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Our mission at Wild St Ives is to inspire the connection between people, plants, & the great outdoors.

foraging teacher leading a group, plants and people, nature tour, wild food tour, foraging walk, foraging, wild food, Cornwal

"Learning about wild foods is like a never-ending treasure hunt for adults. It had a really positive impact on my life. Teaching me to slow down, get to really know the wild plants in my local area, & discover a new world of flavours.
I set up Wild St Ives in 2016 in my hometown to share my passion & teach others how to forage for wild food in a safe & sustainable way."

Josh Quick, forager & founder  

what we offer

logo of plate and cutlery, foraging events, wild for events,  cocktails


logo of hand picking a leaf, foraging, wild food


logo of boots, walking tours, nature tours, foraging, wild food


logo of tree,  plant identification, tree identification, tree workshop


hands picking leafs, foraging, wild food, botany

Our courses instill the skills & confidence people need to forage for wild edible plants, regardless of their background or experience.

Josh has worked with a diverse range of people, from curious home cooks to grandmothers, brewers, distillers, & renowned chefs.

If you have an interest in food & drinks, the plant kingdom, & spending time outdoors, there's something for you at Wild St Ives.

Photography @Toni Edwards

Josh was featured on
Rick Steins Cornwall with a distillery he helped set up that uses wild & homegrown herbs
to create botanical spirits.

television screenshot, rick steins Cornwall. botanical spirits

Hungry for Change is a short documentary film by Cornwall Climate Care & presented by Josh.

'It takes us on a fascinating and inspiring journey to meet people in Cornwall working on ways for us to 'do food better' as the climate changes – from the gleaners picking ‘waste’ crops in our fields to projects growing food in unusual places, & a microbiologist keen to get us all eating low-carbon insects.'

Josh's Story

'Learning to forage for wild foods was a life-changing experience for me. A walk that used to take five minutes now took me hours as I scanned the hedgerows, like a friendly, botanical version of the Terminator. What was once simply a ‘green wall’ had been transformed into a world of foods, fibres and medicines as I learnt the stories of the plants.


It had a profound impact on my overall wellbeing and my connection with the landscape around me. I love sharing this passion with others and firmly believe that learning to observe and harvest wild plants in a sustainable way can help many of us to improve our lives and protect the plant life around us.

man teaching foraging, wild food course, wild food workshop, st ives, cornwall

Josh Quick, founder of Wild St Ives (right)

I grew up in the beautiful Cornish town of St Ives with a love for adventure, the outdoors, and any TV show by Ray Mears. I didn't know anything about foraging, gardening or even have much of an interest in the world of plants. I was a ridiculously stubborn eater, a self-confessed salad dodger, potatoes were about the only vegetable I would willingly entertain.  

 In my late teens, I read some heavy-hitting books and started to learn about some big problems humanity was facing environmentally & socially. I became pretty disillusioned with the modern world. I wondered how we'd learned so much as a species but forgotten many of the basic human skills, like how to find or grow food. I could probably recognise and name about four plants at that time. Surely there were other ways to live more sustainably and in tune with our environment? 

man in nepal, Himalayas, mountain

In my early twenties, I was travelling with friends in northern India and Nepal. My stubbornness with food quickly disappeared out of necessity, and my palate expanded dramatically.


We stayed in some remote villages with indigenous people and visited some small permaculture farms. The food was incredible. Life was not easy but there was so much joy and warmth. They had amazing vegetable gardens and harvested fresh food and medicines from the wild. The deep connection to the landscape and plants around them was not something I had experienced before and was truly inspiring to me. 

A seed had been sown in my mind and I wanted to develop this connection with the land and the plants within myself and my community at home. When I returned to the UK, I found a degree course locally specialising in ethnobotany, the study of how people use and interact with plants, and managed to blag my way on.

 I was fortunate to have a very passionate lecturer. We studied a huge range of subjects, such as botany, global food systems, sustainability, ethnobotany, wild foods, and indigenous plant uses. While I'm not the biggest fan of academia, I struggle to sit in a classroom for too long and would much rather be outdoors. The subjects fascinated me, and I had found a lifelong passion. 


After studying, my mind had learned a lot, but my hands had not. I wanted to get as much practical experience as I could. I found work with local gardeners, went on many walks and workshops, and volunteered with conservation groups. I spent a few years travelling and volunteering on permaculture farms in the UK and Asia. It was an amazing experience, and I met many inspiring people along the way.
I headed back to Cornwall and wanted space to grow and take more responsibility for my food choices. I craved the connection with the plants and the land at home. But I had no land or garden of my own.


man in herb garden, herbs, wild plants, botanical, biodiversity, homegrown

I was doing a bit of basic foraging at the time and wanted to learn more. I went on a few short plant walks with some experienced foragers, started to collect more books, and searched online.


Mostly I spent time out in nature, slowly learning about the wild plants in my area, one at a time. Learning how to respectfully harvest and interact with them, and of course any dangerous lookalikes. I soon realised the whole world was a garden, full of delicious edible plants if you knew what to look for. 

When going on walks with friends I started to reel off the Latin names, identifying features and the uses and history of the plants I was learning about, boring some of them to tears. But some of them were interested. There seemed to be a huge disconnection in most people between where our food came from and the natural world around us. I realised I wasn't the only one who wanted to learn more about this.

I got myself an allotment and began learning to grow some of my own more traditional veg, as well herbs and more unusual plants. You can't beat food you've picked yourself. From the garden or the wild. There's something magical about it. I let some of the weeds grow and intentionally cultivated wild plants. Much to the horror of my allotment neighbours! I found this helped enormously with my understanding of wild plants and their growth cycles and identification.


The thing I love most about foraging and that sets it apart for me is its accessibility. Gardening is restricted to a place, and involves lots of work. Watering, weeding, sowing, digging. It’s very hands-on and requires regular attention, if you neglect things for too long the plot quickly becomes unrecognisable. Also, many of us don't have access to growing space, it took me years of searching to find places to grow.

Foraging is quite the opposite, nature takes care of all of that. Learning to observe and recognise the plants is a skill, one you can take and practice anywhere you see a plant growing. Spotting plants you recognise becomes like bumping into an old friend.  If practiced respectfully, gathering wild plants can be one of the most sustainable options with our foods, particularly with leafy green vegetables.  


In 2013 I helped to establish the St Ives Community Orchard. We tamed a wild patch of bracken and bramble near a housing estate and planted hundreds of fruit trees. We wanted to create a space where the community could come together to freely harvest a variety of fruits as well as create a haven for biodiversity and people. Over a decade later it remains a thriving community project of which I am proud to remain a director. 

I set up ‘Wild St Ives’ in 2016 and started to write and post information about my experiences with wild plants and growing on social media. Eventually, I plucked up the courage to start taking groups out and teaching them face-to-face. People seemed to enjoy it and I found that I love to teach and share knowledge with others in this way. A year later, I was accepted onto the School for Social Entrepreneurs start-up programme, which massively helped me develop the project as a socially and environmentally focused business.

It's been a wild ride with many ups and downs. I've taken hundreds of people out on walks to meet the plants; I've worked with some amazing chefs, ran wild cocktail bars, made my own foraged Jagermeister, published articles in magazines, survived a pandemic, helped set up a distillery focussed on wild and homegrown botanicals, presented a documentary and got on the telly, perfected my post-apocalyptic wild curry blend, given talks and presentations on wild foods, and most importantly learnt to play the dandelion horn.


It's a pleasure to do this work and share my passion and stories with others.

I'm very thankful for the plants and people that I get to share this landscape with.

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