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Waterways Foraging

Discover the edible possibilities of our local waterways with a day of foraging at River Cottage HQ and beyond.

Join us at River Cottage HQ for a day of exploring what the local waterways have to offer.

Expert forager and author of the Never Mind the Burdocks book series, Emma Gunn will show you how to safely identify and gather food from alongside water courses with respect and responsibility for the environment. Depending on the season, you may find several varieties of edible plants including watercress and water pepper, and various edible seashore plants, such as sea spinach, samphire and Alexanders.

You’ll also enjoy a delicious two course seasonal forager’s lunch at River Cottage HQ prepared by our chefs. During your time at the farm, Emma will tell you more about the seasonal bounty you have picked, the rules of foraging and conservation, and how to find, identify and use some of the more unusual and lesser found species.

There will also be a cookery demo and tasting using some of the bounty you have picked.

Your day

10:00 - 17:00

  • Make yourself at home

    You will meet your host, and start the day with tea, coffee and treats fresh from the kitchen.

  • A morning forage

    You will spend the morning exploring River Cottage HQ including the freshwater stream. Emma will teach you how to safely identify, pick and prepare your harvest. We can’t guarantee what you will find on the forage, but there will always be plenty to see and to talk about.

  • Snack break

    We’ll keep your energy levels up with tea and coffee and some delicious snacks as you go.

  • A further forage

    There will be further foraging opportunities as we head out to a local waterway to explore its waterside edibles.

  • Late Lunch

    Food is always the focus at River Cottage, and a delicious seasonal two-course lunch will be one of the highlights of your day.

  • Demo session one

    Emma will teach you simple ways of identifying plants, how to spot poisonous species, conservation issues and the laws of foraging too.

  • Demo session two

    Next we'll demonstrate some of the delicious dishes you can create with typical foraged ingredients from freshwater ways or estuaries and you’ll get some tasters along the way too.

  • Departure

    At the end of the day there will be time to get your book signed by Emma and you’ll head back up the hill at 5pm to our carpark with a copy of one of Emma's books in hand, full of confidence to get the most out of your foraging strolls.

Please note: This is a guide to the activities that will make up your course at River Cottage. This is by no means set in stone and will depend on seasonal availability.

On occasion cookery schools will use equipment that includes induction hobs. It is recommended that people with pace makers should not work on these units. If you are concerned or would like to check whether or not induction hobs will be used on the course you are interested in, please call us on 01297 630302.

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Further information...

This course is run from River Cottage HQ on the Dorset/Devon borders. Full address details of HQ will be provided once you have booked.

We are a licensed venue. We have a wide selection of the finest organic wines available to purchase.

Stay in our famous Farmhouse, click here. For other local accommodation click here.

We would advise that this course is only really suitable for 12 years of age and upwards. Under 16s must be accompanied by a paying adult. We put these guidelines in place for the safety, comfort and enjoyment of all our guests.

We’re afraid this course isn't typically suitable for those with fish and seafood allergies, however please do get in touch before booking to see if we can accommodate you.

With many of our courses there are often treats and leftovers to take away with you. In our quest to be more sustainable we are encouraging guests to bring their own containers and bags to transport their produce home. Details of what is required for each course will be included in booking emails.

  • Sustainable Restaurant Association
  • Food and Travel Magazine 2017
  • Great British Food Awards 2017
  • Great British Food Awards 2018