Foraging for Wild Foods

Here we are foraging for wild foods. We can grow our own and we can go and find and pick our own for free! What better way to spend a lovely walk in amongst the woodlands and find some edible treasures to take home.

Before you consider this however, there are some important things to know before you set out:

Seek permission if required dependent on where you are going.

Know what you are picking for a number of important reasons; you need to be able to identify varieties and know which ones are edible and which ones may be poisonous. They might be rare or protected by law and they may also be relied upon as an essential for the local wildlife to thrive.

Pick selectively and leave plenty without being greedy. Take what you need and do not uproot whole plants. Pick from plentiful growth, leaving enough behind for wildlife and for reproduction.

Do not cause damage and stick to main pathways. Do not trample and disturb foliage and roots; or wildlife that may be nesting. Pick leaves, berries and so on without causing damage to the plant or its roots.

Foraging can be done all year round. You can forage through the seasons, getting close to nature and enjoying seasonal wild food as you go.

You can find out from reliable sources where to find them, how to identify them and how to use them.

There are many more varieties of plants, herbs, nuts and fungi you can discover. Remember to take some gardening gloves and a pair of small secateurs as well as a basket or container to bring home your findings. 

If you are in any doubt do not eat anything.

Always wash any foraged foods thoroughly and wash your hands thoroughly after handling anything from out in the wild.

These areas are often popular with dog walkers too!

Here are the most foraged foods during the summer, in the UK:

Wood Sorrel
Fat Hen
Red Clover
Jack by the Hedge
Horse Mushroom

Popular foraged foods during autumn are:

Sweet Chestnuts
Wild Strawberries

During Winter:

Crab Apples
Hawthorn Berries
Whitebeam Berries

and in Spring:

Wild Garlic
Ground Ivy

dead nettle 5065012_1920
chestnut 1710748_1920
elder 1595360_1920