Brought to you by

Meet Hayley Ward of Wyreside Mushrooms in Garstang

Hayley Ward Photo: Paul Thornton
Hayley Ward Photo: Paul Thornton

Hayley Ward cofounded Wyreside Mushrooms in Garstang with partner, Paul Thornton. Together they run the small-scale farm in Garstang growing organic gourmet and functional mushrooms. Here mushroom farmer Hayley, 35, shares her food loves. 

Tell us a little about Wyreside Mushrooms

We started our journey in 2022 – although Paul has been growing mushrooms as a hobby on and off since he was in high school. During lockdown we were growing mushrooms in our kitchen, and after seeing how passionate Paul was about mushrooms, and learning how amazing they are myself, we decided to take the plunge and open the farm. We now supply local shops and restaurants and will soon be holding regular ‘pop-up shops’ so the public can buy mushrooms directly from the farm. We are passionate about reducing food miles and providing people with top quality locally grown organic mushrooms.

First dish you learned to cook?

My favourite dish to make when I first moved out of home was falafel wraps with loads of salad and sweet potato wedges – friends would always request this when they came round for tea.

Most vivid childhood food memory?

I have fond memories of baking with my grandma when I was a child – her ginger parkin and custard tarts were delicious! The best bit was licking the bowl clean of course.

Most memorable meal out?

The first time I ate at The Cartford Inn – we were very lucky to be invited to try the dish they had created using our mushrooms. We were treated like royalty to a three-course meal. The staff are amazing, and the décor and atmosphere are on point.

Favourite ingredient?

It has be garlic – lots and lots of garlic!

Your go-to snack?

I eat apple slices and peanut butter almost every day… it’s so good.

If you weren't running Wyreside Mushrooms what would you be doing?

I would really love to have an animal sanctuary because I love animals.

Your dream dinner guest?

Romesh Ranganathan. I love his comedy and his stance on animal rights.

Guilty food pleasure?

Mac and cheese with ketchup– it’s easy to make after a long day and so comforting.

Who are your Lancashire food heroes?

Katie from Bowland and Bay – she has such a passion for artisan and small local food producers and really bangs the drum for Lancashire food and drink. We’re a stop on her food tour and she’s helped connect us with lots of other local small businesses – she's like the mycelium of the Lancashire foodie network!

A place you love to eat?

Wholesome Junkies in Manchester is a treat we enjoy every now and again.

A career highlight?

When we got our organic certification in June this year – it was a lot of hard work, but worth it!

What's next?

We have recently started delivering fun and educational children’s workshops, kids get to learn about mushrooms and make their own grow kits to take home. We plan to roll these out for adults soon at unique venues. We will have mushroom grow kits available for sale soon and hope to expand our range of mushroom products to include tinctures.

My favourite dish 

‘I love to cook pulled BBQ king oyster mushroom kebabs,’ says Hayley. ‘Start by shredding king oyster mushrooms with a fork until they resemble shredded chicken, drizzle with olive oil and season with cajun and peri peri seasoning.

‘Bake in the oven for around 20-30 mins. Transfer to a pan, add barbecue sauce and fry off for a few minutes until sizzling and sticky. Serve in a flatbread with plenty of garlic mayo and salad. King oysters are perfect for this recipe because they have an amazing firm, meaty texture.’



Lancashire Life Read more

Latest articles

More from Lancashire Life


Lancashire Life Read more