At the end of a perfect day we set up camp in woodland carpeted with the bright white stars of strawberries and the opulence of purple dog violets.
We still had time to play and one of the games was sitting still and silent and listening to sounds of the wood. Who would have thought that kids would have been able to stay silent and still for such a long time.
Eating a well deserved dinner we faced west where the fresh green of new beech leaves stood out against the deep pink of sunset.
The day had started with 14 of us (the youngest not quite three years old) walking from Friston pond towards the famous white cliffs of the Seven Sisters. It was not long before the vista suddenly opened up and Jirshari said “Look you can clearly sea the curvature of the Earth.”
A lot of walking for kids you might think but the reward for struggling up one side of a Sister meant that they could roll down the other side – fantastic.
The kids lead us down a scramble to reach the sea at Cuckmere Haven. At the visitor centre café, enjoying overpriced drinks we bade farewell to some of the group before the overnighters headed off to the forest.
Being spring we ate our fill of free food on the way. These are some of the plants we snacked on:
Marsh Thistle Circium palustra
Primrose Primula vulgaris
Ground ivy Glechoma hederacea
Hogweed Heracleum sphondylium
Ground elder Aegopodium podagraria
Herb Bennet Geum urbanum
, also known as wood avens, colewort
Stinging nettle Urtica dioica
White dead nettle Lamium album
Hedge garlic Alliaria petiolata
Beech leaves Fagus sylvatica
Hawthorn leaves Crataegus monogyna
Cowslip Primula veris
Three cornered leek Allium triquetrum
Gorse Ulex europaeus
We also looked at these but didn’t get round to eating them
Lesser celandine,Ficaria verna
Dandelion Taraxacum officinale
Plantain Plantago major & lanceolata
Cleavers Galium aparine
Blackthorn Prunus spinosa
Wild strawberry Fragaria vesca
Dog violet Viola riviniara
Cow parsley Anthriscus sylvestris
Herb Robert Geranium robertianum
Comfrey Symphytum officinale
Silverweed Potentilla arserina
On Sunday morning, after a great nights sleep, we had a leisurely breakfast and then Brae showed us how to safely use a knife and saw.
All that remained was to take a beautiful route past the Westdean pond and back to the visitors centre to catch the bus back to Brighton.
Hope to see you all on the next walk.