Weekend Workshop: Plant ID & Foraging Feasts


22nd – 23rd April

LEMUR+ subsidised price £50

This training experience aims to equip you with a basic identification ability, and a much richer knowledge and appreciation of plants; their diversity and ecological function, application and use in different cultural contexts, different scientific survey techniques along with their edible and medicinal values. The discipline of naming and identifying plants is crucial for land managers; fundamental decisions about habitat management are based on a sound knowledge of plant makeup. This three day course will better equip you to identify families of plants, giving you a launch pad to take it further. It aims to inspire you with different and interesting ways of remembering plants, family groups and ecological strategies.

Who is this training for?

This experience is aimed at students with ambition for a career in biodiversity and land management, as well as for those with a fledgling interest in foraging and wild food looking to deepen their knowledge.  It is furthermore aimed at recent graduates starting out in the nature conservation sector, either as volunteers with NGO’s or in employment where a basic knowledge of plants will be of huge value.

How it works

Arrive Saturday morning. Walk around the site and get bearings, introduction to major taxonomic groups and explanation of how the weekend will run; spend day exploring plants, strategies, and creating connections between scientific/applied context and cultural uses/historic values with an aim to understand plants ecologically through their cultural application. Sunday will be spent foraging for a lunchtime feast. Leave around 16.00.


By the end of the weekend you will have gathered a better understanding of the different values of plants in different contexts;

  • ecological values –  their role in ecosystem, host relationships, food/pollinator relationships, basic scientific survey techniques
  • cultural value – food and medicine, folklore, stories and history, confidence in foraging and id

You will also have gained a basic insight into techniques for remembering plants from both a personal interest perspective as well as a scientific survey and land management perspective.

Who is delivering the training?

Phil Burton has his roots in education and conservation, working with Hereforeshire Wildlife Trust for over 15 years. He has a passion and specialism in plant identification and habitat assessment and has been running traineeships with Ambios for over 10 years.

Brigit Anna McNeill is a forager extraordinaire. She is on the guild of master foragers and holds a genuine wonderment about the natural world. She has an authentic love of the medicinal and nutritional properties of hedgerow plants, using them in her day to day life and amongst her young family, and an unrivaled ability to pass on this passion to all. Indeed her belief is that a good days foraging fills the belly and brightens the soul.


“I learnt SO much in such a short space of time and the pace of delivery was just right.”

“It didn’t go too fast and I wasn’t afraid to ask questions if I got lost.”

“I enjoyed that we got to go through extra bits and pieces, suited to the questions we had.”

Accommodation (To be booked separately)

Our ‘cabin’ has 8 single bedrooms with 2 toilet/shower rooms and a kitchen with a large comfortable lounge and woodstove.  Our Yurt is fully insulated with carpets and a woodstove.  The accommodation is part of our working farm, managed for biodiversity and learning.  It is comfortable and sits amongst the trees, hedgerows and spectacular views of the River Dart and is surrounded by idyllic countryside.  This is a secure and tranquil place for relaxing between learning sessions.  All meals are provided from local produce (direct from our farm where possible) with special dietary requirements catered for on request.  Free Wi-Fi is available within the training spaces.

How to Join Us

We can collect you from Totnes Railway Station (4 miles from the farm) at 09.00 on Saturday and return you to the station on Sunday.  Alternatively you can make your own way from the station or direct by car to TQ9 7DX to arrive by 09.30

If you would like to join us for this weekend workshop, please pay using the link below. If you have any further questions you can contact us on 01803 732747 or email info@ambios.net.