Foraging in the South Downs

Discover wild edibles at Queen Elizabeth Country Park with Wild Food UK's foraging courses

31 May 2024 midday to 3:30pm

Wild fungi and plants on a wooden board
Queen Elizabeth Country Park is situated just north of Waterlooville. With the A272 to the North and the A27 to the South, it is within easy reach of Portsmouth, Winchester, Chichester, Fareham and Eastleigh.

This impressive 1,400 acre Country Park sits in the midst of the South Downs and includes a mixture of open grassland, dramatic downland and vast woodlands. This provides a diverse habitat for a wide range of wild plants and mushrooms to flourish throughout the year. Opened by The Queen in 1976, the park was once called Buriton Forest and hosts the highest point on the South Downs National Park at Butser Hill.

We will meet in the car park outside the Visitor Centre or the bottom field, please check the individual course page to find your meeting point. The course starts with a short introduction on what to look for, our foraging code and a brief of the Countryside Act, where it relates to foraging.

Then we’ll set off on a roughly 2.5 hour walk around the park, teaching you how to identify the different plants, flowers, fruits and mushrooms that we find.

We will stop along the way for some seasonal homemade refreshments such as our lovely hogweed and wild garlic soup, elderflower champagne or fruit leathers.

After the walk we will end the day with a tasty wild food lunch based on what we have found. All of our food is seasonal so what we make depends on recent weather and what is around at that time of year. In spring we will be making use of the fresh wild greens and in autumn the array of tasty wild mushrooms that the park has to offer.

After the course we will email you a list of everything we talk about on the day; to help you remember what you have learnt.