Married plasterer ditches wife to spend wild weekends eating roadkill in forest

A MARRIED plasterer spends his weekends living wild in a forest and surviving by eating road kill – and has saved himself thousands of pounds by brewing his own ACORN coffee.

Bushcraft and survivalism fanatic Ray Shaw, 34, decamps to woods near his house at least once a week and survives by eating nettles, toadstools, worms even WOODLICE – to the chagrin of his wife.

Mr Shaw believes his hobby has saved him thousands of pounds because he gets his morning hot drink fix by brewing acorns and stickyweed instead of picking up expensive Costa or Starbucks coffee.

And the plasterer, from Crawley, West Sussex, dines on gourmet meats such as venison, pheasant and wood pigeon which he finds as roadkill and skins and guts himself in the forest before cooking on a spit.

But Mr Shaw admits his unusual hobby can get him in trouble when wife Trina, 34, finds animal brains in the fridge or is forced to haul him in from his wild antics if the couple have date night plans to go for a meal.Ray said: “As soon as you step into the forest, time goes so quickly.

“Then all of a sudden I have to go home because I have to go out for a meal or something like that.

“I most often go on my own – I don’t mind my own company and when you are out in the woods surrounded by nature you are never really alone.

Ray Shaw in the woodsMERCURY PRESS

His tent made of sticks and forest stuffMERCURY PRESS

Mr Shaw spends his weekends living wild in a forest and surviving by eating road kill

“I think most people would love it if they tried it. Sitting beside a fire and drinking a warm cup of acorn coffee as the sun sets – there really is nothing better.

I can make a meal in the middle of the forest that would be worth £60 in a restaurant

Ray Shaw

“My wife is very good because she lets me do it. But when she comes home and finds something like mashed up animal brains in the fridge she isn’t too impressed.”Foraging was common up until World War Two but it is definitely an art that has been lost in this country now.

“I think everyone should be more involved with nature and what is around us. You can go to Tesco and buy some food but then you don’t get to learn about and appreciate where it has come from.”

Plants he picks and cooksMERCURY PRESS

Ray Shaw and his wifeMERCURY PRESS

Mr Shaw admits his unusual hobby can get him in trouble with his wife Trina

Ray, who idolises celebrity survivalists Ray Mears and Bear Grylls, has been interested in bushcraft for 10 years and spends most weekends camping in woods Tilgate Forest and Cowdray Forest, which are both close to his home.He will often challenge himself to develop different skills by entering the forest with no food, meaning he is forced to forage, or by creating his own weatherproof debris shelters to stay warm and dry and lighting fires using only friction.

“The roadkill can be gourmet – I can make a meal in the middle of the forest that would be worth £60 in a restaurant,” he said.

“Woodlice taste amazing, they are just like shrimp and if you put them in a frying pan they pop like popcorn.

Acorn ground coffeeMERCURY PRESS

Acorn coffeeMERCURY PRESS

He gets his morning hot drink fix by brewing acorns

“It is so strange, you can be in the middle of the forest tasting the ocean.”Saving money isn’t the reason I do it but when I go up to the forest and come home with a bucket of mushrooms or acorns to turn into food it is satisfying.

“One oak tree will provide enough acorns to feed two people for a whole year and they are really good for you too, full of vitamins.

“People spend a fortune on coffee from coffee shops but you can make your own from acorns for nothing – if people knew that they would save a lot of money in Starbucks or Costa.”

Read more at: http://www.express.co.uk/news/weird/725874/Plasterer-woods-camping-survivalism-roadkill

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