Truffle and Mushroom Hunter March Newsletter

Truffle and Mushroom Hunter Newsletter March 2013
The adventures of 2012 
Well what a year 2012 has been for me and my fabulous truffle hunting hound Zebedee! We have successfully launched the truffle foray business in the South Downs to much acclaim in the press. I carried out numerous volunteer based forays for The BioBlitz National Network recording fungi for national and local records and undertook many private mushroom and truffle hunts.
Zebedee and I found a pea sized truffle, Pachyphloeus melanoxanthus its a first for Sussex and only ever recorded 11 times in the British Isles; twice in 1986 and then not since 1878 , first recorded in 1843, not bad! It has been double checked by Kew as its an important find and I needed confirmation after my microscope session as I’m only a beginner as a geek but clearly well on the way!
Our forays have been met with huge enthusiasm with many people coming along to see the wonders of the countryside and to watch us in action. We have forayed in all weather conditions … most of which have been met with highly successful finds. We have visited numerous country fairs and events – showcasing our skills in truffle hunting displays in the arenas or from behind my stall, merely educating people about sustainable forestry and forays.Media Interest

The highlight for me was the start of the media interest – a new experience but one which I faced with all the enthusiasm I could muster. Starting with appearances in local magazines and papers to local and national television including interviews in The Metro and The Independent – I have been utterly thrilled with the response to all my hard work and it’s been a great way start!
2013 so far…The most exciting news for 2013 will be the introduction of my new truffle hound Ela. Following an introduction to K10, the army dog training group, I am thrilled to be adding a new hound to the business to further grow my success rate and enterprise. Ela, a 13 week old Cocker Spaniel has been handpicked by K10 and will be trained collaboratively as a working dog by this army dog training group and me, truffle and obedience training has already started around the home. This will also give me the incredibly rare opportunity to refine my truffle hunting techniques to yet another level of training with the K10. Searching methods that the army use for explosive detection will be deployed and then refined for truffle detection.

Frank Holmes spent 24 years in the military as an instructor, dog trainer, and specialist handler operating in high threat areas. Frank is now the Operations & Training Manager at K10 Working Dogs. We are both determined to share our knowledge and make little Ela into a champion truffle hound! She comes from four generations of working trial champions and already proving to be quite a little character, she will have a rigorous training schedule and will therefore be able to start working with me pretty much immediately in the new season. She will be able to complement the work I am already doing with Zebedee, so that there will be occasions when I can give Zebedee the well earned weekend off, or indeed bring both dogs on a hunt to increase our chances. I am very
excited to be welcoming Ela to the family and my heartfelt thanks go to the K10 team for sharing this good fortune and providing me with such a wonderful gift.

Newsletter and website updates:

2013 is already gearing up to be a busy year and I have many plans in fruition. My first will be to ensure that there is a newsletter distributed every three months to update you on events we will be attending, forays, education classes, media appearances and of course products which will be available for sale. The website will be continually updated with all information on our expeditions and activity schedule and we will be sharing further press coverage, links, competitions, products, testimonials and exhibitions. As always your support for the website will help widen the reach of the work that I do so please do feel free to share the link on your facebook or twitter pages or indeed email to any friends or colleagues who you think may be interested in the work that I do.

Calendar of events:

All dates for 2013 forays can be found on my blog. Mushroom forays start from March and truffle and mushroom hunts start again from September to December. Private bespoke group forays can also be tailored for during the week or on weekends providing bookings are made well in advance. Bio-Blitz dates to follow.

Country fairs:

April 29th/27th Farming and Wildlife Festival, West Grinstead.
June 1st/2nd Floral Fringe Fair, Knepp Castle
September 28th Pulborough Harvest Fair
Bently Wood Fair dates to follow

Partnership forays:

Sedgwick Park House Foray 12th October
Brighton and Hove District Council, Coldean lane Bio Blitz
National Trust BioBlitz’s

Press interviews and appearance:

The Metro

Alan Titchmarsh Show 2012

Ade in Britain 3rd April ITV 2013

Kuperman productions, Israeli TV, filming in April for cooking competition type program, contestants judged and mentored by one of the Roux brothers whilst hopefully cooking truffles that the contestants have found with me and three trained dogs.Sussex Life–truffle-hunting-sussex-south-downs-21913/The Independent Melissa – latest news articles, breaking stories, features & comments …

The Metro

Devour Sussex Web Site

Nick Weston’s Blog Truffle hunting on the South Downs

West Sussex County Times- A truffling matter

BBC South Radio 5 Live

Anna Keleher, Speaking as a truffle, Creative Torbay

Sublime magazine, Truffle Treasure written by Katrine Carstens

Personal blog sites 



Links to other groups and like minded people Anna Keleher

K10 Working Dogs : Sussex Fungi Group

Links to old events

BioBlitz Meet the Species

BioBlitz Meet the Species Blogroll

Jordans Cereal Blog

National Trust BioBlitz


Sedgwick Park House

Wincanton Charity Auction

Sussex Fungi Group


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