Author, forager and former TV star Nick Weston, from Glynde, has joined forces with the RSPB for a fundraising event with a difference.
Nick now runs a foraging school called Hunter Gather Cook and the event on Thursday, July 25, includes foraging for edible plants and building your own overnight shelter - all under his expert guidance.
The foraging school is based in a private nature reserve near Lewes that is carefully managed to create a haven for a rich variety of wildlife.
Hidden in the woodland is the school’s outdoor kitchen, complete with an oven made from the clay beds of the nearby stream. The kitchen is covered by a elegant birch A-frame structure with pots and pans hanging from the roof.
The event begins with a guided walk around the reserve led by RSPB conservation officer, Dr Richard Black, with the chance to see the rare Silver-washed Fritillary and White Admiral butterflies along the woodland edges.
Next, guests will be shown where to find edible plants on the reserve and how to identify them. The foraging school instructors are experts in living off the land; they are also experienced chefs, who visibly relish the chance to craft sumptuous and original dishes from foraged ingredients.
Nick, who established the school in 2011, said: “I opened the school to teach people about living comfortably in the great outdoors and to create great dishes using wild produce. I’m really pleased to be teaming up with the RSPB and helping them raise funds for their work; both our organisations encourage people to connect with nature and it will be great to work together.”
Back at base camp instructors show how to build a fire using traditional techniques and cook a leg of lamb in an underground oven for the evening’s foraged feast.
As the sun goes down and resident nightingales begin to sing, guests can learn how to mix up the perfect wild cocktail, using foraged infusions and syrups prepared by the instructors.
To end the evening, guests build a shelter and spend the night around a fire. Breakfast is provided the following morning before heading home. There are 15 places at £80 each. Proceeds to the RSPB. The event starts at 2pm on July 25 and finishes at 10am July 26. For further details and to secure a place contact firstname.lastname@example.org