has huge amounts of wild garlic. Nature is everywhere, despite mankinds stupidity.

  5. Yay, keep on foraging, good people!
    Finding a good mussel bed is my latest find!
    Mussel Pilau, from Gordon Ramsays Great Escape book, did them justice.
    The book is amazing, highly recomended.

  6. Amazing to see Parosol Mushrooms in December and some wild Fenel The English Riviera Indeed.
    I hope cook Jamie Olivers Scotish Mussel dish next week. I will post if I do.

  7. Indeed I did, I advise you poach the smoked Haddock to remove the excess salt. I did not, I will next time, and that’s for sure. Perhaps an Arbroath Smoky (that’s what Jamie used) would have less salt. It’s been 20 years since I had one. If anyone knows a place to get them please do tell (South England).
    I think this is a fantastic dish, for all the reasons Jamie did. Some purists like my mother (who I was eating it with) may not like the mussels being overtaken by other strong flavours.

  8. Hi Becky,

    Have been reading your blog with fascination and would be interested to know whether you ever talk to groups of women about your activities – foraging etc (obv!!!)
    Would love to chat about this possibility – please email me on the address given.

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