Don’t pack lunch, pick it!

How to for­age in field, for­est and fore­shore, for graz­ers on the go.

Country Walking Magazine (UK) - - Contents - WO R D S : P H I L I P T H O M A S P H O T O S : T O M B A I L E Y

DON’T EAT THAT DEAR. It’ll give you a very bad tummy ache!” As young’uns, we’ve prob­a­bly all heard a con­cerned el­der is­sue that stern warn­ing as our lips were poised ready to devour the strange but ap­petis­ing berry we’d plucked from a hedgerow. And ever since then, many of us have been wary of try­ing the fruits, flora and fungi that grow wild.

For­ag­ing for wild food can seem daunt­ing, but while eat­ing some species will do you harm, many more are bril­liantly tasty, won­der­fully nu­tri­tious and best of all free. Con­fi­dently know­ing the dif­fer­ence be­tween what’s nasty and nice is the first step in a gas­tro­nomic ad­ven­ture, bring­ing a new ap­pre­ci­a­tion for ed­i­ble plants you’ll pre­vi­ously have passed by with­out a se­cond thought. Bored of just black­berry pick­ing, Coun­try Walk­ing wanted to know what else we could safely nib­ble, munch and gorge upon when we’re out walk­ing. We also wanted to dis­cover wild ingredients we could take home to zhoosh up our culi­nary cre­ations. So we en­listed the help of for­ag­ing ex­pert Rachel Lam­bert to show us the ropes on her home patch in Corn­wall. It’s a county with a di­verse geography and ac­cord­ingly di­verse wild foods. From its open moor­land and wooded val­leys, to the coast and hedgerow-lined pas­tures, it boasts a unique mix of en­vi­ron­ments you can find up and down Bri­tain. For­ag­ing can im­prove a walk any­where and ev­ery sea­son brings some­thing dif­fer­ent to the menu.

We spent a day with Rachel for­ag­ing be­side the es­tu­ary of the River Camel and the re­wards of our foray give a snap­shot of what you can find here in the re­li­ably fruit­ful month of Septem­ber. In the next few pages, we’ve also in­cluded a few more com­mon wild foods you’ll find in dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tions and at dif­fer­ent times of the year. Swot up on our for­ag­ing dos and don’ts ( p.73) and be sure to get hold of a good ref­er­ence book be­fore you head out. Bon ap­petit!

COASTAL CUI­SINE CW

went look­ing for wild grub in the rich habi­tats of Corn­wall’s Camel es­tu­ary, but the knowl­edge to for­age ap­plies any­where in the UK.

COUN­TRY WALK­ING’S COR­NISH BOUNTY In just a few miles and a cou­ple of hours’ wan­der­ing, we’d col­lected this scrumptious haul of healthy con­sum­ables from the shores of the Camel es­tu­ary. Our bas­ket was laden with over 20 va­ri­eties of for­aged food­stuffs.

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