Foraging & Herbal Medicine Courses in London

Come along to a wild food walk and learn which plants you can and can’t eat, where to find them and how to prepare them.  My London foraging courses will equip you with the skills to:

  • begin identifying wild plants yourself
  • forage sustainably
  • understand the risks and benefits of using plants for food and medicine
  • prepare your own wild food and medicine at home

Each walk lasts 3 hours, covering at least 20 different wild plants. Along the way you can sample some tasters of foraged syrups and tinctures.

Walks booked on this site cost £35 per person, please click  ‘Buy now’ to book a place via PayPal (you don’t need a PayPal account, you can use any card).

The concessionary rate for unwaged/ low waged is £20. To book at this rate just send me an email with the date and the number of places you would like to reserve.

There are a maximum of 15 places for each walk.

Terms: Please note, I require 2 weeks notice if you need to cancel a place and receive a refund, otherwise I will not be able to offer a refund (this gives me time to find a replacement).

Upcoming dates 2017 

Herbal balm with dried chamomile flowers

21 October, Saturday. Mile End Park, E3. 11am.

Urban Herbal – foraging for herbal medicine in the city

Many common urban weeds and trees have a long history of use as herbal remedies, and even as sources of pharmaceutical drugs. This course will introduce you to the opportunities and challenges of foraging for medicinal plants in the city and cover basic principles of safe and effective herbal medicine making and use. We will sample a range of herbal preparations along the way. Mile end is a particularly urban setting that still provides the chance to see a great many useful plants, showing that you don’t have to go far to find wild medicines in the city.  2 Places Left

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Foraging walk Jason Irving discussing identification of crab apple tree

19 November, Sunday. NW3. 11am.

Autumn Harvest – foraging walk

Autumn is particularly a time for fruits and nuts, as well as fresh greens that have a second spurt of growth after a summer of dormancy. If we are lucky we may see some fungi, but unfortunately they are few and far between in London. The walk will cover plant identification and recipes to keep you warm and nourished in the colder months ahead.  4 Places Left

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Wild plants laid out on a table

2 December, Saturday. Clissold Park. N16. 11am.

Wild Winter Remedies 

This course will introduce you to many of the wild herbs that can still be found in the colder months, and cover some simple recipes to maintain health and aid common complaints at this time of year. We will sample a range of herbal preparations along the way.  8 Places Left

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Gift Vouchers

You can buy a voucher for places on a course as a gift. The vouchers can then be used to book on to any course with available spaces. Click ‘buy now’ then select the required amount of places. I will then email a PDF of the voucher with instructions on how to book.

These are valid for one year and are non refundable. Normal cancellation conditions apply once a place on a course is booked.

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About the courses

Coming on a wild food walk is a great way to learn about your local environment, connect with nature and gain practical skills that will enable you to find food for free. During the walk you will be introduced to a wide range of edible wild plants and discover their many uses throughout history, from food to clothing to medicine.

By learning some simple identification skills and engaging your senses in the search for wild food, you will soon find that going for a walk will never be the same again. Materials will be provided to ensure that your learning does not stop once the walk ends. There will also be samples of some food and drinks prepared from wild plants.

Although London may not sound like the best place for foraging, it is actually a city with a surprising amount and variety of plants that continue to flourish both in spite of, and even thanks to, the urban sprawl that surrounds them.

About the course leader

Jason Irving is an experienced forager, herbalist and ethnobotanist. He worked for two years at the UK’s leading supplier of wild food, Forager Ltd, as head forager organising a team of foragers in Kent and co-ordinating with foragers around the country to supply many of the country’s top restaurants with more than 200 different species of wild food throughout the changing seasons. He then returned to London to complete a BSc in Herbal Medicine, which included 500 hours of clinical training. He worked for four years as a researcher at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew contributing to a project cataloguing the world’s medicinal plants and their names. Jason has contributed to several books and scientific publications on medicinal plants. In September he will begin formal training as an ethnobotanist as a postgraduate student at the University of Kent.

Over the last five years, Jason has taught hundreds of people how to find, identify and use wild plants as food and medicine. As a member of the Association of Foragers he is signed up to the principles of the organisation, that promote best foraging practice and safety.

Private Bookings

Please get in touch to organise an event to suit your needs, covering foraging and/or herbal medicine, which can include a walk and/or cooking, cocktails or herbal remedy making workshop. In the past I have had private bookings for birthdays, hen parties, work days out, cocktail bars and one to one tuition, please get in touch to discuss possibilities.

Previous walks have taken place in public parks, rural areas and community gardens. I have also led walks in the countryside and I am happy to travel. Normally walks last 3 hours. I also offer more in depth full day workshops as well as private tuition.

Walks can be arranged to suit your needs, depending on your existing knowledge, time and specific interests. This could be anything from advice on what is growing in your garden, a private party where we cook up what we find, or a guided walk at a public event.

Please get in touch if you would like to find out more about what is on offer, or if you would like to organise an event yourself in London, or even further afield.

Conditions – Please note, for a private booking I require 50% of the total fee as a non-refundable deposit in advance. If the event is cancelled by the party booking I retain the deposit. If the event is cancelled two weeks or less in advance of the day I require payment of the full fee.

Get in touch

Please get in touch using the form below if you have any questions about the courses, or if would like to organise another walk in your area.