Discover the world of foraging with the Cowdray Estate

George Linklater describes foraging in a green space as ‘a bit like a paint by numbers picture’.

Monday, 21st June 2021, 2:38 pm

He said: “I always want to find out what is in each coloured area - each plant or fungi is a different colour. When the picture is coloured in I can then choose the choicest ingredients in just the right amount so as not to impact the picture.”

George started foraging seven years ago when he met his partner Eloise Schwerdt, a Michelin trained chef.

He said: “I enjoy being in nature. The real joy for me about foraging comes from feeling part of a landscape and not just walking through it.”

Picture: Tom Bunning Photography
Picture: Tom Bunning Photography

His career began when he started walking and working with a very experienced and knowledgeable forager who taught George all he knew and together they set up a company called Bello Wild Food in Cornwall.

“Through the years of working at Bello I was able to forage full time and this combined with the guidance and experience, I built up a wide knowledge base,” he said.

As the Cowdray Estate Forager George educates people on the different edible plants in the countryside.

“I aim to get people looking a bit closer. Identification is best for this and also a key to competently and confidently foraging in the future so I try and teach the basics of this as well,” George said.

Picture: Tom Bunning Photography

Important to George is not just showing people what and where they can forage but educating them about the biodiversity of the countryside.

He explained: “I’m on a mission to get people foraging to help nature not hinder it.

“Biodiversity is an incredibly delicate thing but important to everything in our countryside we hold dear.

“Hedgerows and wild spaces in some way are the threads that hold the biodiversity of our countryside together.

“So the more we learn and value these green spaces and what they contain the more useful to us they can be. In time hopefully we can seek to protect and propagate more of these spaces, bettering our countryside, its biodiversity and with the right forgeable plants it can also benefit you and I with the odd ingredient or two.”

There are two summer sessions on July 3 and 17, visit cowdray.co.uk/foraging-at-cowdray/