For Bookings:- jackie of Eyas  www.eyas.co.uk

Any questions or advice please contact us either via one of the above or via email:-  contactus@wild-foragers.co.uk

What to Expect from our blog…...

We decided last year (2011) to change the way our blog was used. 

We now show month by month what you should be able to find and update each month with what new wild fungi, herbs & plants we have foraged for.

We have also included our own photos and some recipe ideas.

Happy foraging……..




Drying Wild Fungi

Drying wild fungi

1.) For smaller mushrooms such as:- Winter Chanterelles, Girolles, Horn of plenty, Amethyst Deceivers, St Georges, Morels, Wood ears, Orange Peel Fungus these can all be dried whole and placed directly onto the cake tray or Dehydrator.

2.) For larger mushrooms such as:- Hedgehog Fungus, Safron Milk Caps, Cauliflower Fungus, Blewits these can be torn or sliced ready to go on your chosen dryer.

3.) Champagne cork boletes will need to be sliced the stem can be attached.

4.) For much larger mushrooms i.e Bolete family its best to remove the stem form the cap and slice both individually.

5.) The mushrooms do not need to be washed Just brush the dirt off and remove any foliage or bugs!

6.) Only collect on days of reasonable weather as Boletes especially will act like sponges and therefore be no good to slice and dry.

7.) Always store in an air tight container.

We first started drying small amounts of fungi on cake trays (see below image) and placing them over the radiator.  This is a great way to start out!

We then progressed to larger stackable trays again to go over radiator.

Now we have a 9 tiered dehydrator which is amazing! we can dry loads at once and quickly!


End results:-

December foraging

Cauliflower Fungus –Sparassis crispa

Cauliflower Fungus – Fruit body 20–50cm across, cauliflower-like, comprising numerous flattened, crisped lobes on a short thick rooting stem.  Colour pale beige to buff, darkening with age. Smell sweetish, pleasant. Habitat at the base of conifer trees or near by. Season autumn. Occasional. Edible and delicious when young and fresh; must be thoroughly cleaned.

November Foraging

Well November is the end of our wild fungi tours, but as the season has started to pick up and the second crop of Ceps have come up we have been running our midnight cep foragers. (tour pictures to follow)

Wood Blewits –Lepista nuda

Wood Blewit – Cap 6–12cm across, flattened-convex becoming depressed and wavy, bluish lilac at first then more brownish, drying paler.  Often slightly bulbous at the base, bluish-lilac, fibrillose. Flesh thick, bluish-lilac. Taste and smell strongly perfumed. Gills crowded, bluish-lilac fading with age to almost buff.  Habitat in woodland, hedgerows and gardens. Season autumn to early winter. Edible – excellent.

October foraging


October started off well we had our first full day Wild Fungi Tour:


Orange Peel Fungus – Aleuria aurantia

Orange Peel Fungus – Cup 0.5–10cm across, cup shaped becoming wavy and flattened, inner surface bright yellowish-orange, outer whitish.  Flesh thin and brittle.  Habitat gregarious, on bare soil, or amongst grass in lawns or at roadsides. Season early autumn to early winter.  Edible.



Parham House

Also this month we attended an Autumn foraging day at:


We then found along with a lot of other keen foragers up and down the country that due to weather conditions being to warm and dry the mushrooms went away!! but we were still hopeful!!

September foraging

September is when our Wild Fungi Foraging Tours start, we have found lots of edible fungi alot of what we have already found in previous months (see July/August):

Chichester food Fair September 2011

We attend the Chichester food fair and as you can see from the picture below we had lots of fresh Wild fungi we had picked the day before:

Justin & Stu on the stall

Winter Chanterelles & Hedge Hog Fungus, Porcini, Chanterelle, Horn of Plenty.

As the Ceps/Porcini were up we had our first

‘Midnight Cep hunt”

Then Justin went off to the South of France to go carp fishing http://www.paradiselakes.co.uk/index_paradise_lakes.cfm and couldn’t resist a bit of foraging:

Our First Wild Fungi Tour kicked off on September 25th (half day) – very productive !!!

Beefsteak Fungus


Plums and custard

Before we had even left the car park we had beefsteaks in our trugs:

Beefsteak or Ox Tongue – Fistuline hepatica.

Beefsteak Fungus – Bracket 8-25cm across, 2-6cm thick, usually single, tongue-shaped or semicircular, upper surface pinkish to orange-red and finally purple-brown, rough with rudimentary pores.   Moist to tacky.  Flesh thick, succulent; mottled, dark flesh-pink with lighter veining, with bloodlike sap; reminiscent of raw meat. Odor pleasant.  Habitat singly or sometimes several in a cluster on the base of living oaks or chestnuts, also dead hardwood stumps. Season July-October. Edible-good.

