Deposits, reservations and weather permitting
A non refundable deposit of 25% is required to secure your foray reservation. Forays will take place in all weather except in extreme conditions ie snow or at freezing point. In the event of the foray date being cancelled due to this kind of bad weather, it will be postponed and forwarded to a more suitable date. Forays will always take place in the rain and cold as with most outside country pursuits and clients are expected to understand this and come fully prepared; if it is decided that you do not wish to come because of the rain then you have to be prepared to sacrifice your deposit. Deposits are only returned in the event that the foray leader cannot attend due to ill heath, or other reasons.
Final payment to be made on the day and before the foray begins please.
I would also like to point out that the day is based on the whole experience and knowledge presented and although every effort is taken to find truffle or mushrooms but it is not always achieved. Working with nature is not predictable, only the uncertainty can be relied upon, hence the chase, the hunt, the excitement, the mystery, the addictive pleasure and the joy when they are found, a special moment that wants to be achieved again and again! It is not called hunting without reason hence the price and availability of truffle and wild mushrooms! Like fishing coming home with supper is a great achievement but not always a certainty! But hey I do have a good track record!
The days experience will be based on a holistic view point of what it is like to be a truffle and mushroom hunter, I will show you what to look for and show you the right areas, soil, trees and small clues etc.The day will be based around a lot of truffle and fungi information and the joy of watching the dog at work when on a truffle hunt, a unique experience! Many years of research and hunting has been achieved to place you in the right areas with known truffle and fungi presence, this information is not common place and I'm making new discoveries with every year in respect of new territories and species present!
Truffle and Mushroom Hunter Disclaimer:
Although I am fully insured it must be made clear that on the foray all participants take part at their own risk. I will not be responsible for personal injury, death or loss or damage to property other than as a result of my negligence.
All participants must read and acknowledge this disclaimer which will be sent to you by e mail before attending, except individuals under the age of 16 who must have one signed on their behalf by a parent, guardian or other authorised adult.
Whilst I take reasonable care for the safety of participants, there is a risk of poisoning from certain mushrooms and fungi, or from the usual hazards of walking through woodland and countryside (e.g. falling branches, holes). All participants will receive safety guidance prior to participation and it is your responsibility to pay attention to this and not eat or take away with you any mushrooms or fungi unless you have checked with me that they are safe.
By signing this disclaimer, you confirm that you do not suffer from any medical condition which is likely to increase the risk of injury to yourself or others. All participants must be reasonably fit and healthy. I recommend that pregnant women should not take part.
All participants must act responsibly and courteously at all times and must respect other participants. I reserve the right to ask any person to leave the foray if I consider the behaviour of any participant unsuitable.
Participants must be dressed appropriately and I reserve the right to refuse participation to any person who is not appropriately dressed.
No compensation will be payable in the event that any participant is not permitted to, or decides not to, undertake or complete the foray.
Dog Training Days
Once the course has been booked, paid for and all your information i.e. truffle hound training notes have been sent out, the course is non refundable, due to the amount of info shared. If you cannot make it please can you give me 24 hours notice so to be able to offer the place to someone else, otherwise I will have to charge for the unattended appointment, many thanks.
Codes of Conduct
It is my responsibility to ensure that my clients agree to act responsibly and conduct sustainable foraging practices at all times on all my events. To then go forward and continue to practice within the provided codes of conduct, ethics and responsibility in their own time thereon after. The information acquired on these courses is to be used with respect to the environment, landowners and within countryside laws and restrictions.
The landowners in question from which these forays take place have requested that my clients are to refrain from further harvesting fungi in these areas without prior permission many are on private land or only with a suitable licensed guide; this is for safety, sustainable reasons and for the benefit of other organisms, to protect a valuable education resource and to insure harvesting is not done in sensitive or protected areas. Thanks for your cooperation and understanding within this sensitive subject.
