Spring is the time to start foraging for nature’s free food, according to Dorset Wildlife Trust. With hedgerows, fields and woods bursting with life, there are delicious rewards for those who are prepared to look for them.
What can be found?
Debbie Billen, Manager of Dorset Wildlife Trust’s Kingcombe Centre in west Dorset, said: “Many people only think of foraging as an autumn pursuit to gather fruit, nuts and fungi. However, springtime also has a variety of edible leaves and flowers; even certain types of mushroom can be found. You can also combine sun, sea and sand by foraging at the seaside!”.”
DWT advises people to get started with an expert. Debbie added: “You do need to know what is edible and, more important, what is definitely not! It’s also important to take care of the environment while you are foraging”.
Kingcombe is one of the best places in the country to practise foraging as it is surrounded by unsprayed, unspoilt hedgerows and meadows and has over 500 species of fungi, including a population of rare waxcaps. At the Kingcombe Centre, DWT holds courses guiding people on foraging safely and sustainably at the seashore or in hedges and woodlands and how to put their finds to use in the kitchen.
How can can I learn more and get involved?
All forages are led by John Wright, a leading authority on foraging for food, well known from Channel 4’s River Cottage and his exploits with friend and chef, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. John’s interest in the natural world has spanned over 40 years and he regularly leads forays from Kingcombe. John said: “the supermarket distances us from food so foraging is a good thing as long as it’s done with care...Everyone would enjoy wandering and poking about looking for their supper”.
Foraging opportunities coming up include a Seashore Harvest on 19th May and Hedgerow Harvest on 29th May. All courses are ideal for beginners, but the more experienced are also welcome. For more details or to see the full range of courses at Kingcombe, ring 01300 320684 or visit the Kingcombe Centre website
Notes to Editor
For more information please contact Nicky Hoar at Dorset Wildlife Trust on 01305 264620.
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About Dorset Wildlife Trust www.dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk
Working for a secure future for Dorset’s wildlife enriching the quality of life Dorset Wildlife Trust works to champion wildlife and natural places, to engage and inspire people and to promote sustainable living. Founded in 1961, DWT is now the largest voluntary nature conservation organisation in Dorset, with over 25,000 members and over 40 nature reserves. Most are open daily and there are visitor centres providing a wealth of wildlife information at Brooklands Farm, Lorton Meadows, Kingcombe Meadows and Brownsea Island Nature Reserves, The Purbeck Marine Wildlife Reserve and the Urban Wildlife Centre at Upton Heath Nature Reserve. DWT plays a key role in dealing with local environmental issues and leads the way in establishing the practices of sustainable development and engaging new audiences in conservation, particularly in the urban areas.
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The Wildlife Trusts (TWT) www.wildlifetrusts.org
There are 47 individual Wildlife Trusts covering the whole of the UK and the Isle of Man and Alderney. All are working for an environment rich in wildlife for everyone. We have more than 800,000 members including 150,000 members of our junior branch Wildlife Watch. Our vision is to create A Living Landscape and secure Living Seas. We manage around 2,300 nature reserves and every year we advise thousands of landowners and organisations on how to manage their land for wildlife. We also run marine conservation projects around the UK, collecting vital data on the state of our seas and celebrating our amazing marine wildlife. Every year we work with thousands of schools and our nature reserves and visitor centres receive millions of visitors. Each Wildlife Trust is working within its local communities to inspire people about the future of their area: their own Living Landscapes and Living Seas