We also spotted some plums and custard.

August Foraging

Saffron Milkcap – Lactarius deliciosus

Saffron Milkcap. – Cap 3–10cm across, convex then shallowly funnel-shaped, with numerous small purplish-brick to salmon blotches arranged in narrow, concentric bands on a pale flesh or rosy buff background, becoming tinged greenish in places, slightly sticky, firm, brittle. Stem, pale buff to orangy or salmon, sometimes with darker, shallow, spot-like depressions, becoming green in places. Flesh pale yellowish, carrot in places from the milk fading and finally dull greyish green. Gills slightly decurrent, closely spaced, pale pinkish apricot to saffron, becoming carrot and slowly dull pistachio green on bruising.  Season summer to autumn. Uncommon.  Edible.

Hedgehog Fungus/ Pied de mouton – Hydnum repandum

(Better pictures to follow as they begin to come out)

These quite large fungi grow in all kinds of damp woodland and can be found from late Summer to late Autumn, this delicacy is easily recognized by its pale orange-tan colours, terrestrial habitat, and the spines or “teeth” on the undersides of their caps. These take the place of the gills in the more familiar types of mushrooms, and serve the same function, to produce and release large quantities of spores, which the fungus uses for reproduction. The teeth form dense masses, and can look more like bristles – a characteristic which has given rise to the common name of hedgehog fungus. The teeth or spines start small and grow to about 5-6 mm. long. Hydnum repandum is one of the safest edible mushrooms, since it is so unmistakable, although it is easily mistaken for a faded chanterelle until you get a peek at the spiny underside. Viewed from above they can look like ordinary gilled mushrooms, but the underside is very distinctive.

Baby hedgehogs just starting to appear….                                                                      Hedghogs one week later

Bay Bolete –Boletus badius

See July for Fungi info.

Porcini/Summer Cep – Boletus edulis

See July for Fungi info.

Girolle/Chanterelle  – Canthrellus Cibarius

See July for Fungi info.

A great Find foraging this week 8/8/11 Girolle

Brown Birch Bolete – Leccinum scabrum

See June for Fungi info….

Cauliflower Fungus – Sparassis crispa

(This is quite early for the Cauliflower to be out, so we are quite chuffed with this find!! We found this on the base of a Scots Pine)

Cauliflower Fungus -body 20–50cm across, subglobose, cauliflower-like, comprising numerous flattened, crisped lobes on a short thick rooting stem, pale  yellow to buff, darkening with age. Smell sweetish, pleasant. Habitat at the base of conifer trees or near by. Season autumn. Occasional. Edible and delicious when young and fresh; must be thoroughly cleaned.

Slippery Jack – Suillus luteus

Slippery Jack – Cap 5–10cm, chestnut to sepia covered in brown gluten, becoming more rust-coloured with age, shiny on drying. Stem pale straw-coloured at apex rapidly discoloured with darkening glandular dots, with a large white to cream ring which darkens to sepia, white below becoming vinaceous brown with age. Flesh white, often vinaceous at base of stem. Taste and smell not distinctive. Tubes lemon-yellow to straw-colour. Pores round, similarly coloured, becoming flushed sienna.  Habitat with conifers, usually Scots pine. Season autumn. Edible.

Amethyst Deceiver –Laccaria amethystea

Amethyst deceiver – Cap 1–4.5cm across, convex to flattened or centrally depressed, deep purplish-lilac when moist drying pale lilac-buff, surface slightly scurfy at centre especially with age. Concolorous with stem, covered in whitish fibres below but mealy near the apex, base covered in lilac down, passing into the lilac mycelium. Flesh thin, tinged lilac, stem becoming hollow. Taste and smell not distinctive. Gills often distant, concolorous with cap, becoming powdered white. Habitat coniferous or deciduous woods, often with beech. Season late summer to early winter. Edible.

Winter Chanterelle – Craterellus tubaeformis

Cantharellus tubaeformis – Cap 2-8cm across funnel-shaped in center, margin inrolled, wavy; deep yellow to yellow-brown, paler with age. Gills decurrent, narrow, blunt, and irregularly branched and vein-like; yellowish to gray-violet. Stem hollow, often flattened or grooved; yellow to dull yellow-orange. Flesh pallid yellow. Odor pleasant. Taste pleasant.  Habitat often in large troops in wet, mossy bogs.  Season July-October. Edible-good.

