Little do the many dog walkers know whats under foot in this popular downland park in Sussex apart from the poo; its common practice it seems to have a wellington boot covered in the muck, ourselves included. Its not the best place to look for truffles for many reasons this being one of them, although this is where I found my first haul and have never forgotten this place or found as many in one go since. It amuses me that in this busy park its all happening and not many people would think to look.
I was out with Anna Keleher and her young truffle trainee Ghyllie for another training session. I was familiarizing Ghyllie with smells of a truffle woodland (and poo) as part of his training. Its late in the season so we worked with truffle oil as well to get him and Zeb in the mood. Zeb led the way and Ghyllie followed, he indicated straight away at the hidden bate with ease, a great sign, it was a good and important introduction to truffle woodland for this young apprentice. As you can see we had to work with many different smells, Ghyllie in the photo below sniffing poo, sadly not quite the hot shit were looking for, non the less good to get them used to working with all distractions, although somehow I’d prefer another type!
I generally don’t use this place for any type of hunting or training because of the conditions, its not glamorous what so ever but it suited us both on this occasion, well sort of. . .ha. Its such a shame people allow their dogs to foul like this, unknowingly but within such a rare and wonderful habitat too although regardless as this disgusting behavior shouldn’t happen anywhere as we know and as a result it has ruined this amenity woodlands environment because there is so much of it. Had we found anything I would only use the truffles for dog training purposes and not human consumption for obvious reasons! Such a shame, makes me angry.
It’s not quite as fun or beautiful looking for truffles in winter and in a public park in the bloody freezing cold, this was the last short truffle hunt of the season till August I think!