Foraging walks and events
Plot & Lane offers scheduled/public and bespoke/private wild food foraging sessions and events on the following basis:
Health and safety
In booking on to a foraging event you agree to follow the guide’s instruction and guidelines for safe and responsible foraging and tasting of wild foods. We do not pick anything to eat or take home, and you are responsible for correctly, safely and legally finding and identifying anything you subsequently forage, which you do at your own risk. You are responsible for ensuring your own safety in the physical environment (including but not limited to wearing appropriate footwear, sun protection etc), being mindful of the terrain, and not taking unnecessary risks during the event. Any discussion of traditional medicinal uses is only for historical/cultural interest and does not constitute a medical opinion. If you use a plant for medicinal purposes after the event you do so at your own risk.
Foraging courses will go ahead in all normal British weather conditions, including sun, wind and rain. If potentially dangerous conditions are forecast, the guide will make a decision as to whether it is safe for the event to go ahead. In the very unlikely event of having to cancel due to the weather, transfers for future events will be offered or the event/booking rescheduled at no further cost to you.
You are advised to check the weather forecast before you leave on the day and that you and your party come dressed appropriately for the conditions (waterproofs/sun protection etc). You are also always recommended to bring a bottle of water, and to wear suitable, sturdy footwear for a reasonable walk that can handle potentially hilly, rocky or muddy terrain. Long trousers and sleeves are advisable as there may be ticks and other insects in long grass, plus the possibility of getting scratched by brambles/stung by nettles etc.
Children are very welcome on most of our foraging walks provided they are accompanied by a parent or responsible adult and under their supervision at all times. Parents/guardians should consider whether their child is able to walk for the stated duration of the event, and will listen to and follow safety instructions. In booking children onto a foraging course you are agreeing to take full responsibility for them, to supervise them at all times, to ensure they listen and follow the guide’s instruction, and that you understand how long the event will be. Some of the events may not be suitable for children, so please feel free to get in touch before booking and we will be able to advise.
As much as we adore dogs, unfortunately they are not able to join us for open foraging events unless they are a working assistance dog. It’s important to us that everyone joining our walks has the best possible experience, and we know that for some people that would be impacted by dogs joining the walk. However, it may be possible to bring your dog if you have booked a private foraging session, although this will be dependent on a few factors including but not limited to the location of your walk. If you bring a dog you are responsible for making sure you are abiding by the rules of the area (keeping the dog on a lead if needed) and for picking up and correctly disposing of any mess.
Pushchair and wheelchair access
Some of the organised foraging walk routes may suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs, but not all. If you are booking a private event, then we can work together to find a suitable location that is accessible. Your guide will accommodate everyone’s needs as much as possible, but be aware that foraging a range of wild foods within reach of a flat path is not always guaranteed. If you have any questions about access for an event or booking, please contact us before you book your place. In booking your place you are saying that you, and everyone in your party understands the likely terrain for the event/booking. For carrying babies, a sling may be more suitable if that’s an option available to you.
The duration and likely terrain for each scheduled walk is detailed in the event listing. All delegates must be able to manage a slow walk with rest breaks over reasonable terrain through woodland and grassland etc for the duration stated on the courses page. If you are unsure whether you’ll be able to manage the walk, or if you require more details, please contact us before booking. In booking your place you are saying that you, and everyone in your party, are able to manage the walk. (See section above for information about wheelchairs and access).
What we will find
There will be something to forage all year round, however it is not possible to guarantee which edible species will be found on the day, or how much variety there will be. The nature of foraging is that it’s unpredictable and dependent on the weather conditions leading up to the event.
Tasting wild ingredients during walks
There may be opportunities to try wild ingredients whilst out on our walks. Delegates sample these at their own risk: whilst incredibly rare and unlikely, it is always possible to have an adverse reaction to a food or ingredient that is new to you, therefore only ever a small amount of any wild species should be tasted during the event. Your guide will always explain this risk to the delegates at the start of the course, and there is always the option to opt out.
Wild foods as part of a picnic/meal provided by Plot & Lane
All wild foods provided as part of a meal or picnic have been previously recorded as edible and have been collected by an experienced professional forager. Only small amounts of each wild ingredient are included in our event menus. Consumption of wild foods can in rare cases cause an allergic reaction in people trying them for the first time and guests acknowledge that they are eating these foods at their own risk and we accept no liability on these occasions.
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, whilst wild ingredients are not listed specifically within the NHS guidelines of foods to avoid, there is sadly a lack of rigorous evidence confirming the safety of wild ingredients during pregnancy, therefore consumption is at your own risk.
