What We Do
Whether you are looking to learn new life skills or just to have some fun, we think we have something to suit everyone and can deliver a unique and memorable experience for team building days and even stag or hen groups. The Wild Side of Life’s foraging courses feature in BBC Countryfile Magazine’s UK Top 10 Foraging Courses and in The Telegraph’s Top 5!
Recently Photographer Craig Hyde created a really wonderful photo blog which really captures the essence of what we do when teaching at The Wild Side of Life… take a look here.
We offer a mix of courses with a strong emphasis on empowerment through connecting to the world that we live in through natural resources and direct experiences. As one of the last species of the Great Apes, we believe that a direct connection to the land and environment where we live is vital for our continued wellbeing; and that we need to cultivate knowledge and experience so that we will be better able to relate to that land which is our habitat and our home.
- Mushroom identification and field mycology courses
- Wild food foraging
- Herbal medicine workshops
- The award winning Devon Forager’s Retreat
- Greenwood crafts and coracle building (subject to seasonal availability – different things run each year)
- Primitive metalsmithing – subject to availability – the more requests we get the more we do!
- Survival skills & wilderness crafts – again, subject to availability
- Team building, one to one mentoring, your special day (contact us for a quote)
The Wild Side of Life is run by Fred Gillam – also known as Fred the Forager.
Fred is the author of Poisonous Plants in Great Britain (2008) and has written numerous articles for magazines and journals like The Mushroom.. Fred and his partner Natascha run the UKI Medicinal Mushrooms Conference each year and a community herbal dispensary in Wiltshire, England. Fred is also the Managing Director of the UKI Mycotherapy Practitioners Register. At The Wild Side of Life, Fred teaches foraging and herbal medicine. He has had three medical botany lectures published by the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution, of which he is a long-standing member, contributed to ‘The Herbalist’ and the ‘Journal of the International Register of Consultant Herbalists & Homeopaths’ and given numerous lectures on medicinal mushrooms and the microbiome to various professional bodies and herb schools in the UK & Ireland. As a public speaker he is comfortable with any group size from small informal clubs to auditorium audiences of up to 2,500 people.
Fred Gillam is available for booking as a speaker at your conference or event! With an extensive repertoire of talks or something designed just for you.
For all enquiries email: Fred@thewildsideoflife.co.uk
The Wild side of life is an ethical business. Our work has now proudly supported:
The Childline Ball, London
BBC Children in Need, Carfest South, Hampshire
Toolbuzz Travelling Museum Project, Wiltshire
Bath & North-East Somerset (B&NES) Carers Centre
Festival of Learning, Bath
SCAN – Swindon Climate Action Network
The Chiltern Society
The Richard Jeffries Museum, Swindon
The Coracle Society
Wellbeing in Nature at Wiltshire Wildlife Trust (Fred helped to found this in 2008)
Marlborough Downs: Space for Nature
Avon Needs Trees
The Wild Side of Life has provided media content, as well as team-building and training for:
The National Trust
ITV (Countrywise and For the Love of Britain)
Chris Evan’s Carfest
National Federation of Women’s Institutes
Medical Herbalism / Integrative Healthcare bodies:
(NIMH, AMH, IRH, IRCH, ARCH)