Who are we?
Based in both Manchester and North Wales, 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 drinks and products. No matter what your experience, from complete beginners to more serious wildlife enthusiasts we can offer something for you and cater for your needs.
Meet the Team
David Winnard created Discover the Wild whose background in wildlife started when he was 5. His Grandma use to encourage 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 to 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, Lancashire Wildlife Trust, City of Trees, Groundwork, Brockholes as well as many local councils, groups and organsisations. He also works closely with a number of gin companies helping them use wild plants and fungi in their drinks.
Lauren Hough led her first workshop with us in 2017. Specialising in finding fungi she is a great asset to have on a walk and has discovered new species of fungi to Wales as well as finding other rarely reported species.
Lauren has a real passion for birds, which is a good thing for someone who is a bird keeper at a leading zoo, during the autumn she doesn't know whether to look down for fungi or up for birds! She also gained a degree in Wildlife Photography and still likes to capture images of some of the species she encounters.
Discover the Wild has been leading foraging events for over 15 years. We offer a range of seasonal foraging workshops which helps you look at the plants and fungi on your doorstep, how to safely identify them, if they are edible, medicinal or poisonous and also how they fit in to the larger eco-system. We like to get hands on with the stuff we find, so expect to be nibbling on the tastier wild food you find as we walk around. David Winnard, one of the most respected foragers and naturalists in the North of England and North Wales, will guide you into the world of wild food and natural history. We believe in re-connecting people with the countryside and showing natures amazing beauty and how each species is connected to another.
We also believe that by working with nature we can create a generation of people who understand that by looking after our wildlife in our local area, then nature can also take care of us in the source of food, drink, habitat management, flood defence and even our own health.
In the Media
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 .
We take great pride in the recording of wildlife. We encounter hundreds of different species of fungi, plant, moth, bird and mammals on a weekly basis and we monitor what we find as much as possible. The records of wildlife we see are entered in to the Discover the Wild database and helps us achieve a number of things;
1) We analyse the data to see when the peak periods are for certain species of fungi and plants and this helps us choose the optimum dates for our foraging events, making sure you see as much as possible.
2) The database is shared with other organisations to help protect species and habitats, we have a close working relationship the Greater Manchester Local Record Centre (GMLRC) who use our data to asses sites for Site of Biological Importance (SBI's) status as well as helping to conserve species in decline.
3) It is just good practice, we love the wildlife we encounter and want to share it with others, only by knowing what species are around and if they need our help can we help protect the enviroment.