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Foraging in the Foothills - Mountain Ways Ireland

11a Cloghinny Road, Forkhill, County Armagh, BT35 9RY
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About

Foraging in the Foothills

I am a wild food enthusiast and folklorist and have been for all of my life.

Tapping into a lifetime love for the outdoors, centuries old tacit knowledge handed down through my family and years of my own research and experimentation, I will guide you on a foraging journey that reveals the hidden potential in even the most familiar of wild plants, those plants that surround you, the ones you walk past every day whether you live in the countryside, town or city.

Testimonials

“Brian has a very easy and engaging manner and a very engaging way of sharing his extensive plant knowledge and lore. I loved sampling their wild food and especially enjoyed trying the kimichi for the first time. It’s to die for! I would highly recommend this experience. Thank you both for a lovely relaxing afternoon”.

Rosie, TripAdvisor

 

My Seventh Generation Farm

Its even more special for me when I can deliver this experience on my own ancestral farm. We have been here in this Slieve Gullion Mountain townland for at least seven generations and certainly as far back as records show.

Join me to explore the fields and ditches of the townland area as I introduce you to the wonderful world of wild edibles and simple but powerful folk medicinals.

Depending on the season… fresh spring shoots, flowers, seeds, fungi, berries, fruit.

 

Taste the Hedgerow as we Walk

It’s important to bring the wild foods to life by not just talking about them, but by tasting them. I carry a few nibbles and maybe drinks of lovingly prepared treats to share throughout the walk, small tastes on the palate to light your imagination as to whats possible.

This is not a lunch but these are tasty morcels that just can’t be bought in the shops!

Where possible I try to match these with the seasonal wild foods we are exploring. Covid has made this more complicated so it will depend on current guidelines and common sense. We are 5* approved by the food standards agency and although we will try our best, it is not always possible to cater for every dietary requirement. You should let us know in advance of any food allergies or intolerences.

 

What Others Say

"The day was both interesting and entertaining, I would really recommend the event to anyone that wants to find out what is on our doorstep or just to reconnect with nature.

Any amount of information can be found in books or online, but seeing, smelling, touching and tasting the plants is definitely a unique experience.

Thank you Lorraine & Brian, I look forward to meeting on another walk”.

Michelle M , TripAdvisor

 

How will the day look, What’s included ?

The entire experience should last around 3 hours

We’ll meet in my farmyard for a 10.30 am start – there is a good sized carpark but please car pool where possible while remaining covid safe.

I will take you through my garden a short distance to visit a 200 year old half -door stone cottage.

At the cottage I’ll give a brief introduction to the art of foraging – ethics, law, safety, sustainability etc.

We begin our approximate 2 hour foraging walk of field and hedgerow

The plants, fungi , berries that we may meet and discuss are seasonally dependant, each season has its blessings

We’ll be eating some tasty wild foraged treats that I have prepared -small nibbles ‘on the hoof’ as we walk

Return to the stone cottage for a brief look at processing and preservation techniques

We’re finished up at about 1.30 pm

 

What do I need to bring?

Good strong footwear, wellies if you want ( the grass may be long and wet in places so please dress accordingly)

Waterproofs – a good raincoat or umbrella

Warm clothing – we won’t be walking very fast or far and obviously we will be stopping at several points to meet the plants

A bottle of water

A camera, notebook, field guide (plants), small basket/cloth bag will all enchance your day

 

What will I learn ?

A new appreciation of the shear wealth of wild food that surrounds us

If you have never foraged before then it really is like taking a blindfold off and seeing for the very first time

How to gather seasonally and sustainably for both food and medicine

Follklore and traditional uses

Basic wild food peparation processing techniques

This is the beginning of a journey, opening a door to a lifetime of learning and wonder

How to engage and use all of your senses to identify wild foods- touch, taste, smell, sight & listening

Edible identification and poisonous lookalikes 

“Had a wonderful time on the foraging course. Brian was a great guide who is truly passionate about foraging and what nature provides. It was very relaxing to slow down and stop and have all the natural resources around us pointed out, balanced with those that can be dangerous. I will definitely be trying some of the tea recommendations.

After the walk it was great to see the results of Brian’s foraging and really enjoyed the infused water and homemade gorse honey and dandelion jelly.

Would highly recommend to anyone that wants to get back in touch with nature”.

Shenda, TripAdvisor

 

Additional Information :

This is approximately a 3 hour experience.

Just over 2 km walking at a very gentle pace with plenty of stops along the way.

The walk is easily accessible for most levels of fitness, ages and ability however it is not suitable for people with limited levels of mobility – please contact us if you have any questions at all around this.

The tour is mostly through rough pasture and country lane with a short section on quiet coutry road.

Please note the grass in places may be long and wet underfoot so wear appropriate footwear with a good deep tread and something that will keep your feet dry.

This is for the most part an outdoors experience so please dress accordingly for the Irish weather.Raincoat, Umbrella, Warm Clothing, Sun cream 🙂

Each guest is asked to sign a simple consent and medical declaration form and also inform us in advance of any allergies or medical conditions which we should be aware of..

Apologies but no dogs allowed with the exception of guide dogs.

We are 5* approved with the Food Srtandards Agency NI

We are Covid certified ‘Good to Go’.

While you are welcome to carry a small bag or basket to collect a few plants, any quantities foraged will only be for later identification purposes. There is an abundance of growth with some plants while others are not so plentiful and as we lead regular walks in this area, this is the most sustainable way.