Horn of PlentyCraterellus cornucopioides

Horn of Plenty. – Cap 2–8cm across, deeply tubular with flared mouth, becoming irregularly crisped and wavy at the margin, thin and leathery, dark brown to black and scurfy scaly when moist drying paler and greyish brown. Spore-bearing or outer surface ashy grey, smooth in young specimens becoming somewhat undulating with age.  Habitat gregarious or clustered amongst leaf litter of deciduous woods. Season late summer to late autumn. Occasional but locally abundant. Edible – good.

July Foraging

Porcini/Summer Cep – Boletus edulis

Porcini – Cap 8–20(30)cm, brown often with a whitish bloom at first gradually lost on expanding leaving a white line at the margin, smooth and dry initially becoming greasy, in wet weather slightly viscid and polished. Stem robust, pallid with white net. Flesh white, unchanging, flushed dirty straw-colour or vinaceous in cap. Taste and smell pleasant. Tubes white becoming grey-yellow. Pores small and round, similarly coloured. Habitat coniferous, broad-leaved or mixed woodland. Season summer to late autumn. Un-Common. Edible – excellent.

Red Dotted Stem Bolete – Boletus erythropus

Red dotted stem Bolette – Cap 8–20cm, bay to snuff-brown with olivaceous tints, tending to yellowish ochre towards the margin, slightly velvety at first, soon becoming smooth and sometimes slightly viscid when wet, bruising blue-black. Stem robust, yellowish densely covered in red dots. Flesh yellow, immediately dark blue on cutting. Taste and smell not distinctive. Tubes lemon-yellow then greenish, becoming dark blue on cutting. Pores small, round, orange-red becoming rusty with age, readily bruising dark blue to black. Habitat in coniferous, broad-leaved and mixed woodland. Season late summer to autumn. Common. Edible only when cooked.

Bay Bolete –Boletus badius

Bay Bolete – Cap 4–14cm, bay to dark brick-colour later flushed ochraceous brown, downy when young, soon becoming smooth and polished, slightly viscid in wet weather. Stem same colour as cap or paler, surface slightly cottony. Flesh white to lemon-yellow on cutting becoming faintly blue particularly in stem apex and above tubes, vinaceous in cap. Taste and smell mild and mushroomy. Tubes cream to lemon-yellow, bruising bluish green. Pores large, readily bruising blue-green. Habitat in mixed woods. Season autumn. Edible – very good.

Orange Birch Bolete – Leccinum versipelle

Orange Birch Bolete – Cap 8–20cm, tawny orange, slightly downy at first becoming smooth, dry to very slightly viscid, the margin overhanging the pores. Stem white or greyish covered with woolly brownish-black scales. Flesh white then dark vinaceous, but blue-green in stem base, finally blackish. Taste and smell pleasant. Tubes white to buff, vinaceous on cutting. Pores small, mouse-grey at first later ochraceous, bruising vinaceous. Habitat with birch in scrub or open woodland. Season summer to autumn. Edible – good.

Girolle/Chanterelle  – Canthrellus Cibarius

See June for fungi description – The Girolles are deferentially up early this year, here is a pic of the amounts we managed to pick ready for the CLA Game Fair.

Wild Plums

A nice selection of Wild Plums, we foraged ready for CLA Game Fair.

Preserving Chicken of the Woods

If you do find a chicken of the woods don’t simply rip it off the tree.  This will stop it growing again in future.  However if you cut off a chunk close to the tree new mushroom growth will resume next season.

Chicken of the woods does not keep well as a dried mushroom.  The best way to preserve it is to fry small pieces of Laetiporus sulphureus in butterand then freeze them for up to three months – as follows:

.1) Underside of the Chicken of the Woods.

.2) Top of the Chicken of the Woods

.3) Cut the chicken of the woods into smallish chunks.

.4)Put the pan on the heat.

.5)Roughly about an inch size chunks.

.6)Add a good amount of butter enough to coat all the chunks.

.7)Add the Chicken of the woods to the pan.

.8)Keep turning the chunks to make sure they are coated in butter.

.9)Once the chunks look slightly golden.

.10)Place them in an air tight container suitable for the freezer.

.11)Place lid on and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

June Foraging

Brown Birch Bolete – Leccinum scabrum

This is probably the earliest we have found one of these! Usually found near Birch Trees – medium sized brown cap, small grey pores bruising brown, slim white stem covered with tiny brown-black scales denser near the base.

Bilberries – Vaccinium myritillus

Usually found on heaths and moors or woodland.  An erect shrub growing 20-50 cm high with hairless twigs and oval slightly toothed bright green leaves.  Fruits small round and blue-black.