Medical or special dietary requirements
When booking, you must let us know of any pertinent medical or special dietary considerations for any members of your party. You must also inform your guide at the start of the event/walk, and bring any necessary medical treatments/equipment (e.g. epi-pen/inhaler) and make sure your guide knows where to find it in case of an emergency. Examples include:
- If you have a medical condition that could be affected by walking (see Fitness section above)
- Severe asthma
- Serious allergy to insects (e.g. an allergy to bee stings)
- Food allergies and intolerances
- If you are pregnant
Allergies must be communicated when booking your place at an event where food is provided by Plot & Lane, or alternatively must be advised to our team no later than 7 days prior to the event so that we can make the necessary arrangements if possible. Allergens will be clearly documented for each event’s menu on the day, so please ask should you wish to see where such allergens occur. We comply with our food safety obligations to the highest possible standards. Whilst every effort is made to prepare food safely avoiding cross-contamination of allergens, food is prepared in a kitchen that handles most allergens therefore it is impossible for us to guarantee that your dish will be 100% allergen-free.
Outdoor events where food is provided by Plot & Lane may not suitable for guests with severe airborne allergies.
Securing your booking
Booking is secured on full payment. Whilst every effort is made to reserve your place, until full payment is received, your booking onto an open course, or your chosen date for a bespoke course, is not confirmed.
For booking onto a foraging course, we require the following information: the name and email address for all adults, first names of children and their ages, a mobile number for the party/group you’re booking for, and any pertinent medical and dietary information for all in the group. We will never pass your details on to third parties.
Places on each course are limited so booking early is advised to avoid disappointment. It’s important to us that delegates have a great experience during our events, so numbers are limited to ensure that everyone can see and hear what is being said/shown.
Prices are set at what is reasonable for the time and costs involved in running these events, and the value of the specialist knowledge to guide the walks. However, we are passionate that everybody should have access to nature, especially in the city, so if money really is a barrier, do contact us and have a chat, as there may be other options.
The cancellation/refund policy is as follows:
- Cancellation any time up to a calendar month prior to the event: you will be issued a full refund.
- Cancellation 2-4 weeks prior to the event: you will be issued a 50% refund.
- Cancellation less than 2 weeks prior to the event: no refund will be issued.
In extenuating circumstances, for example COVID-19, we may choose to offer a percentage refund, or the option to reschedule your booking, or transfer to another. Note that this is entirely at our discretion and we are under no obligation to do so.
If we are required to cancel an event/booking (including but not limited to unsafe weather conditions, introduction of new COVID-19 measures, emergency/illness/injury) then all delegates will be offered the choice of a full refund or the option to transfer to another course within a year of the cancellation.
Arriving on time
We recommend that you arrive 5-10 minutes before the meeting time, and that you give yourself plenty of time to factor in parking or potential transport delays. The event will begin at the agreed meeting time and the guide is not required to wait for latecomers. It may be possible for latecomers to join the group at a later point in the course by contacting the guide, but it is not guaranteed and will depend on the location. Refunds or partial refunds will not be given in the event of delegates arriving late.
If the event is delayed because the guide is late, we may offer a full or partial refund, the option to overrun, or the option to transfer to a future date or event.
Whilst every effort is made to find locations with free parking and easy access, there may be extra costs involved including but not limited parking charges or entry fees. Any additional, unavoidable costs will be made clear at the time of booking, and before you pay for the course.
Associated travel and accommodation costs
We are not responsible for arrangements you make to travel to and from foraging events, or any accommodation arrangements you might choose to make nearby for the night(s) before or after the course. It’s delegates’ responsibility to check cancellation policies with the relevant travel companies/carriers, vehicle hire companies or accommodation establishments before booking any of these services, taking into account the remote possibility that Plot & Lane may have to cancel an event at the last minute due to unforeseen circumstances (see Cancellation policy above). Should an event be cancelled, Plot & Lane is not responsible for, and will not refund delegates for, any associated costs surrounding their planned attendance of the foraging day – delegates take these additional costs on at their own risk. If this concerns you, you may wish to consider taking out travel insurance.
During all foraging walks, we will follow the appropriate COVID-19 health & safety guidance in place at the time. This may include observing social distancing at all times during the walk, the use of hand sanitiser, and not passing plant/fungi samples around.
Bespoke and private courses
For private foraging sessions, the following terms apply in addition to the general courses terms and conditions points listed above.
Booking a bespoke or private foraging course is subject to our guide’s availability. Booking is strongly advised if you are looking to secure a specific date.
We can suggest locations that are best for foraging and variety. However, if you have a specific location in mind, we can’t guarantee the species or variety that you will find. Some locations may limit or forbid foraging, and we will be able to advise on this to some extent during the booking process. We are based in South West London, but can arrange to travel, although this might incur an additional cost. Depending on the location, it may be possible for your guide to research an area prior to your walk at an additional cost, and this will be included in the quote for your booking.
Arriving on time
We recommend that you arrive 5-10 minutes before the meeting time, and that you give yourself plenty of time to factor in parking or potential transport delays. The quoted duration of the session will start from the agreed meeting time, and any time lost due to lateness may not be made up at the end of the session and is not reimbursable.
In the event that the guide is late, we may offer a full or partial refund, the option to overrun, or the option to transfer to a future date or event.
Terms and Conditions first published 1st March 2021.
- Updated 2nd March 2021: addition of explanation re traditional medicinal uses.
- Updated 5th April 2021: addition of wording around legality of subsequent foraging, and lateness.
- Updated 12th May 2022: updated sections on wild food safety, pregnancy, allergies, and COVID-19.