Sorry No Refunds, however, where a validated positive PCR Covid result can be proven then we will happily apply credit for a future walk or you may choose to transfer your walk on the day to somebody else.

 

Grade

Easy

Distance

3 - 4 km

Terrain

Rough grassy pasture, uneven ground

Duration

3 Hours

Dates

Early Spring - Late Autumn

 

 

Facilities

Other

  • Northern Ireland Kiosk - Culture and History
  • Northern Ireland Kiosk - Escape Outdoors
  • Northern Ireland Kiosk - Family Friendly

Accessibility

  • Facility for service dogs
  • Guide dogs permitted

Attraction Facilities

  • Guided Tours Available

Catering

  • Cater for vegetarians
  • Local Produce
  • Picnic Area

Children & Infants

  • Accept children (Minimum age)

COVID-19 Response

  • Advance booking essential
  • Capacity limit
  • Clear signage
  • Contactless payment possible
  • COVID-19 measures in place
  • COVID-19 refund and cancellation policy in place
  • COVID-19 risk assessment completed
  • COVID-19 staff training completed
  • Deep cleaning between visitors
  • Face masks available for visitors
  • Facilities must be booked
  • Hand sanitizer available to visitors & staff
  • Online booking possible
  • Outside seating
  • Regularly sanitised high-traffic areas
  • Socially distanced spaced seating
  • Staff required to regularly wash hands
  • Time limited visits

Establishment Features

  • Accept coach parties
  • Accommodation nearby
  • Experience level - beginner
  • Experience level - intermediate
  • Family Fun
  • First Aid
  • Fitness level required - low
  • Fully qualified instructors
  • Groups accepted
  • Groups catered for
  • Instructor training
  • Insurance included
  • Lessons/courses available
  • Online Booking
  • Talks
  • Toilets
  • Visitor information
  • Welcome single sex groups, eg stag/hen parties
  • Workshop

Event Facilities

  • Booking Required

Parking & Transport

  • Car parking
  • Coach parking
  • On site parking
  • Parking (free)

Payment Methods

  • All major credit/debit cards accepted
  • Deposit Reqired
  • Euros accepted
  • MasterCard accepted
  • Special group rates - Please contact us for information
  • Visa accepted
  • Visa Debit Accepted

Provider Preferences

  • Guided Tours Available for Individuals
  • Guided Tours Compulsory for Groups
  • Guided Tours Compulsory for Individuals
  • In countryside
  • Marketed Towards Families
  • Max group size
  • Outdoor Attraction
  • Smoking Some Areas

Specialist Features

  • Activity breaks
  • Marketed as green/environmentally friendly

Travel & Trade

  • Family Discount - Please contact us for information

Guide Prices

Scheduled experiences can be found on our website via the upcoming events calendar and are priced at £ 40 PP , this includes a delicious sample tasting of some seasonally preserved foraged nibbles and drinks.
Private experiences are priced according to the number in your group, you can contact us via e-mail or phone and subject to availability, we will be happy to quote a price.

All experiences must be paid for in full in advance.

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Call direct on:

Tel +353 (0) 872243176

Tel +44 (0) 2830570220

Map & Directions

Opening Times

* We generally run from late February / early March through to the end of November.
Scheduled Experiences run from 10. 30 am - 1.30 pm.

We run a number of scheduled experiences throughout the year and are always open to private bookings.
Private booking times can be more flexible and changed to accommodate the group.

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Map & Directions

Road Directions

We are located exactly halfway between Belfast and Dublin and just 5 minutes off the main North / South M1 Motorway.

Directions from either Belfast or Dublin – Travelling on the M1 Motorway, Exit through the Forkhill Exit, B113. This sign also directs visitors to Newry, W’point and the Mourne Coastal Route. From the slip road you will pick up the first sign for Slieve Gullion Forest Park (4th exit from north, 1st exit from south). On the exit road you will pick up signs for Forkhill B113 and Slieve Gullion Forest Park.

After 1.5km you will pass a petrol station on the right and another on your left. A further 2.5 km will take you into the village of Meigh, after exiting Meigh and a further 1.5 km you will pass by the entrance to Slieve Gullion Forest. Continue on for a further 3 kms passing alongside the village of Drumintee. After passing the Three Steps Bar and Lounge on your left-hand side, continue for a further 500 metre being careful not to miss the next minor road, The Cloughinny Road, to your right.

Turn right on to The Cloughinny Road and you will find us 800 metres further on along the road, 4th house on the right, with black railings and tall white piers.There should be signs at the gate for Mountain Ways Ireland.

(If you are coming from Jonesborough (Junction 18 on M1), take the road for 5 kms to Drumintee / Forkhill, turn left when you reach the Three Steps Bar and Lounge on the corner of the B113. From the Three Steps Bar, its only 500 metres being careful not to miss the next minor road to your right, The Cloughinny Road. Turn right on to The Cloughinny Road and you will find us 800 metres further on along the road, 4th house on the right, with black railings and tall white piers. There should be signs at the gate for Mountain Ways Ireland.)

Public Transport Directions

We are located exactly halfway between Belfast and Dublin and just 5 minutes off the main North / South Motorway.

45 minutes’ drive will take you from either Dublin or Belfast international airports.

There are regular train and bus connections between both Dublin / Belfast to either of our local towns of Newry or Dundalk.

Either of these towns are a 10-minute drive away and taxi transport can be arranged if you let us know in advance.

You will need car transport to arrive at our home and farm. There is ample free parking available for either car or small coach.

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