Chicken of the Woods

(See May for details)

We have found some cracking Chicken of the Woods. 3 on one tree!!!

Larch bolete – Suillus grevillei

Larch Bolete – Cap 3–10cm, yellow to chrome becoming flushed rust, shiny when dry. Stem- yellow above the whitish ring and punctate or occasionally netted, flushed cinnamon below. Flesh pale yellow in cap, darker lemon-chrome in the stem. Taste and smell not distinctive. Tubes pale yellow. Pores small, angular, lemon-yellow becoming flushed sienna, bruising rust. Habitat with larch trees. Season late summer to autumn. Common. Edible.

Girolle/Chanterelle  – Canthrellus Cibarius

Girolles – also known as Golden Chanterelle mushrooms are one of the most prized and sought after Wild Mushroom. They taste fantastic and have an apricot aroma. They can be anything from 5mm to 100mm in diameter.  They are available from July to November. They are very versatile whether on their own or in a mixed mushroom dish or with meat or fish. They also give a wonderful colour to sauces and the overall appearance of the dish.  It is orange or yellow, meaty and funnel-shaped. On the lower surface, underneath the smooth cap, it has gill-like ridges that run almost all the way down its stipe, which tapers down seamlessly from the cap.

Peppery Bolete – Boletus piperatus

Peppery Bolete – Cap 3–7cm, cinnamon to sienna, at first slightly viscid then dry, smooth and shiny, stem same colour as cap, slender, tapering towards base, where it is a distinctive lemon-chrome. Flesh flushed red above tubes and under cuticle, intensely lemon-chrome in stem base. Taste peppery, smell not distinctive. Tubes cinnamon then rust-coloured, not bruising, decurrent or subdecurrent. Pores angular, rich rust-coloured at maturity.  Habitat variable, particularly in birch scrub or mixed pine and birch on sandy soil. Season late summer to autumn. Occasional. Edible – peppery flavoured.

Charcol burner – Russula cyanoxantha

Charcoal Burner – Cap 5–15cm across, flattening to depressed at the centre, sometimes one colour but usually a mixture, dullish lilac, purplish, wine-coloured, olive, greenish or brownish, firm to hard, greasy when moist, with faint branching veins radiating from centre, half peeling. Stem white, sometimes flushed purple, hard. Flesh white. Taste mild. Gills adnexed to slightly decurrent, whitish to very pale cream, rather narrow, oily to the touch and flexible, not brittle as in most Russulas, forked at times. Habitat under broad-leaved trees. Season summer to late autumn. Very common.

Fairy ring champignon- Marasmius oreades

Fairy Ring Champignon/Fairy Ring Mushroom. – Cap 2–5cm across, convex then flattened with a large broad umbo, tan when moist drying buff tinged with tan at the centre. Stem, whitish to pale buff, tough, rigid. Flesh thick at the centre of the cap, whitish. Smell of fresh sawdust. Gills white then ochre-cream, distant.  Habitat often forming rings in the short grass of pasture or lawns. Season late spring to late autumn. Common. Edible and good.

The Prince – Agaricus augustus

The Prince – Cap 10–20cm across, yellowish-brown covered in chestnut-brown fibrous scales. Stem whitish with small scales below the ring which discolour brownish with age, bruising yellowish; ring white, large and pendulous. Flesh thick and white, becoming tinged reddish with age. Taste mushroomy, smell strongly of bitter almonds. Gills free, white at first then brown.  Habitat in coniferous and deciduous woods. Season late summer to autumn. Uncommon. Edible – good.

Horse Mushroom – Agaricus arvensis

Horse Mushroom – Cap 8–20cm across, ovate at first expanding convex, creamy white yellowing slightly with age or on bruising. Often slightly clavate at the base, concolorous with the cap, the ring is formed of a double membrane, the lower splitting into a star-shape around the stem. Flesh white, thick and firm in the cap, pithy in the stem which tends to become hollow. Taste mushroomy, smell of aniseed. Gills free, white at first then flesh-pink, finally chocolate brown with age.  Habitat amongst grass in pasture or thickets often in rings. Season autumn.  Edible – excellent.

Giant Puffball – Langermannia gigantea


Giant Puffball – body 7–80cm across, not quite round, whitish and leathery, the outer wall breaking away to expose the spore mass, attached to the substrate by a root-like mycelial cord which breaks leaving the fruit body free to roll around and so scatter the millions of spores. Habitat in gardens, pasture and woods. Season summer to autumn. Uncommon but locally frequent. Edible when still white and firm – good.