Dorset People: James Feaver

We catch up with James Feaver, a Dorset forager and truffle hunter.

Dorset People: James Feaver image

Dorset People is all about introducing you to the people who make Dorset special. Each has been hand picked because they are #DorsetToATea. Our first meet and greet is with James Feaver, a forager and truffle hunter.

Meet James

I’ve lived in Dorset for 6 years but have been a regular visitor for much, much longer. Redundancy from a big company made me reconsider what was important and we felt Dorset offered a better quality of life so downsized and haven’t regretted a thing.

I have had a long term interest in wild food and foraging, starting in childhood with finding edible crabs and lobsters on the Gower coast of South Wales. The outdoors has always been my natural habitat with a passion for almost all aspects of natural history and its conservation. In 2008, regular requests to take people foraging lead to our first course. This sold out in no time and more dates were added to meet demand. For several years I ran the foraging courses at the same time as having a full-time job. After moving to Dorset I couldn’t find a job in Dorset in my field so I set up two businesses, the foraging courses, Hedgerow Harvest, being one. Eventually my part time work ended and I now work full time on foraging courses and a truffle hunting business The English Truffle Company.

I live the Dorset life by trying to immerse myself in the county. I love to walk and get off the beaten track exploring new areas. Attending community events from wassailing to talks and Artsreach plays & concerts is something I like to do.  Food is very important to me and Dorset has wealth of fantastic wild food, small producers and places to eat. I try to give something back through conservation work and The Great Dorset Beach Clean.

The natural world in all its guises inspires me everyday – species, habitats and landscapes, both for their beauty and the shear cleverness of it all. Dorset is a beautiful County; I feel lucky to live here.

If I could be any Dorset Tea it would have to be Foraged Fruits! This one is “inspired by Dorset's abundant hedgerows”. I too am inspired by these, their part in the landscape, their history and wildlife and the foraging opportunities they offer.

My favourite tea drinking memory

I’ve done practical conservation work for over 25 years as a volunteer, supporting Wildlife Trusts and other such groups. We undertake tasks like coppicing, scrub clearing or hedgelaying. So it would be a cup of Golden Blend on Dorset Wildlife Trust’s Kingcombe Meadows nature reserve on a winter Sunday morning. I’d be sitting around the bonfire on our morning tea break with the other members of the group (and some homemade cake!).

My Favourite Dorset Moment

Tricky one! Either, catching a Lobster on one of our seashore foraging courses or a hot sunny day on a quiet Dorset beach soaking up the sun and snorkeling in the crystal clear sea.

Spend a day in James' shoes

Join us on one of our foraging courses, truffle hunting days or buy some of our truffles.

This summer we want to see what Dorset Tea life means to you! Everyday we are inspired by the natural life, colour and vitality of Dorset, and over the coming months we will be creating videos using your Dorset to a Tea moments. 

Submit your videos or photos online or via social media for a chance to be featured in our next video and the top 20 video entrants will receive an enamel mug.

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