John Muir’s birthday

photograph of John Muir

The Scots-born founder of the modern conservation movement, John Muir was passionate about wild places. He explored them, wrote about them and campaigned to protect them.

Biography of John Muir.

John Muir Trust – a conservation charity dedicated to protecting and enhancing wild places in the UK.

John Muir Association  – celebrate the life, share the vision, and preserve the legacy of John Muir through education, preservation, advocacy and stewardship, in partnership with the National Park Service at the John Muir National Historic Site in California.

 

Wild Food & Wilderness Cookery

Gain some inspiration and understanding about some of the many seasonal wild foods available in our woodlands and countryside.

Dave Watson has been teaching on wild foods for over 20 years and will focus on giving you confidence to ID various plants/fungi and use them in a variety of ways.

Cost: £68 or 2 places for £110.

Gin Safari

gin and tonic with foraged ingredients

Forage for botanicals to make your own gin.

When you make your own gin you can capture memories – the plants & herbs that are the smells of blissful afternoons with friends and loved ones. Making your own gin means you can literally be drunk on nostalgia. In this class you’ll be balancing the flavours of your life, and making your very own foraged gin.

During this workshop, we will familiarize ourselves with the plants used in gin. Andy will also introduce you to the flavours used in gin before we crack on and make your own gin right there on the spot using the botanicals that we have foraged. This makes this course pretty unique!

A bit more about Andy Hamilton and the workshop:

“For more than half my life (and I’m not too young) I have been honing new ways to share my joint lifelong obsessions of plants and booze. My aim has always been to entertain as much as inform and I allow the group or audience to dictate what they get from me and thus create an event perfect for that moment in time every time.

I have appeared on international TV talking about these passions and have written three books – Booze for Free, Brewing Britain and The Selfsufficientish Bible. I also consult with the industry and I work extensively with the Botanist gin, hosting events for bartenders, chefs, foragers and industry professionals from around the globe. You may have also heard me on Radio 4’s Food Programme.”

WIld Cocktails & Cheese Matching

foraged ingredients on a board

A simple event matching four cocktails made from ingredients picked from around the local area with cheeses from the South West.

Calling All cheese & cocktail lovers! Spend a relaxed and fun time in the company of an experienced drinks-maker who has worked with everyone who is anyone in the drinks industry from Jinny Goolden to the Milk Thistle, Remy Cointreau and The Botanist to Shoreditch’s finest bars like White Lyan and Nightjar to name just the ones that spring to mind!

Starting off with a fun introduction to tasting, Andy will deliver lots of helpful tips on how to transform your garden into a cocktail lovers paradise and did I mention there will be cheese too!

You’ll taste each cocktail ‘blind’ to remove any pre-conceptions and focus on flavour before re-tasting it with a carefully-chosen artisan cheese.

An unusual way to learn about the world of pairing in a fun, hands-on way!

Andy will be on hand to answer any cocktail, homebrew or foraging questions you might have.

Wild Cocktails and Cake

Man holding up a bottle, with cup cakes superimposed over the top

A simple event matching four cocktails made from ingredients picked from around the local area with small cakes from the deli kitchen.

Who doesn’t like cake and cocktails?

Spend a relaxed and fun time in the company of an experienced drinks-maker who has worked with everyone who is anyone in the drinks industry from Jinny Goolden to the Milk Thistle, Remy Cointreau and The Botanist to Shoreditch’s finest bars like White Lyan and Nightjar to name just the ones that spring to mind!

Starting off with a fun introduction to tasting, Andy will deliver lots of helpful tips on how to transform your garden into a cocktail lovers paradise and did I mention there will be cake too!

You’ll taste each cocktail ‘blind’ to remove any preconceptions, and focus on flavour before re-tasting it with a carefully chosen hand baked cake.

An unusual way to learn about the world of paring in a fun, hands-on way!

Andy will be on hand to answer any cocktail, homebrew or foraging questions you might have.

Gin Safari

Forage for botanicals to create your own gin

When you make your own gin you can capture memories – the plants & herbs that are the smells of blissful afternoons with friends and loved ones. Making your own gin means you can literally be drunk on nostalgia. With this class you’ll be balancing the flavours of your life, and making your very own foraged gin.

During this workshop, we will familiarize ourselves with the plants used in gin. Andy will also introduce you to the flavours used in gin so you’ll have an idea of how yours work before we crack on and make your own gin right there on the spot using the botanicals that we will have foraged. This makes this course pretty unique!

A bit more about Andy Hamilton and the workshop:

“For more than half my life (and I’m not too young) I have been honing new ways to share my joint lifelong obsessions of plants and booze. My aim has always been to entertain as much as inform and I allow the group or audience to dictate what they get from me and thus create an event perfect for that moment in time every time.

I have appeared on international TV talking about these passions and have written three books – Booze for Free, Brewing Britain and The Selfsufficientish Bible. I also consult with the industry and I work extensively with the Botanist gin, hosting events for bartenders, chefs, foragers and industry professionals from around the globe. You may have also heard me on Radio 4’s Food Programme.”

So what is a Gin Safari, what will we be doing?

We will find a green space and have a short foraging walk where we will pick the botanicals needed to make gin. Then we’ll then return to the venue and drink a wild cocktail whilst I talk you through the process. We will have a tasting and it will be your turn to make some gin. I’ll also show you how you can make your own at home without any expensive equipment.

 

 

Be Nice To Nettles Week

clump of nettles behind a mud kitchen, with the words 'be nice to nettles week' over the top

Celebrating the diverse range of benefits and positive impacts nettles can have on everyday life.

Sadly, the most recent online presence that we can find for Be Nice to Nettles week, is this website from 2014. But we think this celebration is one worth continuing!

The website has links to nettle natural history and usage, activities, games and more. We’d love to hear about your nettle actives – let us know via @MuddyFaces

More about nettles, from The Wildlife Trusts, here.

30 Days Wild

person walking through a meadow with the 30 days wild logo over the top and the question Can You Do Someting Wild Every Day For A Month?

“Make room for nature this June – no matter where you are or how busy your life! When you sign up to the challenge, we’ll send you a pack full of ideas, encouragement and Random Acts of Wildness. You’ll also receive a funky wallchart to track your progress, a wild badge, and regular blasts of inspiration throughout June to help you make nature part of your life.

What is a Random Act of Wildness?

A Random Act of Wildness is any thing that you can do in an average working day to bring a little nature into your life. They can take a few seconds, a few minutes, or if you lose yourself completely, a few hours! We’ve got 101 ideas – but you can make up your own, too!”

National Parks Week

Boy Jumping On A Wild Hillside

‘National Parks Week is the National Parks family’s annual celebration of everything that is unique and wonderful about our 15 National Parks – Britain’s breathing spaces.

There are events across the UK’s 15 National Parks, including many free family events. Choose your nearest Park on the National Park Website, and join in fun activities for all, including:

  • Family friendly adventures
  • Quirky adventures
  • Adventures for beginners
  • Walking routes
  • Family activities
  • Trail running
  • Cycle routes
  • Camping areas

There are countless outdoor activities in which to take part, including walking, cycling and star-gazing.’

#NationalParksWeek

International Bat Night

Bat Finger Puppet

Bat Night has taken place every year since 1997 in more than 30 countries on the last full weekend of August.

Nature conservation agencies and NGOs from across Europe pass on information to the public about the way bats live and their needs with presentations, exhibitions and bat walks, often offering the opportunity to listen to bat sounds with the support of ultrasound technology. The general date is set for the last full weekend in August; however, local organisers sometimes choose other dates if more convenient.


Image: bat finger puppet, available from the Muddy Faces shop here.