Foraging Principles of the Association of Foragers
1.1 The Association of Foragers sees foraging playing an increasingly important role supporting, promoting and defending the health of all plants, fungi, algae, animals (including humans) and the habitats/environments in which they exist.
1.2 The Association of Foragers recognises the ecological interconnectivity of all species and seeks to spread knowledge, understanding and best foraging practice in a move towards more diverse and resilient food systems and land use.
1.3 Members see humans as 'a part of nature' rather than 'apart from nature', and believe that it is only through engaging with nature in practical and meaningful ways that we can truly support it.
2. Towards Best Foraging Practice
2.1 The Association of Foragers share the same objective of Article 1 of the internationally ratified Convention on Biodiversity (1992):
“The conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilisation of genetic resources'.
2.2 In so doing, we work safely and within the law to develop knowledge and relationships between all interested parties to find best foraging practice through shared experience, research and collaboration.
2.3 We recognise each individual species that is foraged and each location in which foraging takes place requires its own set of skills. In this respect it is impractical and undesirable to impose a comprehensive set of rules.
2.4 We undertake to observe how species respond to harvesting methods. Where a harvesting method is beneficial or neutral to a species and/or location we will share that knowledge among interested parties and other foragers. Similarly, in the event of a particular harvesting technique proving detrimental to a species and/or location, we will alter our practice accordingly and share that knowledge among interested parties and other foragers.
2.5 As our understanding of best practice with regard to species and locations is constantly evolving, so will this document. We welcome constructive, evidence-based discussion and dialogue on general principles, specific species and distinct locations with all interested parties.
3.1 Members teach that it is essential to be 100% confident of identification before eating any species. If we are not sure ourselves, we are not afraid to admit it honestly and err on the side of safety.
3.2 Teachers and suppliers will take reasonable measures to understand and pass on relevant information on species edibility and allergy advice, to interested parties.
3.2 Members who pick commercially will never supply anything that they are not 100% confident is correctly identified and, is regarded within current research, as safe to consume.
3.3 Members will do their best to be well informed on current best practice and any peer reviewed science relating to our activities, and welcome research and experience-based opinion.
4. Legality and Compliance
4.1 We uphold the laws of the land that we forage in regardless of which country we are in and all members undertake to know and abide by the relevant laws of the country they are foraging in.
4.2 Members working as foraging instructors undertake to act with a reasonable duty of care to those they teach. As standard, instructors are expected to have relevant, appropriate insurance, basic first aid and food hygiene certification, perform risk-assessments, and make themselves aware of client’s allergies, medical conditions etc.
4.3 Wild food suppliers undertake to uphold the law as it applies to foods. For example, where applicable, to hold the relevant food hygiene certificates for handling or catering and to carry public liability and professional indemnity insurance and prepare risk assessments.
4.4 Foragers making products from foraged species also undertake to abide by any relevant legislation specific to their produce and to carry relevant, appropriate insurance.
5. Considerate Foraging
5.1 We teach that the interests of foragers and the species that they forage are aligned, and that foraging should always be carried out in ways that do not compromise future species populations or the biological communities of which they are a part.
5.2 Further to ecological considerations, when foraging or teaching about foraging, we also consider other interested parties (including other foragers) that may value a species/location. Where possible we seek to open dialogue, collaborate and advance our understanding of species/locations, with a view to finding best practice.
5.3 The Association supports the creation of site-specific management plans and harvesting rotations, where appropriate.
5.4 We undertake that all species will be harvested using techniques that do not cause permanent or irrevocable damage to them, their future survival and the environments in which they exist
5.5 Members will be respectful, encouraging and supportive of other members and anyone practicing foraging.
5.6 Where members see foraging practices that they know from experience and scientific research to be harmful, they will respectfully challenge that behaviour through discussion and dialogue.
5.7 Members will treat other Members of the Association with respect. Where we share a common public space, our activities many bring us into competition with each other, and where we overlap, we will do so with consideration for one another's livelihoods.
V.1.2. Updated 8 April 2016.