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Discover the Wild is a natural history company that provides services from foraging events, species identification workshops, wildlife photography tours, one-to-ones and creating foraged syrups and products.


It was set up by David Winnard whose background in wildlife started when he was 5. His Grandma use to pay him to find mushrooms and he would get 1p if it was common, 2p if it was uncommon and 5p if it was rare, these treasure hunts into the woodlands around his native Rochdale taught him about identification and foraging. Since then David went on to gain a first class honours degree in wildlife photography before starting Discover the Wild where his aim was to share his passion for identifying species and help people forage safely and sustainable for wild foods.


David Winnard is one of the most respected foragers and naturalists in the North of England, having worked with and for organisations including the BBC, RSPB, LWT, RedRose Forest, TCV, Groundwork, Brockholes as well as many local councils, groups and organsisations.


Discover the Wild also works closely with the Greater Manchester Local Record Centre delivering workshops but also passing on data which is collected on our events so that an accurate account of the species present in the local area can be protected.





Since 2014 David has been working with a Scottish small batch gin company called Caorunn (pronounced ka-roon and is Gaelic for Rowan, a botanical they use in the gin). Their gin uses 5 wild botanicals found around the distillery, so we share a passion for wild local plants to give a real flavour sensation.


I have been heavily involved with their #forage2glass campaign which has seen me travel to places like Berlin, Amsterdam, Lisbon, Knockke, London, Bristol, Aberdeen & Manchester to forage for wild plants with local bar tenders and mixologists to create new and exciting cocktails. You can read more about it at www.caorunngin.com


"Can only say, Dave's knowledge and easy manner has you listening and looking to the world around you in a different way , one trip out with David isn't enough ! Well done David, we have been on a few walks now and watched you on tv and listened to you on the radio, all have been interesting and informative."


Ian Lester (Foraging Workshops)

"I went foraging, and it's a glowing endorsement of our charismatic and engaging guide David Winnard of Discover the Wild that I had a fabulous time despite the weather."


Liz (Things to do in Manchester) - (Foraging Workshop)



"I have to say, despite the rain, the foraging was really good- David Winnard from Discover the Wild was excellent, and really knew his stuff."


Susie - (Foraging Workshops)



"A trip to the Outer Hebrides with Discover the Wild was much more than I expected, with Andy's photographic and industry knowledge, and Daves immense Identification and Natural History skills, the whole group went from strength the strength and everyone came away with improved knowledge and impressive portfolios of work. Within the first ten minutes we were put at ease and for the rest of the week felt we were just on a trip with friends this personal approach is whats missing on many other tours, Thanks again Discover the Wild!"


Jezebel Peters (Outer Hebrides Tour)

"Dave Winnard is a fountain of knowledge; I am yet to ask a question about a bird to which he didn’t know the answer, and this was very useful. We weren’t just taking photos of birds but learning about their behaviour and habitats, and this information goes a long way in helping you to get closer to the animals. I had one of the best weeks of my life and took some of my greatest images; I think I learnt more about wildlife and photography in this week than I had in the last few years. Thank you so much Dave and Andy and to the rest of Discover the Wild, I hope to work with you again in the future."


Lauren Hough (Outer Hebrides Tour)


"The workshop was a great day out, the venue chosen was brilliant for birdwatching, plenty of variety in habitat so many different species could be seen, plus the guides were excellent, their knowledgeable was second to none & also really nice approachable people. Thank you for a great days birdwatching"


Bill Glover (Bird Song Workshop)

"I came to the Birding Workshop run by Ian and David with a few months of taking birding seriously and with an open mind. I was particularly interested in understanding birdsong better and some of the issues of identification when birds are less easy to see and to note their key features. In this and all other respects the workshop met  my expectations. Ian proved a patient and knowledgeable guide, with a down to earth approach and I felt reassured about some of my own limited successes and mistakes. David  was able to provide a lot of information about the trees, plants and insects around us, something not always touched on during a day like this. I came away with a lot of ideas and approaches to this wonderful pastime of ours.

Well worth it and highly recommended for 8 hours of informed knowledge delivered in a relaxed and involving way."


Martin Ansell (Bird Song Workshop)

"It was so so ace to wander through the woods with you on Sunday!! Thank you so much for just being ace. I want your brain!"


Emma Patchick (Foraging Workshops)

"David Winnard; forager extraordinaire and self confessed mushroom addict. For me this was his only downfall! That said his story about how his gran used to pay him to find mushrooms with the price going up to 5p for rare varieties made up for it, how sweet?!"


Keeley (Foraging Workshop)



"Upon arriving at said mystery foraging location, we were introduced to Mr. David Winnard from Discover the Wild, a foraging expert who had bravely agreed to lead the rabble. An absolute brick of a chap, it was simply fascinating to hear him talk about a subject that was very close to his heart. Literally an expert in his field."


G.M. Norton (Foraging Workshop)



"Thank you David Winnard and Discover the Wild for another great day looking for mushrooms. We learnt so much more - and the chanterelles and chicken of the woods were delicious :) "


Anne Denham (Foraging Workshop)



"Thanks David for a wonderfully inspiring day foraging! Absolutely loved it and can't wait to learn your berry foraging tips"


Leslie Clarke Thorne (Foraging Workshop)





David has appeared on BBC Autumnwatch discussing mushrooms and fungi as well as appearing frequently on 'That's TV Manchester' and Channel M. David is also regularly on the radio and has contributed to BBC Radio Manchester and BBC Radio Lancashire.


He currently writes monthly foraging articles for Home Farmer magazine and has written monthly articles for Lancashire Walks & Wildlife and Yorkshire Walks & Wildlife. He has been published in other magazines such as BBC Countyfile, Birdwatching, Bird Watch, BBC Wildlife Magazine, The Times, The Guardian, The Express and Outdoor Photography to name a few.


David's images are repesented by a number of stock libraries including Getty and The Garden Collection. His natural history images have been published on six continents in 52 countries.  


If you would like David to write an article on foraging, birdwatching or nature in general and please contact him direct at david@discoverthewild.co.uk.

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Lauren joined Discover the Wild in 2015 and has been a great asset, finding rare mushrooms on events, finding extensive specimens to be included in the up-coming Discover the Wild forager guide and also developing new foraged products that are being used in cocktails and mocktails across the North-west.